Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew dies aged 74

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Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, has died aged 74, his family says.

He passed away at his home in Texas on 30 April with his family by his side, a statement said.

The British-American actor played giant Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in the original trilogy beginning in 1977 as well as later films.

“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame,” his family said.

They said that “the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film”.

“The relationships that began then grew into the friends and family that he would love for decades to come.”

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Peter Mayhew plays Chewbacca (L) alongside Harrison Ford in Star Wars Episode IV

Mayhew’s family did not says what the cause of his death was.

The actor, who was 7ft 2in (2.18m) tall, is survived by his wife Angie and three children.