Actor Peter Mayhew, who played Star Wars character Chewbacca, has died at the age of 74.
Mayhew died in his north Texas home surrounded by family, according to a statement.
They did not confirm his illness but TMZ reported his death was due to a heart condition.
As Chewbacca, known to his friends as Chewie, the 7ft 3ins Mayhew was a fierce warrior with a soft heart; a loyal sidekick to Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, and co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon.
The London-born actor played Chewbacca in Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return Of The Jedi (1983), Revenge Of The Sith (2005) and The Force Awakens (2015).
Ford is among those paying tribute, saying: “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… My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.
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