Harrison Ford and George Lucas Remember 'Gentle' Peter Mayhew in Touching Tributes
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The former 'Star Wars' star calls the original Chewbacca depicter his partner in film and friend in life for over 30 years, while the acclaimed director expresses his sadness over the lost of a good friend.

AceShowbiz - Harrison Ford and George Lucas have paid tribute to Peter Mayhew, the gentle giant who played the original Chewbacca in the "Star Wars" franchise, after his death on Tuesday, April 30.

The British actor was 74 when he passed away at his home in Texas, according to a family statement posted on Twitter.

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

Official details about Mayhew's death have yet to be confirmed, but The Blast have reported he suffered a heart attack.

Following his passing, his "Star Wars" co-stars were quick to offer their condolences, with Ford - who played Han Solo, Chewbacca's friend and co-pilot, in the movie franchise - releasing a statement which read: "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 its 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.... ".

Meanwhile, Lucas, who directed four of the "Star Wars" films which Mayhew starred in, said: "Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature - and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend, and I'm saddened by his passing."

Actor Joonas Suotamo, who took over the role of Chewbacca from Mayhew, shared a picture of himself with the late actor and wrote: "Peter's warm welcome when I came aboard as his double in The Force Awakens meant so much to me. He was an absolutely one-of-a-kind gentleman and a legend of unrivaled class and I will miss him. 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."

William Shatner, George Takei, Elijah Wood and "Star Wars" actors Noah Segan and Daniel Logan also paid tribute to Mayhew.

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