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Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew dies at 74

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ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 16: Actor Peter Mayhew speaks onstage during Star Wars Celebration 2015 on April 16, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” films, has died.

Mayhew’s family said in a statement Thursday that he died at his home in Texas on Tuesday. He was 74. No cause was given.

The 7-foot-3 Mayhew played the shaggy, towering Chewbacca, sidekick to Han Solo and co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, in the original “Star Wars” trilogy.

He went on to appear in 2005′s “Revenge of the Sith” and shared the part in 2015′s “The Force Awakens” with actor Joonas Suotamo, who later took over the role.

Born and raised in England, Mayhew had appeared in just one film and was working as a hospital orderly in London when George Lucas found him and cast him in 1977′s “Star Wars.”

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