Peter Mayhew's career in film has been all about his size. Well over seven feet tall (he's said to be 7'3"), Mayhew was just what George Lucas was looking for when casting the part of hairy sidekick Chewbacca for the first Star Wars movie (1977). Raised on the outskirts of London, Peter Mayhew had been a hospital orderly whose only acting experience had been as a minotaur in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (filmed earlier, but also released in 1977). As Chewbacca, a member of a bi-pedal race called Wookiees, he was in the first three Star Wars movies: Star Wars, 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi. "Chewie" was the loyal, furry co-pilot of Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford). The success of the films allowed Mayhew to have a long career as an original Star Wars cast member, making public appearances and selling autographs and memorabilia to fans around the world. Mayhew also appeared in the second-generation Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005, starring Hayden Christensen). In April of 2014, sources from Disney and Lucasfilm said that Mayhew would return in the role for a new reboot of the series, Star Wars: Episode VII, to be released in 2015.
Peter Mayhew moved to Texas in 1999 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.