Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and more pay tribute to Peter Mayhew
Yesterday, a very sad news has taken over Hollywood with the death of Star Wars alum Peter Mayhew, who was best known for his iconic role as Chewbacca. Following the news of his passing, many of his fellow Star Wars co-stars and co-workers including George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill along with other celebrities took to social media to remember and pay their respects to the late actor.
“Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature…and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I’m saddened by his passing.” George Lucas said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter).
“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca.” actor Harrison Ford said. “We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Warsaudience. Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to it’s continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.”
He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 2, 2019
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) May 3, 2019
“We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself.”-Kathleen Kennedy.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 3, 2019
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) May 2, 2019
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 2, 2019
RIP Peter Mayhew. To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 3, 2019
— Greg Grunberg (@greggrunberg) May 2, 2019
Mayhew began playing Chewbacca in the original Star Wars in 1977, reprising the role for the two sequels in the original trilogy. More than two decades later, Mayhew made a cameo appearance in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
In 2015, Mayhew returned to his iconic role one last time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For the first time, he shared the role with another actor, the new Chewbacca, Joonas Suotamo. After that, Mayhew retired from playing Chewbacca due to health problems and allowed Suotamo to carry on as his replacement in future installments. However, Mayhew remained part of the franchise as a “Chewbacca consultant.”
A memorial service for Mayhew will be held on June 29. The actor’s family is also planning a memorial event for fans at EmpireConLA in early December.
(Photo Credits: Getty Images)