Carrie Fisher, the world-famous actress who brought the bold, brazen and beautiful character of Princess Leia Organa to life in the original Star Wars trilogy, died Tuesday morning after suffering a massive heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday. She was 60 years old.
According to People magazine, family spokesperson Simon Halls released a statement on Tuesday confirming the heartbreaking news:
“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.”
While best known for her Star Wars role, which she reprised in 2015’s The Force Awakens and the upcoming untitled Episode VIII, Fisher also found fame as as writer during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Her first book, the autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge focusing on an actress reckoning with substance abuse and the shadow of her famous mother, later became a Mike Nichols-directed movie starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine after Fisher herself adapted it. Director Steven Spielberg was apparently so impressed with Fisher’s work, he hired her to punch up the script for Hook — thereby inaugurating a bustling career as a script doctor and screenwriter.
Aside from occasional Hollywood writing gigs and acting jobs, however, Fisher stuck mostly to her writing career later in life. She published and touted multiple novels, books of nonfiction, and other works all over the world — touring what essentially became a “one-woman show.” Always frank about her struggles with addiction and mental illness, Fisher merged her writing skills and acting with 2008’s Wishful Drinking and its subsequent adaptation, which became a hugely successful one-woman play and later a filmed documentary for HBO. Fisher has been promoting her most recent book, The Princess Diarist, her behind-the-scenes account of the making of the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope.
Fisher’s is survived by her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds; her daughter, actress Billie Lourd, and her dog Gary. To echo one Twitter user’s paraphrase of Chirrut Îmwe’s (Donnie Yen) popular line from Rogue One, Carrie Fisher is one with the force and the force is with her.