Mayhew's family announced the actor's death on Thursday via Twitter: "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."
George Lucas, who discovered the 7-foot-2-inch actor and cast him as the Wookiee warrior in 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,' called Mayhew "a wonderful man."
"He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature... and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I'm saddened by his passing," the director said in a statement.