Actress Carrie Fisher, best known for playing Princess Leia Organa in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died at age 60.
Fisher was taken to UCLA Medical Center after reportedly suffering a heart attack on Friday. She leaves behind a daughter, 24-year-old actress Billie Lourd, who released this statement through the family’s spokesman, Simon Halls:
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” reads the statement.
“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Fisher was born in 1956 in Beverly Hills, California, to singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. She attended Beverly Hills High School until she left to act alongside her mother in a Broadway revival of “Irene.” Later, she studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and was accepted into Sarah Lawrence College to study the arts, but did not graduate.
Fisher played Leia in the original “Star Wars” film, “A New Hope,” at age 19. She was 20 when the film was released in 1977. She continued to play a lead role in the iconic sci-fi series alongside co-stars Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, starring in “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980 and “Return of the Jedi” in 1983. She most recently returned to the franchise in 2015, where she reprised her role as Leia Organa — now a general — in “The Force Awakens.”
While finding success with “Star Wars,” Fisher continued her illustrious career on the silver screen in films such as “The Blues Brothers” (1980), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986) and “When Harry Met Sally ...” (1989), among others.
The actress dated musician Paul Simon starting in 1977. The two had a yearlong marriage that ended in 1984. In between, Fisher was engaged to actor Dan Aykroyd, with whom she starred in “The Blues Brothers.” Fisher later coupled up with CAA talent agent Bryan Lourd, with whom she had her daughter, Billie, in 1992.
Fisher was also a prolific writer, first publishing her semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge in 1987, about an actress who tries to regain a hold of her life after a near drug overdose. The book was adapted into a movie in 1990 starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.
Later, she published a memoir titled Wishful Drinking, based on her one-woman stage show of the same name. In it, Fisher touched on topics from growing up as Reynolds’ daughter, to bipolar disorder, drug addiction and motherhood. She released her latest memoir, The Princess Diarist, in 2016. In the book, she revealed that she had an “intense” affair with “Star Wars” co-star Ford.
Fisher also built a reputation in Hollywood as being a skilled scriptwriter. According to Uproxx, the actress had a hand in polishing scripts for “Hook,” “The Wedding Singer,” and “Sister Act,” among other films.
A legend of the screen, stage and page, this icon will be deeply missed.