“Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher died Tuesday, four days after she suffered a “cardiac episode” on a flight from London to Los Angeles, according to a statement released by family spokesman Simon Halls to People Magazine on behalf of Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd. She was 60.
Paramedics rushed Fisher to a nearby hospital after she went into cardiac arrest moments before the plane touched down at LAX, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Fisher famously starred in the “Star Wars” movie franchise as Princess Leia Organa, a whip-smart rebel diplomat whose tightly coiled “cinnamon buns” bookended her face. Openly defiant, Fisher’s portrayal of the spitfire princess became a 1980s feminist icon, decades before Buffy, Katniss and other adventure heroines appeared on the small and silver screens.
“Carrie holds such special place in the hearts of everyone at Lucasfilm it is difficult to think of a world without her,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a Facebook post. “She was Princess Leia to the world but a very special friend to all of us. She had an indomitable spirit, incredible wit, and a loving heart,” she wrote.
“Carrie also defined the female hero of our age over a generation ago. Her groundbreaking role as Princess Leia served as an inspiration of power and confidence for young girls everywhere,” Kennedy added.
Her character, not afraid to use a blaster, was a force to be reckoned with. In a saga crowded with bounty hunters, alien riff-raff and scruffy-looking nerf herders, Princess Leia stood out. Fisher presumably ignored the advice from her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, to “be careful of any weird hairdo” before she played the iconic character in George Lucas’ space opera.
In the opening scenes of 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope,” Fisher’s Princess Leia is the first major (human) character to stare down Darth Vader, perhaps the most formidable villain in film history.
“I like Princess Leia. I like how she handles things. I like how she treats people. She tells the truth,” Fisher told NPR in November. “I don’t have a real problem with Princess Leia. I’ve sort of melded with her over time,” she added.
The Star Wars actor, who became an acclaimed writer, dies in Los Angeles four days after reportedly suffering heart attack on flight from London.
Carrie Fisher, the actor best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars films and her unflinching self-honesty that contrasted with the artifice of Hollywood celebrity, has died in Los Angeles. She was 60 years old.
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Her death came days after she was reported to have suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles last Friday. The news was confirmed in a statement released on behalf of her daughter, Billie Lourd, who said Fisher was “loved by the world” and “will be profoundly missed”.
Fisher’s career was characterized by her willingness to acknowledge, challenge and satirize the stereotypes of her upbringing and privilege. As the daughter of two Hollywood stars, Debbie Reynolds and the late singer Eddie Fisher, she brought awareness and humor to her work, whether in film or in numerous books that tracked and reviewed her fortunes in life – or what she herself had termed “what it’s like to live an all-too-exciting life”.
Paying tribute to her daughter, her mother described her as “amazing”. Reynolds, 84, wrote on Facebook: “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love Carries Mother”.
Fisher’s Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford, 74, said in a statement: “Carrie was one-of-a-kind … brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely. My thoughts are with her daughter Billie, her mother Debbie, her brother Todd and her many friends. We will all miss her.”
Among the first to react to her death was Mark Hamill, who starred as Luke Skywalker alongside Fisher in the Star Wars films. He tweeted “no words #Devastated” and a photograph of them together in character.