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Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca in 'Star Wars,' dies at 74

By Kendall Trammell and Jamiel Lynch, CNN

(CNN) -- Peter Mayhew, the original Chewbacca, has died, according to his agent.

Mayhew, 74, died on April 30 with his family by his side in his North Texas home. He is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.

The Hollywood icon played Chewbacca in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, episode 3 of the prequels and the New Trilogy, according to a statement from his family.

Mayhew, who once used a wheelchair, stood tall to portray Chewbacca once more in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." He also consulted on "The Last Jedi" to help teach his successor.

"He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth," his family said. "But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film."

Mayhew started the Peter Mayhew Foundation to support people in crisis situations, including providing food and supplies for the children of Venezuela during their recent road to freedom.

"His kindness, generosity and care will live on in the Peter Mayhew Foundation with Angie taking the helm as his voice," his family said.

A memorial service for friends and family will be held on June 29. In early December, there will be a memorial in Los Angeles for fans.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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