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Mark Hamill Pens Tribute to Star Wars Co-Star Peter Mayhew

Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise, passed on April 30 at the age of 74. Mark Hamill has now penned a tribute to his co-star.

In a post on Twitter, Hamill wrote, "He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I'm grateful for the memories we shared & I'm a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken"

RELATED: Peter Mayhew, Star Wars Chewbacca Actor, Dead at 74

Born in London in 1944, Mayhew made his cinematic debut as a minotaur in 1977's Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger after being seen in a newspaper article about people with unusually large feet. Starting with 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, Mayhew appeared as Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: The Force Awakens before stepping away from the role. Mayhew also worked as a consultant on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when Joonas Suotamo took over the Chewbacca role.

RELATED: Star Wars: Billy Dee Williams Responds to Controversial Mark Hamill Tweet

Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives Dec. 20.

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