One of the actors in the original Star Wars movies has passed away. Peter Mayhew, who played the role of Chewbacca, died earlier today at the age of 74. He was surrounded by his family when he died in his North Texas home.

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A statement was issued by his family via his official Twitter account. "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," read the tweet.

His career began while working as a hospital attendant in London when he was discovered producer Charles H. Schneer. He was later cast in Sinbad and the Eye Of The Tiger before landing his iconic role as Chewbacca in the original Star Wars series. 

Mayhew was incredibly active in the Star Wars brand over the years. He appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The JediRevenge Of The SithThe Force Awakens, and Star Wars Holiday Special. He'd also make frequent appearances on the Star Wars convention runs. 

Peter Mayhew is survived by his wife Angie and his three children. A memorial service for his family and friends will take place on June 29th with a public memorial for his fans in Los Angeles set for December at Empirecon.