Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca
Star Wars III, IV, V, VI, Clone Wars, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi
Mayhew, was an English hospital worker that inadvertently found himself catapulted into the film industry. Born the son of a London Bobby in Barnes, England and at the age of eight was diagnosed with giantism. While working as an orderly at London’s King’s College Hospital a reporter took a photo of him which was published in a local paper that would change his life.
That photo, demonstrated Peter’s towering 7’3” figure and giant frame. By mere chance the producers of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger saw this which lead to Peter being cast as the Minoton on his first film. Once Peter finished filming he returned to his job at the hospital only to be called again to audition with a gentleman by the name of George Lucas about his project, Star Wars. George walked into the room, Peter stood up to shake his hand like a proper Englishmen and the rest is history.
Peter was asked to bring the mighty wookiee back to life for; The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), Empire Strikes Back (1980), The Muppet Show (1980) & Return of the Jedi (1983).
When the movies were finished, Peter moved to Yorkshire where he lived quietly for 14 years. As the Star Wars Special Edition’s were being released in 1997, Peter found himself in high demand on the SciFi Convention circuit and began making personal appearances around the world.
In 1999 he married and packed his bags, made the jump across the pond and moved to Texas and eventually became an American Citizen. Peter was again asked to reprise his role as Chewbacca in Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith introducing Chewie’s home planet of Kashyyyk and the world of Wookiees.
In 2011 Lucasfilm flew Peter and his wife Angie out to Skywalker Ranch to consult with the animators and artists as they introduced Chewie into the Clone Wars series. After 30 years Peter’s relationship with his beloved character came full circle by having him voice Chewbacca in Star Wars The Clone Wars.
In 2013 he had a double knee replacement and after his rehabilitation was complete he was cast to reprise his role as Chewbacca for Star Wars Episode VII : The Force Awakens. Following The Force Awakens, he worked on The Last Jedi as a Chewbacca consultant to help train the new Wookiee.
For more info on Peter visit:
Follow Peter on Twitter: @TheWookieeRoars