Carrie Fisher, the iconic actress who became a household name playing the role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars film franchise, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 27, after being hospitalized for heart attack last week. She was 60.
Fisher was rushed to the hospital on Dec. 23 after suffering cardiac arrest while on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
The star had been traveling to promote her latest book, The Princess Diarist, which documented her time while filming the Star Wars films.
News of her death was confirmed through a statement made on behalf of her daughter, actress Billie Lourd.
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” Lourd’s publicist Simon Halls said.
Child Of Hollywood
Fisher was considered a child of Hollywood, being the daughter of entertainment legends Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
Despite her privileged upbringing, Fisher was never too shy about acknowledging and even satirizing the stereotypes often lobbed at celebrity offspring. She wrote a number of tell-all books where she often reviewed her fortunes in life, including her struggles with substance abuse and bipolar disorder.
At first, Fisher tried to escape the pressures of Hollywood, choosing to enroll in London’s Central School of Speech and Drama where she studied acting for more than a year.
However, the allure of Tinseltown called to her and Fisher went back to star in films. Her first break came in the 1975 film Shampoo, starring alongside Warren Beatty.
Fisher soon struck it big when she was cast as Princess Leia in George Lucas’ space opera Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope in 1977. She was just 19 years old when she got the soon-to-be-iconic part.
Aside from starring in the Star Wars franchise, Fisher also made appearances in The Blues Brothers in 1980, Woody Allen’s film Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986, and When Harry Met Sally in 1989.
Her most recent film appearance was in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015, reprising her role as Leia Organa, who has now become a leading general in the Resistance against the forces of the First Order.
Star Wars Princess
Many Star Wars fans view Fisher’s Princess Leia as a strong and independent character, unlike most of the damsels in distress seen in epic film franchises of the time.
While she was raised as part of the royal family on the planet of Alderaan, Leia proved herself to be very capable of protecting herself and taking charge of situations, similarities the character shares with Fisher in real life.
In her appearance in The Force Awakens, Fisher was reunited with long-time cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), with whom the actress had a brief affair with while filming Star Wars.
Upon hearing news of her death, Fisher’s friends and co-stars paid tribute to the actress in their own ways.
Hamill wrote on Twitter that he was “devastated” about Fisher’s passing and that he had “no words.”
Billy Dee Williams, who played the role of Lando Calrissian in Star Wars, tweeted that Fisher was a dear friend whom he greatly respected and admired.
Fisher’s other co-stars Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Lupito Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke) and Daisy Ridley (Rey) all offered their kind words about her.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 27, 2016
I’m deeply saddened at the news of Carrie’s passing. She was a dear friend, whom I greatly respected and admired. The force is dark today!
— Billy Dee Williams (@realbdw) December 27, 2016
I thought I had got what I wanted under the tree. I didn’t. In spite of so many thoughts and prayers from so many. I am very, very sad. — Anthony Daniels (@ADaniels3PO) December 27, 2016
Dearest Carrie, so incredibly sad to say farewell so soon to such a beautifully honest and unique human being- see you in the multiverse.
— Andy Serkis (@andyserkis) December 27, 2016
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