Star Wars' Carrie Fisher Dead at 60

Actress dies days after suffering heart attack

By Kendall Fisher Dec 27, 2016 5:50 PMTags

Carrie Fisher has died at age 60.

E! News confirms the Star Wars actress had a heart attack while aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles Friday, about 15 minutes before the plane was scheduled to land. Speaking on behalf of Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd, family's spokesman Simon Halls announced she died Tuesday. "It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning," he told E! News a statement. "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers."

After Fisher suffered a heart attack, paramedics were immediately called. They were on standby waiting at the gate by the time the plane landed. The L.A. City Fire Department told E! News they provided advanced life support and aggressive treatment before transporting the actress to the UCLA Medical Center. 

Her brother Todd Fisher told E! News hours later Carrie was being treated in the ICU. Local TV station KABC reported that night she was in critical condition and on a ventilator.

Carrie Fisher: A Life in Pictures
CJ Rivera/FilmMagic

Actress Anna Akana was on the same flight and tweeted about the tragic turn of events. She said the United flight crew as well as passengers onboard "jumped into action." There were doctors and nurse passengers who administered CPR, doing all that they could to carry out life-saving measures.

United Airlines also released a statement, saying: "Medical personnel met United flight 935 from London to Los Angeles upon arrival today after the crew reported that a passenger was unresponsive. Our thoughts are with our customer at this time."

Fisher, born Oct. 21, 1956, was best known for playing Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, but her time in the spotlight started before that.

The daughter of Debbie Reynolds and entertainer Eddie Fisher, she left Hollywood to pursue an education at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. However, after a little over a year there, she was pulled back into the spotlight and made her film debut in 1975's Shampoo. Two years later, at just 19-years-old, she took on the role of Princess Leia in the first installment of the ever-famous sci-fi series.

Celebrity Deaths: 2016's Fallen Stars
Courtesy of LucasFilms

She ended up starring in the next two Star Wars films as well as The Force Awakens in 2015. Fisher also took on other films outside the series, including: The Blues Brothers, The Man with One Red Shoe, Hannah and Her Sisters and When Harry Met Sally.

She infamously struggled with substance abuse and talked openly about dabbling with marijuana at just 13-years-old and moving onto other drugs like cocaine and LSD by the time she was 21. Her addictions were covered in her 1987 best-selling novel, Postcards From the Edge, which was later turned into a movie with Meryl Streep as the lead.  

In 1985, she was diagnosed as being bi-polar, and after becoming sober, she turned into an advocate for mental health. She put her acting career aside and focused on writing books—including Wishful Drinking and Surrender the Pink—until she went back to playing Princess Leia in 2015's The Force Awakens.

She was married for a year in an infamously tumultuous relationship with Paul Simon, from 1983 to 1984. In 1992, she gave birth to her first and only child, Billie Lourd, who she welcomed with Bryan Lourd. They dated for three years, but he is now married to Bruce Bozzi.

Most recently, she was busy promoting her newest memoir, The Princess Diarist, in which she provided an "intimate, hilarious and revealing" recollection of what happened behind-the-scenes of the famous Star Wars film films. 

Fisher is survived by her 24-year-old daughter, her mother and her beloved French Bulldog, Gary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family at this time.