Harrison Ford remembered actor Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” films, as a “kind and gentle man” after Mayhew’s death was announced Thursday.
Mayhew’s family said in a statement earlier on Thursday that he died at the age of 74 on April 30.
“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character,” Ford said in a statement.
“These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca,” Ford added. “I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all … Rest easy, my dear friend.”
The British-born Mayhew, who stood 7-foot-2, played Chewie in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and in Part 3 of the prequels, “Revenge of the Sith,” and returned for the series’ new trilogy. His final outing as Chewbacca was in 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Mayhew also consulted on its 2017 follow-up, “The Last Jedi,” to train his successor, Joonas Suotamo.
“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films, from his knock kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth,” his family said in a statement.