Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia in Star Wars, Passes Away at 60
Just days after suffering a heart attack on an international flight from London to Los Angeles, Star Wars icon Carrie Fisher has passed away. The actress' daughter Billie Lourd, who starred alongside her mother in last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, confirmed the news in a brief statement. Here's what the late actress' daughter her to say.
"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. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers."
The statement was released to People.com earlier today, which comes just a day after the actress was reportedly in stable condition following the December 23 heart attack. The heart attack occurred just 15 minutes before the plane landed at the Los Angeles International Airport, where paramedics rushed her to a local hospital. On late Friday, the actress' brother Todd Fisher revealed that his sister was on a ventilator in an intensive care unit of the UCLA Medical Center.
The 60 year old Carrie Fisher suffered cardiac arrest mid-flight while returning to Los Angeles from England, where she was on a book tour for her latest biography The Princess Diarist. It was believed that Fisher's health had greatly improved over the three day weekend. The UCLA Medical Center where Fisher was hospitalized have not offered a public announcement about her passing.
While she has plenty of iconic and cult favorite movies under her belt, like The Blues Brothers and The Burbs, Carrie Fisher is without a doubt best known for playing Princess Leia in the first three live-action Star Wars movies and the new trilogy installment The Force Awakens. The space saga catapulted her to worldwide stardom, and with the recent return of the franchise courtesy of Disney, she and her character have been more popular than ever. Carrie Fisher is considered Hollywood royalty, born to the famous parents of actress Debbie Reynolds and pop singer Eddie Fisher. Carrie is as well known for her classic performances on screen as well as her wry sense of humor, and writing, having authored many books, mostly about her private life, over the years. She was always known for being candid and outgoing. And she never shied away from controversy.
Carrie Fisher made her acting debut alongside her mother in the 1969 TV movie Debbie Reynolds and the Sound of Children, where she played a Girl Scout. She then appeared alongside Warren Beatty in the classic 1975 comedy Shampoo, playing the young Lorna, which helped land her the role of Princess Leia in her very next movie, Star Wars: A New Hope. She appeared in a very memorable Laverne & Shirley episode in 1982, which brought a ratings high for the sitcom as it was piggy backing off her Star Wars success, leading into 1983's Return of the Jedi. Other key roles include 1981's Under the Rainbow starring opposite Chevy Chase, and the 1985 Tom Hanks comedy The Man with One Red Shoe, where she let her true comedic talents as an actress shine. She also had key roles in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters and the 1989 classic When Harry Met Sally starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.
Carrie Fisher also wrote the screenplay for an adaptation of her autobiographical book Postcards from the Edge, which starred Meryl Streep. She gained a reputation in Hollywood for being able to beef up screenplays with her jokes, and was often sought for uncredited script polishes. Some may not know that she wrote one episode of Young Indiana Jones, the TV series based on the iconic Harrison Ford character. She also wrote an episode of Roseanne.
Over the Holiday weekend, co-star Mark Hamill celebrated his on-screen 'twin sister' sharing photos of the two with the hashtag #CarrieChristmas. He posted this message for the world to see, which many felt was sweet and fun.
"Dear Santa -- all I want for X-mas is for the Force to be strong with this one."
Harrison Ford responded to the news of the heart attack on Saturday, Christmas Eve, saying he was 'shocked and saddened' to hear the news about his 'dear friend'. Other members of the Star Wars family also responded in kind to send Fisher well wishes over the Christmas break. Fisher had just finished filming the third season of her latest project, the Amazon Comedy TV series Catastrophe, set in London, while also going to various book stores and other UK locations to promote her book.
She most recently made headlines when she divulged the fact that her and Harrison Ford, aka Han Solo, had a brief but intense love affair way back in 1976 on the set of the original Star Wars. It was a much talked about topic of discussion as Fisher launched her book tour. Carrie Fisher will next be seen on the big screen in Star Wars 8 when it hits theaters this time next year, returning once again to reprise her role as General Leia. Star Wars 8 will be her final performance as General Leia. It is believed that she had already shot all of her scenes, and it isn't known if she was included in the upcoming reshoots that were pre-scheduled for 2017.