Actor Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, died April 30, his family announced on Twitter. He passed away at his North Texas home surrounded by family. He was 74 years old.

Mayhew was 7 foot 3 inches in real life; he did not have gigantism. Producer Charles H. Schneer discovered Mayhew while he was working as an attendant in a London hospital. He was first cast in Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger; he would be cast as Chewbacca one year later. George Lucas was originally going to cast bodybuilder David Prowse in the role but ultimately went with Mayhew while putting Prowse in the role of Darth Vader.   

Rest in peace, Peter. Enjoy some selections of the best of Chewie below. Donations can be made to the Peter Mayhew Foundation which does tremendous work helping people in need.