Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in Star Wars, died this week at age 74 after suffering a heart attack caused by years of health complications due to his height.

The 7ft 3ins actor thrilled fans as the cuddly Wookie and his co-stars lead the tributes.

An emotional Harrison Ford praised his screen star, writing:

‘Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character.

These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him.

‘He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.

‘Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to its continued success and he was devoted to them. 

‘I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.’  

Mark Hamill called him the ‘gentlest of giants’ in his Twitter . He will be missed.