Chewbacca, the lovable Wookiee and loyal co-pilot to Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise, was brought to life by British actor Peter Mayhew. Here’s a closer look at Mayhew’s career and legacy as Chewbacca:
|May 19, 1944
|7 feet 3 inches (2.21 meters)
|Playing the role of Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise
|Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983)
|Terror (1978), Dark Towers (1981), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
|Supported various charities and causes throughout his career
|Remembered as a beloved actor and a kind and generous person, his legacy as Chewbacca continues to be celebrated by fans around the world
Peter Mayhew’s Background
Born in London, England in 1944, Peter Mayhew was a hospital orderly in his youth before being discovered by a film producer. Mayhew’s towering height of 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 meters) made him a unique candidate for acting roles, and he soon found success playing the role of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars movie.
Mayhew first played the role of Chewbacca in the original Star Wars movie released in 1977, and continued to play Chewbacca in subsequent Star Wars movies until his retirement from the role due to health reasons. To play Chewbacca, Mayhew had to wear a heavy and hot costume made of yak hair, mohair, and other materials that could withstand the rigors of filming.
In addition to his work in the Star Wars franchise, Mayhew made appearances as Chewbacca in other films, television shows, and events. He also appeared in other non-Star Wars roles, including the horror film “Terror” and the television series “Dark Towers.”
Throughout his career, Mayhew used his fame to support various charities and causes. He was known for his kindness and generosity towards his fans, and was always happy to meet them and sign autographs.
Mayhew passed away on April 30, 2019 at the age of 74. His legacy as Chewbacca and his contributions to the Star Wars franchise continue to be celebrated by fans around the world. In 2019, it was announced that Chewbacca would be played by actor Joonas Suotamo in future Star Wars films, with Suotamo having learned from Mayhew during his time as an understudy on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Image: Star Wars