Peter Mayhew’s death sparks celebrity reactions: ‘He was the gentlest of giants’

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Peter Mayhew, best known for his role as Chewbacca on the “Star Wars” movie series, died on Tuesday, according to a statement from his family. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)


“Star Wars” stars and fans mourned the loss of actor Peter Mayhew on Thursday night.

The 74-year-old actor, best known for his role as Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” movie series, died on Tuesday, according to a tweet from his family.

“The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home,” the tweet posted Thursday read.

Peter Mayhew, best known for his role as Chewbacca on the “Star Wars” movie series, died on Tuesday, according to a statement from his family. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
(The Associated Press)

Mayhew’s fans and friends paid tribute to the beloved actor on social media after the family’s announcement.

PETER MAYHEW, THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED CHEWBACCA IN ‘STAR WARS,’ HAS DIED, HIS FAMILY SAYS 

Mark Hamill, who starred alongside Mayhew in the “Star Wars” series as Luke Skywalker, penned a moving tribute to his former co-star.

“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,” Hamill wrote, alongside pictures of himself with Mayhew.

Actor Joonas Suotamo played Chewbacca as a double for Mayhew in 2015’s “The Force Awakens” and tweeted a simple “R.I.P.” on Thursday night, with a longer statement and a picture of the two actors.

“Peter’s warm welcome when I came aboard as his double in The Force Awakens meant so much to me,” his statement said, in part. “He was an absolutely one-of-a-kind gentleman and a legend of unrivaled class and I will miss him.”

Suotamo continued: “Rest assured his legacy will live on and the spirit that he gave the character when he first donned the suit will never be forgotten.”

“Rest In Peace My Friend,” the 33-year-old actor added.

William Shatner, known for his roles on the original “Star Trek” television series, tweeted his condolences to Mayhew’s family and reminisced about his friendship with the actor.

“I am so sorry to hear about Peter. We had so many fun and memorable tweets back and forth over the years plus seeing each other at a convention here and there. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed!” Shatner tweeted.

George Takei, also of “Star Trek” fame, wrote on Twitter: “A sad day for millions of fans.”

Author Neil Gaiman offered his sympathies to Mayhew’s family, saying: “I am so very sorry to hear this. My sympathies and love to the family.”

“Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood also paid tribute to Mayhew, tweeting: “Sad to hear of Peter Mayhew’s passing. So long, Chewie, may the force be with you.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Fox News’ Elizabeth Zwirz contributed to this report.





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