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Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew recovering in hospital

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Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, is ill with pneumonia

Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, is ill with pneumonia

Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, is ill with pneumonia

Star Wars actor Peter Mayhew - Chewbacca in the hit films - has been taken to hospital suffering from pneumonia.

The British actor, 70, who lives in the US, recently reprised his Wookiee role to film the next Star Wars instalment, Episode VII - The Force Awakens.

His wife Angie Mayhew confirmed that her husband was in hospital and said that he was expected to recover soon.

"Thank you for all the well wishes, prayers, good vibes, and happy thoughts," she wrote on the website Reddit.

"Peter is indeed in the hospital with pneumonia.

"He will make a full recovery, and hope to be discharged within a few days. Doctors are incredibly happy with his improvements."

She told fans: "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Mayhew's team later wrote on the actor's Twitter page: "Peter is recovering well from his bout of pneumonia. He thanks you for the well wishes!!!"

Mayhew joins fellow original cast members including Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford as Han Solo in the new film, directed by JJ Abrams.

Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and Kenny Baker (R2D2) have also reprised their roles in the hotly-anticipated new film.

PA Media