Peter Mayhew (born 19 May 1944) is a British-American actor. He is best known for playing Chewbacca in the Star Wars films.
Mayhew was born on 19 May 1944 in Barnes, Surrey, where he was also raised. His height is a product not of gigantism — "I don't have the big head" — but of an overactive pituitary gland secondary to a genetic disease called Marfan Syndrome. The overactive pituitary gland was treated successfully in his mid-teens. His peak height was 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 m).
Mayhew got his first acting job in 1976 when the producers of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger discovered him from a photograph in a newspaper article about men with large feet, and cast him in the role of the minotaur.
When casting his first Star Wars film, producer George Lucas needed a tall actor who could fit the role of the hairy alien Chewbacca. He originally had in mind 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) bodybuilder David Prowse, but instead cast Prowse as Darth Vader. This led Lucas on a search which turned up Mayhew, who says that all he had to do to be cast in the role of Chewbacca was stand up..
Quotes by Peter Mayhew
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