Star Wars’ Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher dies at 60
Veteran actor Carrie Fisher best known for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars series said goodbye at the age of 60, four days after she suffered a cardiac arrest on a flight. Fisher, who made a mark as a tremendous writer and character actor, was in intensive care unit after she had a heart attack while on a flight from London to Los Angeles on December 23. Her daughter Billie Lourd said the actor passed away on Tuesday morning, reported People magazine.
“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.” A Hollywood’s child, Fisher made her own idiosyncratic career, enjoying her biggest on-screen popularity as Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy before going on to establish herself as an acerbic, truth-telling witty writer with books such 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 actor Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher in 1956, Carrie Fisher grew up with the best of Hollywood around her. Fisher’s parents divorced when she was just two, after her father left Reynolds for actor Elizabeth Taylor.
Leaving Hollywood in 1973, the actor enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she spent over a year studying acting. Soon she made her film debut in Warren Beatty’s Shampoo (1975), playing a precocious teen who seduces Beatty’s sexually adventurous hairstylist. Her role in Star Wars came in 1977, the experience she recently detailed in memoir, “The Princess Diarist.” She was only 19 when the first installment of the popular sci-fi franchise was filmed. In addition to the second and third Star Wars films, and last year’s The Force Awakens, Fisher starred in 1980’s The Blues Brothers, The Man with One Red Shoe, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986 and, later, When Harry Met Sally.
Fisher wed musician Paul Simon in 1983. It was an explosive marriage, and was cut short by swinging stages of depression, the actors’ drug use and an array of personal insecurities. The relationship continued, though, on-and-off for several years after the pair divorced in 1984. The star’s substance abuse problem was well-known, starting at only age 13 when she first started smoking marijuana. She said she later dabbled in drugs like cocaine and LSD. Fisher’s addiction was largely profiled in her 1987 best-selling, semi-autobiographical novel, ‘Postcards from the Edge,’ which was later turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep. In 1985, Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and subsequently became an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.
During ‘90s, Fisher focused more on her writing career, publishing ‘Surrender the Pink’ and ‘Delusions of Grandma.’ In addition, she reportedly helped craft the scripts for numerous Hollywood films, going uncredited, for films like The Wedding Singer, Hook and Sister Act. Lourd, Fisher’s only child, was born in July 1992.
Of returning to the role that launched her career, Princess Leia, for The Force Awakens, Fisher said in 2015, “I knew that something enormous was likely going to impact my life from this film and that there was absolutely no way of understanding what that was or was likely to be.” The movie brought Fisher back into the spotlight and earned her a nomination for the 2016 Saturn Award for best supporting actor. Veteran Hollywood actor Harrison Ford remembered his Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher “Carrie was one-of-a-kind brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely,” Ford said in a statement. Ford went on to say that his thoughts were with Fisher’s mother Debbie Reynolds, daughter Billie Lourd, and brother Todd Fisher. “We will all miss her,” he said. Last month, Fisher opened up about her surprising on-set affair with Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford in ‘The Princess Diarist’.
“It was so intense...I had forgotten that I’d written them, and I’ve never written diaries sort of like that. I write when I’m upset...It was about two or three months of upset,” she said.
Fisher is survived by her mother Reynolds, daughter Lourd, brother Todd Fisher; and half-sisters, actores Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher.