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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Chewbacca star becomes US citizen
Actor Peter Mayhew
Mayhew will attend an induction ceremony in Texas
The British-born actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies is to become a US citizen.

Peter Mayhew, 60, who played the hairy wookie in the original trilogy and this year's Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, will attend a ceremony on Monday.

Mayhew, who is married to a Texan, qualifies by having been a legal US resident for three years, the period needed for people who wed US citizens.

He said the US was "one of the most wonderful countries in the world".

"I know that I have the best of both worlds with the dual nationality," said Mayhew.

"Whatever people say about America, it is still one of the most wonderful countries in the world, despite the politics, religion and everything else that goes on."

Chance spotting

Mayhew joked that when he comes to take the oath to become an American, he intends to use "a Chewie growl" for any parts he cannot remember.

Born in Barnes, south-west London, in 1944, Mayhew was working as an orderly at a hospital when he featured in a newspaper article about men with big feet.

Chewbacca (left) with Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi
Mayhew and Chewbacca regularly attend Star Wars fan conventions

The producers of the 1977 film Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger spotted Mayhew and cast him in the role of the Minotaur.

He was then cast in Star Wars, returning in the sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Chewbacca, the sidekick of Harrison Ford's Han Solo, returned in creator George Lucas's sixth Star Wars film this year.

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