Carrie Fisher, famed for her iconic turn as space heroine Princess Leia in the Star Wars series, has tragically died at the age of 60.
The Emmy-nominated actress had suffered a heart attack onboard her flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday 23rd December. This had left her in critical condition and on a ventilator but she sadly never recovered.
Her death was confirmed earlier today by her daughter Billie Lourd with family spokesman Simon Halls saying:
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning. She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Born in Beverly Hills on October 21st 1956, Carrie’s acting career was helped by the success of her famous mother Debbie Reynolds who appeared in the beloved Hollywood musical Singin’ in the Rain (1951).
Her film debut came when she starred opposite Warren Beatty and Julie Christie in the dark rom-com Shampoo (1975). However her rise to stardom was to come two years later when she landed the role of feisty heroine Princess Leia in the landmark sci-fi blockbuster Star Wars (1977). The character was memorable for her iconic line “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” and her bun hairstyle.
Fisher would later reprise the role in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983) although it would be many years before she would return to play the character again. During those two films, we would learn that Leia was actually hero Luke Skywalker’s twin sister and that she would also became a sex symbol when wearing a metal bikini in Return of the Jedi. However it was her chemistry with co-star Harrison Ford (Han Solo) that would also be remembered by many audiences throughout the series.
Away from Star Wars, Fisher’s film career produced modest results during the 80s and early 90s. The most memorable was her role as the Mystery Woman who pursued the Blues brothers in the cult comedy classic The Blues Brothers (1980).
She also featured in the likes of The Man with One Shoe (1985), Hannah and her Sisters (1986) and The Burbs (1989) as well as playing Meg Ryan’s best friend in the hit rom-com When Harry Met Sally (1989).
Into the 90s, she played Janie in the fantasy comedy Drop Dead Fred (1991) and also appeared in Soapdish (1991). She also received a BAFTA nomination for adapting her own semi-autobiography novel Postcards from the Edge into a 1990 film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.
Following a quiet period in the late 90s, Fisher would go on to star in underwhelming flicks like Scream 3 (2000), Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Sorority Row (2009). However she also made guest appearances in Lisa Picard is Famous (2000), Sex and the City (2000), The Big Bang Theory (2014) and Maps to the Stars (2014).
Her television work did gain her some momentum when she received an Emmy nomination for guest-starring in the hit sitcom 30 Rock (2007) and she also voiced the role of Peter Griffin’s nagging boss Angela in twenty episodes of the popular animated series Family Guy (2005-2016).
In 2015, Fisher finally returned to her career-making role as Leia in the long-awaited Star Wars sequel The Force Awakens which was unsurprisingly a huge box-office success. It seems touching to note that her last appearance on our screens will be as Leia in next year’s follow-up Episode VIII which is released in cinemas on 15th December.
Fisher is survived by her daughter and her mother in what has been a terribly tragic year for celebrities.