Peter Mayhew, the 7-foot-3 actor best known for playing Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise has passed at the age of 74. Mayhew died at his home in North Texas on Tuesday, according to a family statement released on Thursday. While no cause of death was mentioned, this is quite the blow for fans of the shaggy character. Mayhew is survived by his wife, Angie, and three children.
“He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films,” said his family’s statement. “But, to him, the ‘Star Wars’ family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.”
“He was the gentlest of giants,”Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill tweeted. “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.”
Stan Lee, the creator of some of the most iconic characters in history, has passed this morning at the age of 95. Best known for creating characters for Marvel, such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Captain America, and many more. The cause of death is currently unknown, but our prayers are with his friends and family in this difficult time. Below is a copy of my Instagram post, with a memory of the time some friends and I met the legendary creator.
There are some people that are fixtures in your life. Figures you assume will live forever because what would the world be like without them. Stan Lee was easily one of those people. One of the key figureheads behind every geek, no matter what side you were on, he was an endlessly charming man, and a snake in a boot for many. Shortly after meeting some of my greatest friends in the world, @theo_ripper and @r.andrewsandoval, we went to the Spike TV Scream Awards together, and after waiting in line for hours, they started shuffling people around. They pushed everyone out to their seats as we circled around to the edge of the side of the stage. Everyone except us. Just as the three of us, the last people in line, reached the exit to our seats… they ran out. They had us stand there while they searched for more. Alone, and waiting, we weren’t sure what was going to happen next, but as we were standing there, Stan Lee came up behind us. We were star struck. Unsure what to say or do, but he greeted us nonetheless. We tried to take a picture with him before the staff shuffled him away but they were too quick, sadly. But, as Andy has already said, we’ll have that moment forever. Rest in Paradise to the man that solidified the standing of heroes in pop culture. The myth that has lived a life of ups and downs, endless friendships and epic falling outs. The legend that has won our hearts, year after year with his wit and loving passion for the heroes and worlds that he has allowed us to escape to for decades. Excelsior, my fellow true believers.
Legendary actor Burt Reynolds has passed away at the age of 82 in his home in Florida according to his longtime manager. Reynolds was most famous for his role as Bo “Bandit” Darville in the classic film, Smokey and the Bandit, as well as roles in Cannonball Run, Deliverance, and Boogie Nights.
Reynolds was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Boogie Nights, as well as several Emmy’s, Golden Globes, and more throughout his storied career. The actor, once thought to be “the pinnacle of manliness” chose not to challenge himself through his career, only wanting to have a good time. He is survived by his Quinton, and will be sorely missed.
The famed creator of many of the greatest characters in comic book history – including Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, The Question, and Squirrel Girl – Steve Ditko, has passed at the age of 90. Ditko, despite being one of the most notable creators in all of comic books, was notoriously reclusive, having never done an interview, and with few pictures of him existing.
Steve Ditko will be remembered forever as one of the greatest, and he will be sorely missed.
One of the most well-known and beloved wrestlers in history, Leon White, more commonly known as Big Van Vader, passed from congestive heart failure Monday night. One of the most celebrated champions ever, Vader once held titles from Europe, Mexico, and Japan at the same time, and has wrestled for nearly every promotion on the planet.
He may be more familiar to pop culture fans for his famous stints on Boy Meets World and Baywatch, being one of the few wrestlers able to successfully break through in Hollywood roles. Our condolences to his family and friends, as he will be sorely missed.
Actress, Margot Kidder, best known for her portrayal of Lois Lane in the famous Christoper Reeve-starring Superman films of the ’70s and ‘80s, passed yesterday. Her cause of death has not yet been released. She was 69 years old.
Her portrayal of the fearless reporter in the films helped shape who the character is, today, and still remains the most iconic version. As her fame declined in the 90’s, she re-emerged in cameo roles, such as her time on Smallville, where she guest-starred alongside Reeve to help guide Tom Welling’s Clark Kent. Our thoughts and love are with her friends and family.
Studio Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata has passed away at the age of 82 yesterday. Takahata had a distinguished career as a producer, director, and animator starting with Toei Animation in 1959, where he met his longtime collaborator, and fellow animator Hayao Miyazaki, with whom he founded Studio Ghibli alongside Toshio Suzuki.
Takahata was the director of many Ghibli classics such as the heartbreaking Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor the Yamadas, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. His impact on the animation industry, and proving that animation can be a storytelling tool for any use will be felt for generations.
Legendary wrestling color commentator and manager Bobby Heenan passed on Sunday at the age of 73. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan is arguably the greatest manager in wrestling history. His list of clients is a who’s who of legends: Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, Harley Race, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Mr. Perfect and Nick Bockwinkel.
He also set the standard for heel color commentators in wrestling, with his commentary work alongside Gorilla Monsoon on Prime Time Wrestling being a highlight for the industry at that time. Our thoughts go out to his friends and loved ones.
Harry Dean Stanton is considered by many to be among one of the greatest actors to ever live. Directors all over the world, from multiple generations considered it an honor simply to have him cameo. Now, he has passed at the age of 91. A bright star in many of Hollywood’s greatest, Stanton had pivotal roles in films such as Alien, Pretty in Pink, Twin Peaks, Escape from New York, The Godfather: Part II, and the lead in Paris, Texas.
Even his cameo role in Marvel’s The Avengers was a bright spot in an already fantastic film. He was considered by many to be the definition of cool in Hollywood. Stanton has never married, but has stated he has “one or two children.” He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts go to his friends, and loved ones.
The comic book industry is in mourning today, as we’ve lost one of our most beloved, and talented creators. Comic book writer/editor Len Wein, co-creator of characters such as Swamp Thing and Wolverine, passed yesterday at the age of 69.
A master of many aspects of the comic industry, Wein worked as an artist and editor, but was primarily known for his writing, having written for a who’s who of classic comic characters, including Batman, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Flash, Daredevil, and more. Wein even served as Lead Editor for Watchmen, after working on Swamp Thing with fellow legendary creator, Alan Moore. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family in this difficult time.
Haruo Nakajima, the suit actor who played Godzilla from 1954’s Godzilla to 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan, has passed away, after contracting pneumonia. He was 88 years old. The man most famous for originally donning the suit that created one of the most famous film characters in history, initially did not receive his due respect, but after several years, he has since become a legend among fans of the franchise.
He will be greatly missed, and my thoughts and love go to his family and loved ones.
More sad news, as legendary James Bond actor, Sir Roger Moore, has lost a short battle with cancer, and passed away. He was 89 years old. Moore is best known for playing the third, and longest running incarnation of the popular super-spy, starring in many of its biggest films such as Moonraker, The Spy Who Loved Me, and The Man with the Golden Gun. He also had a great sense of humor, starring in The Cannonball Run, as well, playing a parody of his most popular character.