PETER MAYHEW, CHEWBACCA, IN “STAR WARS” DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The man behind the original “Star Wars” character Chewbacca has died. Peter Mayhew’s family says the actor died at his home in north Texas on Tuesday. He was 74 – and no cause was provided for his death. At 7 foot 3, Mayhew cut an imposing figure. But once he donned the furry costume as Chewie, he became larger than life as a fierce warrior with a soft heart, serving alongside Harrison Ford’s Han Solo – and as the co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon. In a statement, Ford describes Mayhew as a “kind and gentle man” who had “great dignity and noble character.”
PETER MAYHEW – REACTION
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Reaction to the death of Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in five “Star Wars” films and was beloved by the franchise’s fans.
“Peter Mayhew was a kind and gentle man, possessed of great dignity and noble character. These aspects of his own personality, plus his wit and grace, he brought to Chewbacca. We were partners in film and friends in life for over 30 years and I loved him. He invested his soul in the character and brought great pleasure to the Star Wars audience.” – Harrison Ford, who starred opposite Mayhew in four “Star Wars” films, in a statement.
“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.” – Mark Hamill, who starred opposite Mayhew in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, via Twitter.
“Peter was a wonderful man. He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature.and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I’m saddened by his passing.” – “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, in a statement.
“Studying the character he helped create was always a daunting task, but one that was made easier by his tutelage and kindness as we sought to bring Chewbacca to life for a new generation. He was an absolutely one-of-kind gentleman and a legend of unrivaled class and I will miss him.” – Joonas Suotamo, who now plays Chewbacca after serving as his double on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” via Twitter.
“RIP Peter Mayhew. To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend.” – Rian Johnson, who directed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” via Twitter.
“We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself.” – Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, via Twitter.
CALIFORNIA DECLARES “STAR WARS DAY”
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – What some people take as a made-up holiday has now gotten official recognition in California. State lawmakers have voted to declare tomorrow – May 4 – “Star Wars Day. The title of the holiday is a play on the “Star Wars” phrase, “may the force be with you.” It’s also a way for the state to recognize a Disneyland theme park set to open later this month. The expansion at the original Disney theme park in Anaheim, California is expected to generate $14 million in tax revenue for the city.
BONES LAWSUIT RULING OVERTURNED
LOS ANGELES (AP) – There’s a new twist to the lawsuit filed by the stars and producers of the long-running show Fox against the network and its studio. A judge in Los Angeles has overturned a $128 million punitive damages award in the case. The ruling yesterday however leaves in place a $50 million award for compensatory damages, as well as interest and attorney fees. David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, the stars of “Bones” from 2005 through 2017, sued Fox in 2015. The suit says Fox denied them profits by licensing the show to Fox’s TV division and to Hulu for below-market rates. They were joined by executive producer Barry Josephson and the author who wrote the novels “Bones” is based on. An attorney for Boreanaz and Deschanel says the actors will appeal the current ruling.
“black-ish” TO GET SPINOFF
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A spinoff of the ABC sitcom “black-ish” is in the works. The network says the new show will focus on a young Rainbow Johnson and her challenges growing up in the 1980s. ABC says the new series will be titled “mixed-ish” and will be narrated by Tracee Ellis Ross. She stars in “black-ish” as the adult character with the nickname of Bow.
“UGLYDOLLS” – PITBULL
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Sure, he looks pretty fly wearing his white outfits and standing by the aqua shores of Miami. But Pitbull says he used to get called ugly – a lot. The rapper says in school, someone once told him he had a clown nose. When he complained to his mom, he says his mother told him to act like he was honking his nose – compete with a horn for a honking sound. That won his peers over – and they stopped messing with him. Others in “UglyDolls,” out in theaters today. Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monae, Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX, Lizzo, Nick Jonas and Ice-T also voice characters.
NORTH CAROLINA CONTESTANT WINS MISS USA TITLE
RENO, Nev. (AP) – A 27-year-old lawyer from North Carolina who represents prison inmates for free won the Miss USA title last night. Cheslie Kryst describes herself as a “weird kid” who rocks a “unibrow. ” And now Kryst says she become part of the first generation of women to be empowered.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2