“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother, Carrie Fisher, passed away at 8:55 this morning,” a family spokesman, Simon Hall, wrote in a statement.
Ms. Fisher had a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday and had been hospitalized in Los Angeles.
Ms. Fisher, the daughter of the pop singer Eddie Fisher and the actress Debbie Reynolds, went on to use her perch among Hollywood royalty to offer wry commentary in her books on the paradoxes and absurdities of the entertainment industry.
“Star Wars,” released in 1977, turned her overnight into an international movie star. The film, written and directed by George Lucas, traveled around the world, drawing record box-office numbers. It proved to be the first installment of a blockbuster space adventure franchise whose vivid, even preposterous characters — living “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” as the opening sequence announced — became pop culture legends and the progenitors of a merchandising bonanza.
Ms. Fisher established Princess Leia as a damsel who could very much deal with her own distress, whether facing down the villainy of the dreaded Darth Vader or the romantic interests of the roguish smuggler Han Solo.
Fisher made her big screen debut in the film Shampoo (1975), alongside Goldie Hawn, Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, but it would be another two years until she got her big break in Star Wars.
She told the Daily Mail in 2011 that when she got the part in a "little science-fiction film", she just thought of it as a bit of fun. "But then Star Wars, this goofy, little three-month hang-out with robots did something unexpected," she said.
"It exploded across the firmament of pop culture, taking all of us along with it. It tricked me into becoming a star all on my own."
On December 23, 2016, Fisher experienced a medical emergency while on a flight from London to Los Angeles; a fellow actor seated near Fisher reported that she had stopped breathing. A passenger onboard the flight performed CPR on Fisher until paramedics arrived. After being taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center by ambulance, she was placed on a ventilator. Fisher was reported to have been stabilized while in the hospital, but Todd Fisher later said he could not classify his sister's condition, and that she was still in the intensive care unit. On December 25, Debbie Reynolds said her daughter was stable, and that any updates would be shared by the family.
Fisher died at age 60 on December 27, 2016, at 8:55am Pacific Standard Time, in Los Angeles, California. Billie Lourd, Fisher's daughter, confirmed the actress' death via family spokesperson, Simon Halls, who announced the death to the press. In addition to Lourd, Fisher is survived by her mother Debbie Reynolds, her brother Todd Fisher as well as her half-sisters, actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher.
Her other film roles included Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The 'Burbs (1989), and When Harry Met Sally... (1989)...