Widow of Star Wars' Chewie on Auction: 'It Really Breaks My Heart'

Angie Mayhew halts sale of memorabilia of husband Peter Mayhew, aka Chewbacca
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2023 7:26 AM CST
'Chewbacca' Widow Had to Fight for Star Wars Swag
This May 29, 2018, photo shows actor Peter Mayhew, front left, and his wife, Angie, posing for a photo with a "Star Wars" fan dressed as Princess Leia during a Comicpalooza event in Houston.   (Elisa Arguello via AP)

A BBC presenter was super-excited last week as he promoted an upcoming auction tied to one of the world's most beloved movie franchises. "How cool is this stuff?" Jon Kay gushed online as he showed off pictures of the memorabilia—call sheets, scripts, shooting schedules, and even autographed photos and a scrapbook, per the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald—"found in the loft" of Peter Mayhew, the late actor who suited up to play Chewbacca the Wookie in the Star Wars films. Kay received one reply he probably didn't expect, however: from Angie Mayhew, the actor's widow, who expressed her distress at her husband's personal effects being put on the auction block, reports Insider. "It really breaks my heart to see our belongings auctioned off like this," Angie Mayhew tweeted from the official Peter Mayhew Foundation account.

She noted that when she and her spouse, who died in 2019 at the age of 74, moved out of their home, his "movement challenges" kept him from going up into the attic where he kept his Star Wars items to retrieve them. Peter Mayhew had been diagnosed with gigantism when he was younger, eventually leading to a height of 7 foot 3, per Insider. He'd also suffered from a variety of issues and had knee and spinal surgery over the years. "It was one of Peter's and my biggest regrets that we had to leave these items behind, but his knees and joints had gotten to be so painful," she added in another tweet. When someone asked the fairly obvious question of why they didn't have someone else retrieve the memorabilia, Angie Mayhew blamed a water leak that she said had made her husband reluctant to let anyone else go up into the attic.

On Thursday, however, the foundation had an update: Its members had spoken via Zoom with Angus Ashworth, who owns Ryedale Auctioneers, and they'd expressed their wishes to keep Peter Mayhew's swag in the family. Further tweets over the weekend suggested the pair who'd found Mayhew's memorabilia had agreed to send it back to his widow. A rep for Ashworth, meanwhile, said in a statement cited by the Los Angeles Times that Ashworth had received the items from a "lovely older couple" who'd stumbled upon them while cleaning out their attic. He added he hadn't initially known Angie Mayhew was interested in them. The auction house has since pulled out of the negotiations and is letting the foundation hash things out with the couple, per the Washington Post. Once she gets the missing items back, Angie Mayhew plans to put them in her "Chewie room" on her dad's property in Boyd, Texas. (More Peter Mayhew stories.)

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