2019 has seen the loss of a myriad of hugely talented actors with a range of different backgrounds, from movies to television to the Broadway stage.
But while they may have made their names in different worlds, they are all connected by a true dedication to their craft, and by the many fans who will miss them dearly.
Three years after the death of R2-D2 actor Kenny Baker, the man who brought Chewbacca to life in the original Star Wars trilogy also passed away. In a statement, the family of Peter Mayhew confirmed that the towering actor died at his Texas home on April 30th 2019. The statement celebrated Mayhew’s life, focusing on the experiences and lifelong friendships that came from his time as part of the Star Wars family.
But Mayhew did a lot more than just the convention circuit. Over the years, he became heavily involved with the 501st Legion, Wounded Warriors, Make-A-Wish, and other non-profit organizations. In a tribute tweet, Mayhew’s Star Wars co-star Mark Hamill wrote:
“He was the gentlest of giants. A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile and a loyal friend who I loved dearly. I’m grateful for the memories we shared and I’m a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete.”
Against all odds, the previously wheelchair-bound Mayhew returned to play Chewbacca in 2015’s The Force Awakens, his final on-screen appearance as the iconic Wookiee. He is survived by his wife, Angie Mayhew, and their three children.
He may have been just 20 when he passed away in his sleep following a seizure, but, according to Disney, Cameron Boyce was, quote, “already a veteran to show business.” The actor played the mischievous Luke Ross in almost 100 episodes of the Disney series Jessie, and later portrayed Carlos De Vil in the Descendants franchise.
Boyce also popped up in a number of more adult-oriented projects, he was in K-horror remake Mirrors, and also appeared in the Adam Sandler comedy Grown Ups as well as its 2012 sequel. Boyce’s final project was Mrs. Fletcher, an HBO comedy series that’s due for release in Fall 2019. More to come as we honor those actors who’ve sadly died so far in 2019.