Prior to starring as Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy, he was an orderly at London's King's College Hospital.
Chewbacca won a Lifetime Achievement award at the MTV Movie Awards.
Mayhew, like many actors connected with the Star Wars universe, makes frequent appearances at sci-fi conventions. Although famous guests at these events normally make a charge for autographs, some actors connected with famous movies from the past make their living touring different conventions.
After getting the role of Chewbacca, Mayhew went to the zoo and began studying the movements and mannerisms of various large animals to incorporate into the character Chewbacca.
Fell sick during the filming of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), which prompted director Irvin Kershner to bring in another extremely tall actor to fill in for him as Chewbacca. All the footage with the double was scrapped and reshot after Mayhew recovered because Irvin Kershner found that the double's body movements did not match Mayhew's.
Had the option of either playing Darth Vader or Chewbacca, as did David Prowse. Mayhew chose Chewbacca because he wanted to play a hero, whilst Prowse chose Darth Vader because he wanted to play a villain.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) premiered on his 55th and 61st birthdays respectively. He appeared in the latter but not the former.
Became a naturalized United States citizen, along with 441 other people from 77 countries, in Arlington, Texas on October 17, 2005.
Currently resides in the town of Boyd, Texas and is a business owner. [April 2013]
(November 14-16, 2008) Attended the Big Apple Comic Con.
Attended OmegaCon in Birmingham, Alabama. [March 2008]
(May 7-8, 2005) Attended the Scandinavian Sci-Fi, Game and Film Convention in Malmõ, Sweden.
In 2013, he was forced to undergo double knee replacement surgery as a result of gigantism.
When Disney bought the rights to Star Wars From George Lucas, they decided to scrap the expanded universe, in which Chewbacca was killed in the first novel "Vector Prime" of the new Jedi order.
Has a cane that looks like a lightsaber.