Just days after the Star Wars world was upended by news that Carrie Fisher suffered a major cardiac event while on a plane home from London, the Princess Leia actress died Tuesday.
She was 60.
A family spokesman confirmed the news to TMZ, who added that while Fisher’s mother had described her condition as “stable” just Monday, she was “not responsive” after her medical emergency.
Fisher was returning from England as part of a tour for her latest book, The Princess Diarist, and was just 15 minutes from landing when she reportedly went into cardiac arrest on Friday. A paramedic on the plane performed CPR, which was continued by first responded at the Los Angeles airport once the plane landed. She was then rushed to a local hospital where she remained in the intensive care unit.
Fisher, of course, is best known for her role as Leia, the young princess who in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope sends a message through R2-D2 seeking help from Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine. She would become a central figure in the original trilogy, being later revealed not only the sister of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, but also the daughter of Anakin Skywalker, who had since become Darth Vader.
Fisher returned to the role just last year in the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this time as Gen. Leia, and the mother of the film series’ big bad, Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver. She filmed her scenes for Star Wars: Episode VIII already, which is scheduled for release next year.
Carrie Frances Fisher was born Oct. 21, 1956, in Beverly Hills, the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher.
Growing up in the Hollywood spotlight, Fisher instead chose to bury herself in books. By the time she was a teenager, however, she would find acting through her mother, and ultimately would never graduate from Beverly Hills High School.
That didn’t stop Fisher from pursuing a college career, however, and enrolled in Sarah Lawrence College in New York City, only to drop out soon after once she was cast in A New Hope.
Star Wars made Fisher, along with co-stars Hamill and Harrison Ford, instant stars.
But instead of embracing a number of acting roles that suddenly opened to her, Fisher instead focused on her writing, releasing her first book Postcards from the Edge in 1987, which was later adapted into a film by Mike Nichols in 1990 that starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.
The book was actually semi-autobiographical, highlighting both her relationship to her celebrity mother, as well as her drug addiction issues of the 1970s.
By the 2000s, Fisher would make film appearances, but small ones. Like in 2000’s Scream 3, where she played a character that people kept mistaking for the actual Carrie Fisher.
She also spent that time in a new career – a script doctor. Working mostly uncredited, Fisher would help clean up the likes of 1991’s Hook, 1992’s Sister Act and even Scream 3.
Fisher was nominated for two Emmys in her career, first for a guest appearance on the NBC comedy 30 Rock in 2008, and later for her one-woman show Wishful Drinking in 2011.
On her most recent book tour, Fisher controversially revealed that she and her Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford had an affair during the filming of A New Hope, despite the fact Ford was married to his first wife, Mary Marquardt, at the time.
Comedian Dan Aykroyd proposed to Fisher in 1980 on the set of Blues Brothers, but the engagement later broke off. She eventually married singer Paul Simon in 1983, but that ended in divorce in 1984. In the early 1990s, she would become involved with talent agent Bryan Lourd, and share a child, Scream Queens actress Billie Lourd, who was born in 1992.
Fisher is survived by both her mother and daughter. Her father, Eddie Fisher, died in 2010.
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