Peter Mayhew, the actor who played one of the most recognisable characters from the 'Star Wars' films, Chewbacca, has died. He was 74.

The London-born 7'3" actor first played the hirstute Wookiee from the Planet Kashyyk in the 1977 original, before fully handing over the reins to Joonas Suotamo  for 2015's 'The Last Jedi'.

He died of a heart attack at his home in Texas on Tuesday.

Numerous celebs and former colleagues have been paying tribute to Mayhew, including Harrison Ford aka Han Solo. He told Variety: "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.

“Chewbacca was an important part of the success of the films we made together. He knew how important the fans of the franchise were to it’s continued success and he was devoted to them. I and millions of others will never forget Peter and what he gave us all. My thoughts are with his dear wife Angie and his children. Rest easy, my dear friend.”

George Lucas also released a statement calling Peter a 'wonderful man'. "He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee," he said. "Big heart, gentle nature … and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I’m saddened by his passing."

See some of the tributes via social media below: