British-born actor, Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca the Wookiee, the loyal, furry companion of space buccaneer Han Solo in five of the “Star Wars” movies, is dead.
Mayhew died at his North Texas home on Tuesday, according to the family’s statement, on Twitter.
No cause of death was given, NAN reports. The lanky performer made his first appearance as the beloved, bleating Chewbacca character in the landmark 1977 sci-fi action-thriller “Star Wars”.
He went on to co-star in four more films in the blockbuster series – “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Return of the Jedi”, “Revenge of the Sith” and “The Force Awakens”.
He retired from playing Chewbacca for health reasons, although his family recalled that for Mayhew’s final turn as the heroic Wookiee in “The Force Awakens”, he fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall’ once more as the woolly character in the 2015 film.