Hollywood actress and writer Carrie Fisher, best known as Star Wars‘ iconic Princess Leia, has died, aged 60.
She died in UCLA Medical Center after suffering a massive heart attack whilst on a flight from London to Los Angeles, after filming for the UK comedy Catastrophe. She reportedly never recovered despite suggestions she was in a stable condition.
A statement issued on behalf of her daughter, Billie Lourd, confirmed: “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning.
“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly.”
Fisher was the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds, who survives her at 84, and singer Eddie Fisher. She often remarked that she was born in the spotlight, and her life and career reflected the highs and lows of the entertainment business.
“I grew up on the back side of show business. So I had no desire to go into it. It had beat up my mother,” Fisher told the New York Times in 2006. “I had a front-and-center view of how that hurt her. I understood that when they were done with you, they were done.”
1977’s Star Wars, later re-titled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope brought Fisher international recognition. Cloaked in white with her hair parted and tucked into two spiral side twists, the now-legendary character Princess Leia first appeared in the film as the fearless leader of the planet Alderaan, agent of the Rebel Alliance and member of the Imperial Senate.
Two sequels followed, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983, with Fisher famously rejoining for 2015’s The Force Awakens.
Film credits included Shampoo, The Blues Brothers, Garbo Talks, Hannah and Her Sisters, Soapdish, Austin Powers, Scream 3, When Harry Met Sally, and The ‘Burbs.
TV credits included Frasier, Sex and the City, Entourage, Smallville, Weeds, The Big Bang Theory, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, Family Guy and 30 Rock.
But there were personal battles, with mental health and drug addiction.
She wrote novels, some semi-autobiographical, including Postcards From the Edge, later turned into a Meryl Streep feature, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, Hollywood Moms, The Best Awful There Is, Wishful Drinking, Shockaholic, and The Princess Diarist.
She wrote episodes of Roseanne and Young Indiana Jones, co-wrote the telemovie These Old Broads, which starred Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley MacLaine and Joan Collins and her stage show Wishful Drinking became a 2010 HBO special. She also served as a script doctor on Hollywood movies.
She filmed an interview on The Graham Norton Show on December 9th, telling Norton, about her revelation that she had an affair with Harrison Ford, written about in her book The Princess Diarist.
She confessed she didn’t realise the “sensation” her admission would cause, admitting she felt “guilty” for telling all and that she was a “little embarrassed” by the attention it received.
In an interview with Rolling Stone just last month, she was asked if she fears death.
“No. I fear dying. Anything with pain associated with it, I don’t like,” she admitted. “I’ve been there for a couple of people when they were dying; it didn’t look like fun. But if I was gonna do it, I’d want someone like me around. And I will be there!”
In her book, Wishful Drinking, Fisher wrote: “I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra,” a nod to an anecdote by George Lucas about the effects of gravity in space.
On Facebook, Debbie Reynolds said, “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love Carries Mother.”