The tragic passing of Peter Mayhew has rocked Star Wars fans just days before the annual May the 4th holiday. Fans have taken to social media with an outpouring of support for the late Chewbacca actor, who provided heart and humor in his five appearances throughout the Star Wars saga.
Mayhew's family issued a statement confirming his passing earlier today. A spokesperson for the Mayhews spoke with ABC and revealed the actor's cause of death, explaining that he passed after suffering a heart attack.
Many fans and Star Wars alumni have paid tribute to Mayhew after his passing. Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill took to his Twitter account and wrote a touching message remembering his late 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,” Hamill wrote. “I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete."
His on-screen co-pilot Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo alongside Mayhew's Chewbacca throughout their entire tenure in the Star Wars saga, issued a statement to ComicBook.com:
"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. 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 Wars audience."
"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..."
Mayhew is survived by his wife Angie and his three children.
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