Actress and writer Carrie Fisher, best known as the “Star Wars” heroine Princess Leia who later went on to establish herself as an author and screenwriter, has died in Los Angeles.
Fisher, who was 60 years old, suffered a heart attack on Friday during a flight to Los Angeles from London, where she had been filming the third season of the Amazon comedy series “Catastrophe”
According to Hollywood reporter:
Family spokesperson Simon Halls confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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,” Halls’ statement read.
A child of Hollywood royalty, Fisher carved out her own idiosyncratic career, enjoying her biggest onscreen popularity as Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy before going on to establish herself as an acerbic, truth-telling writer with such books as Postcards From the Edge. Her HBO special, Wishful Drinking, in which she recounted her unusual life, was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding variety, music and comedy special in 2011.
Born to actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher in 1956, Carrie Fisher grew up in a showbiz fishbowl — her parents divorced when she was just two, after Fisher left Reynolds for actress Elizabeth Taylor in what at the time was a major tabloid scandal.
The young Carrie, who grew up in Beverly Hills, first stepped onstage when she was 15 to join her mother in the Broadway musical Irene. She made her film debut four years later in Warren Beatty’s Shampoo (1975), playing a precocious teen who seduces Beatty’s sexually adventurous hairstylist.
Appearing at Cannes in May to promote the documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, which HBO will air in March, Fisher joked, “I didn’t want to be in show business, and I think I did a very good job [of that].”
Nevertheless, she left her mark on the big screen. Star Wars (1977), in which she led the rebellion as Princess Leia, was only her second film and first starring role. She would reprise the part in the two sequels that rolled out in 1980 and 1983, and she returned to the character, in a now-mature incarnation, in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fisher, who is thanked in the end credits of the new Star Wars spinoff movie Rogue One, was scheduled to appear in the next Star Wars movie, Episode VIII, scheduled for release Dec. 15.
Fisher often spoke with ambivalence about Leia, telling Rolling Stone in 1983: “She has no friends, no family; her planet was blown up in seconds — along with her hairdresser — so all she has is a cause. From the first film, she was just a soldier, front line and center. The only way they knew to make the character strong was to make her angry.”
However, in the wake of the success of The Force Awakens, Fisher appeared to have made peace with her onscreen alter ego, attributing the success of the franchise to the fact that “this movie’s about family, Star Wars is. That’s why it has the appeal.”