Confirmation came from the actor’s official Twitter account in the form of a statement from his family.
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. pic.twitter.com/YZ5VLyuK0u
— Peter Mayhew Foundation (@TheWookieeRoars) May 2, 2019
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) May 2, 2019
"We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself."-Kathleen Kennedy.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 3, 2019
Heartfelt RIP messages from his Star Wars co-stars, actors involved in the later Star Wars properties, and other celebs chimed in, including Carrie Fisher’s dog, Gary.
He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I'm grateful for the memories we shared & I'm a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2
— Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) May 2, 2019
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) May 3, 2019
R.I.P 😔 pic.twitter.com/FWRgaOS0Tf
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) May 2, 2019
💔I am so sorry to hear about Peter. We had so many fun and memorable tweets back and forth over the years plus seeing each other at a convention here and there. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed! 😢 https://t.co/R3lAEvkQJc
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) May 2, 2019
A short Chewbacca story: A few years ago, I got to visit Pinewood Studios, where they shoot Star Wars. In the Warbrobe Department, there was a small room where they kept the Chewie costumes. When I saw him, I couldn’t help myself. Something came over me.
— Noah Segan (@kidblue) May 2, 2019
So Blessed to have spent time with the legendary #PeterMayhew. A right proper Gentleman whose heart and personality matched his stature. You’ve achieved .5 beyond light speed, Chewy. RIP pic.twitter.com/rFGL0EGTvY
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) May 3, 2019
Harrison Ford released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter mourning the loss of his longtime friend. Read part of it below:
“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. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.
Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend. …”
Read editor James Zahn’s full obituary here.