actor Peter Mayhew, who has long donned the costume of Chewbacca, alien, giant, and hairy saga of Star Wars , died Tuesday at the age of 74 years at his home, in Texas, announced Thursday his family on his Twitter account.

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Born in London in may 1944, Peter Mayhew peaked 2,21 meters, which allowed him to land his first film role in 1976 on the set of Sinbad and the eye of the tiger , in which he played a minotaur. The following year, he had been chosen by George Lucas to play Chewbacca in the first installment of Star Wars and had continued to camp the famous Wookie up in The Awakening of the Force (2015), before being replaced because of health problems. It was, however, stayed “consultant” to advise his successor in the role of Chewbacca, the basketball player, Finnish Joonas Suotamo (2,09 m).

“It was the most gentle of the giants. A great man with a heart even bigger, which never failed to make me smile, and a loyal friend that I loved deeply,” he has paid tribute on Twitter Mark Hamill, who has worked as Luke Skywalker.

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The inarticulate grunts that characterise the language of the faithful companion and co-pilot of Han Solo in Star Wars were of course manufactured by the sound engineers. But fans of the series believe that the expressiveness and body language of Peter Mayhew under the imposing disguise (deemed to have been made using hairs of yak) have contributed much to the success of his character.

After his retirement, Peter Mayhew, who had a lot lost in mobility, had continued to devote himself to the fans of the saga and participated in many rallies all over the world.

A ceremony in his memory will be held for family and friends on the 29th of June, say his relatives. As for the fans in mourning, they will be able to collect the beginning of December in Los Angeles at a rally in which his family will participate, with some of the personal belongings of the actor.