Who Is Peter Mayhew's Wife? New Details On Angelique Mayhew

Photo: Getty 
Who Is Peter Mayhew's Wife? New Details On Angelique Mayhew

Fans of Star Wars know and love the stories of their favorite band of plucky, unlikely heroes to the exclusion of almost anything else. Sure, they know the way the movies are going to unfold, but that doesn't stop them from going back time and time again to experience them as if for the very first time. The movies become like friends and the people who star in them, like family. 

That's why it was so tragic when the Star Wars family and the world at large lost actor Peter Mayhew last week. While Mayhew's mug might not be familiar to you, you'd definitely recognize him in costume: he brought to life the furry, grumpy, glory of Han Solo's right-handed Wookiee, Chewbacca. Now, with Mayhew gone, the Star Wars family is in mourning, and Mayhew's actual family is mourning too. Here's what we know about his death, his wife, and what the future holds for the Mayhew Foundation.

Who is Peter Mayhew's wife?

1. Angie Mayhew 

When Peter Mayhew passed away last week, the Star Wars family lost one of its own. Mayhew's portrayal of Chewbacca is the stuff of legend and the world won't be the same without him. No one understands that more keenly than the late actor's wife Angelique Mayhew, known to her friends as Angie. Angie and Peter were married in the summer of 1999 and lived together in a small Texas town up until his passing. Peter and Angie had three children together. The Mayhew kids and their mother arranged a memorial service for their iconic father and husband to be held this summer, followed by a memorial at the end of the year that will be open to fans. “He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca, and it showed in every frame of the films, from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth. But to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more than a role in a film," said his family in a statement issued following his death. 

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2. Acts Of Kindness

Of course, in order to make a life with someone so important to so many other people out there, that meant Angie has to be a pretty special person herself. This is something she showed time and time again in her interactions with Star Wars fans and others. When Daniel Fleetwood, a longtime fan of the franchise, passed away it was Angie who invited Daniel's wife Ashley to come to Texas and spend Christmas with the Mayhews so she wouldn't have to endure her first Christmas without him alone. Daniel made the news prior to his death from cancer when Disney allowed him to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens prior to its theatrical release. He died just four days after the very special screening. When they heard about Daniel's story, Angie and Peter eagerly reached out to connect with the fan in his final days. That they continued their relationship with his wife after Daniel's death just goes to show you how kindhearted both Mayhews were and are. 

3. The Foundation

When someone dies and we want to show our respects it is customary for people to send flowers to honor the memory of the deceased and to bring the family a little bit of solace. In the spirit of her late husband's legacy, however, Angie and the rest of the Mayhew clan have asked that no flowers be sent to any of the services for Mayhew. Instead, Angie and her kids have asked that people consider making monetary donations to the Peter Mayhew Foundation. According to their website, the organization started by Peter is “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit devoted to the alleviation of disease, pain, suffering and the financial toll brought on by life’s traumatic events. By providing its available resources directly to deserving children and adults in need, we assist numerous charitable organizations in order to promote and  boost their effectiveness and provide support where needed.”

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4. Cause Of Death

While Mayhew's family did not hesitate to share the tragic news of the great actor's passing, they have been mum about what caused his death. What's currently known is that at the end of his life, Peter was surrounded by dear family members and all of the people he loved. Ultimately, shouldn't that be what we care about the most? Other outlets have speculated about what could have led to his death with Buzzfeed reporting that as he got older the actor had a hard time with his mobility. They also reported that in 2018, Peter underwent a serious spinal surgery and that prior to his death he was mostly bound to a wheelchair. But he didn't let any of that slow him down. “He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a family statement said. “He also consulted on The Last Jedi in an attempt to teach his successor.”

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5. The Role Of A Lifetime

While many people know that Mayhew was the man behind Chewbacca, they might not know the story behind how he wound up getting the part of everyone's favorite Wookiee. It seems that George Lucas was really focused on getting someone extra tall for the role rather than using puppets. That's when he came across Peter who was working as a hospital orderly in London at the time. Standing up to shake George's hand, Lucas saw all 7'3" inches of Mayhew and cast him on the spot. While Peter wasn't responsible for the iconic Chewy noises, everyone involved in the franchise credits him with bringing the character to life through his tremendous use of physicality and expression. It's a role that will truly stand the test of time. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr