Carrie Fisher, Star Wars' Princess Leia,
dies at 60
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[December 27, 2016]
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Carrie Fisher, who
rose to fame as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films and later endured
drug addiction and stormy romances with show business heavyweights, died
on Tuesday aged 60, her daughter said through a family spokesman.
"It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her
beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning," Lourd
said in a statement issued by Simon Halls. "She was loved by the world,
and she will be missed profoundly."
Fisher's friend and former Star Wars' co-star Mark Hamill said in a
tweet: "No words. #Devastated"
William Shatner, best known for his role in the television series "Star
Trek," said he would miss her. "A wonderful talent & light has been
Fisher, the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher,
who died in 2010, had been in England shooting the third season of the
British sitcom "Catastrophe."
She suffered a heart attack during a flight on Friday from London to Los
Angeles. She was met by paramedics and rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA
Her death came a month after the actress and author made headlines by
disclosing that she had a three-month love affair with her "Star Wars"
co-star Harrison Ford 40 years ago.
Fisher revealed the secret to People magazine while promoting her new
memoir, "The Princess Diarist," just before it went on sale. The book is
based on Fisher's diaries from her time working on the first "Star Wars"
Fisher said the affair started and ended in 1976 during production on
the blockbuster sci-fi adventure in which she first appeared as the
intrepid Princess Leia. Ford played the maverick space pilot Han Solo.
"It was so intense," Fisher told People. "It was Han and Leia during the
week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend." She was 19 and Ford
was 33 at the time of the affair.
"How could you ask such a shining specimen of a man to be satisfied with
the likes of me? I was so inexperienced, but I trusted something about
him. He was kind," she wrote of Ford in the memoir, the latest of
several books Fisher authored over the years.
Fisher reprised the role in two "Star Wars" sequels. She gained sex
symbol status in 1983's "Return of the Jedi" when her Leia character
wore a metallic gold bikini while enslaved by the diabolical Jabba the
She returned last year in Disney's <DIS.N> reboot of the "Star Wars"
franchise, "The Force Awakens," appearing as the more matronly General
Leia Organa, leader of the Resistance movement fighting the evil First
Filming was completed in July on Fisher's next appearance as Leia in
"Star Wars: Episode VIII," which is set to reach theaters in December
Shortly after news of her death was made public, her dog Gary, who has
his own Twitter account, said goodbye: "Saddest tweets to tweet. Mommy
is gone. I love you @carrieffisher."
EARLY SHOWBIZ START
Fisher also played a memorable supporting role in the 1989 hit film
"When Harry Met Sally," as a friend of Meg Ryan's character who falls
for and marries the best pal of Billy Crystal's character.
[to top of second column]
Carrie Fisher poses for cameras as she arrives at the European
Premiere of Star Wars, The Force Awakens in Leicester Square,
London, December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
More recently, Fisher played the American mother-in-law on the
British television comedy “Catastrophe,” whose first two seasons
Amazon Prime Video carried for U.S. subscribers.
Born in Beverly Hills, Carrie Fisher got her showbiz start at age 12
in her mother's Las Vegas nightclub act. She made her film debut as
a teenager in the 1975 comedy "Shampoo," two years before her "Star
But her life was also mired at times in substance abuse, mental
illness and tumultuous romances with other entertainment figures,
all of which he laid bare in her books, interviews and a one-woman
stage show titled "Wishful Drinking."
She was once engaged to comic actor Dan Aykroyd, later married, then
divorced, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and had a daughter out of
wedlock with Hollywood talent agent Brian Lourd.
After undergoing treatment in the mid-1980s for cocaine addition,
she wrote the bestselling novel, "Postcards from the Edge," about a
drug-abusing actress forced to move back in with her mother. She
later adapted the book into a film that starred Meryl Streep and
She admitted in a 2011 interview with Reuters that tabloid exposure
of her private life could be trying.
"'Carrie Fisher's tragic life.' That was one that hurt," she said,
quoting a headline. "'Hey, how about Carrie Fisher? She used to be
so hot. Now she looks like Elton John.' That hurt."
Fisher was promoting her campaign as a spokeswoman for the Jenny
Craig weight-loss program at the time.
She also acknowledged being briefly hospitalized in 2013 due to a
bout with bipolar disorder.
Summing up the showbiz legacy she expected to leave behind in her
2011 memoir "Shockaholic," Fisher wrote in self-deprecating style:
"What you'll have of me after I journey to that great Death Star in
the sky is an extremely accomplished daughter, a few books, and a
picture of a stern-looking girl wearing some kind of metal bikini
lounging on a giant drooling squid, behind a newscaster informing
you of the passing of Princess Leia after a long battle with her
(Additional reporting by Eric Johnson in Seattle and Daniel Wallis
and Jill Serjeant in New York; Editing by Toni Reinhold and Diane
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