Heartbreak for fans as much loved Star Wars actor dies

TRIBUTES have been paid to British-born Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew, who has died aged 74.

His family confirmed the actor — who played fan favourite Chewbacca — had passed away at his home in Texas on April 30.

They did not confirm his cause of death.

Born in Barnes, southwest London, Mayhew rose to fame playing Wookiee warrior Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy in 1977 as well in the later films.

Star Wars director George Lucas wanted someone taller than Darth Vader to play the role.

Peter — standing at 7ft3 in his prime — was perfect for the part.

In a statement, Peter’s family said: “He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame.”

They went on: “To Peter, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.”