Star Wars icon dies
Carrie Fisher, 60, rose to fame as Princess Leia
Carrie Fisher — a daughter of Hollywood royalty who gained fame as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars and turned her struggles with addiction and mental illness into wickedly funny books, a hit film and a one-woman stage show — died on Tuesday after falling ill aboard a flight last week. She was 60.
“Carrie was one of a kind ... brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely,” Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford says in a statement.
Fisher, the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, had been hospitalized since Friday, when paramedics responded to a report of a patient in distress at Los Angeles airport. Her family gave no details on the emergency, but media reports say she had suffered a heart attack.
Fisher made her feature film debut opposite Warren Beatty in the 1975 hit Shampoo. She also appeared in Austin Powers, The Blues Brothers, Charlie’s Angels, Hannah and Her Sisters, Scream 3 and When Harry Met Sally.
But Fisher is best remembered as the headstrong Princess Leia in the original Star Wars in 1977, her hair styled in futuristic braided buns.
She reprised the role in Episode VII of the series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in 2015, and her digitally rendered image appears in the newest installment, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“In Star Wars she was our great and powerful princess — feisty, wise and full of hope in a role that was more difficult than most people might think,” Star Wars creator George Lucas says in a statement.
Fisher long battled drug addiction and mental illness. She said she smoked pot at 13, used LSD by 21 and was diagnosed as bipolar at 24. She was treated with electroshock therapy and medication.
In 1987, her thinly veiled autobiography Postcards
From the Edge became a best-seller. It was adapted into a 1990 movie starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Fisher’s one-woman show,
Wishful Drinking, which she had performed across the country since 2006, was turned into a book, made its way to Broadway in 2009 and was filmed for HBO in 2010.
In the past 15 years, Fisher appeared as a television guest star, perhaps most memorably as a has-been comedy legend on 30 Rock.
Fisher starred with her mother in a documentary set to air on HBO in 2017.
Bright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
She endeared herself to the social-media generation with her quirky tweets, laden with crazy keyboard symbols and colorful typefaces.
Above: Carrie Fisher at the European premiere of StarWars,
TheForceAwakens in London in 2015. Far above: Fisher in a 1978 file photo.