Carrie Fisher, who rose to fame as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise and later endured drug addiction before going on to tell her story as a best-selling author, died on Tuesday aged 60, her family said.
Fisher, a mental health advocate who spoke about her own struggles with bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction, had suffered a heart attack on Friday as she flew into Los Angeles, Reuters reports.
Her death comes just days after British singer George Michael died on Christmas Day of an apparent heart failure.
The daughter of actor Debbie Reynolds and the late singer Eddie Fisher had been returning from England where she was shooting the third season of the British sitcom Catastrophe.
“Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter,” Reynolds said on Facebook. “I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop.”
Fisher’s friend and former Star Wars’ co-star Mark Hamill, who played Leia’s brother Luke Skywalker, said in a tweet: “No words. #Devastated”
Fisher was met by paramedics and rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after suffering the heart attack during the flight on Friday.
She made headlines last month when she disclosed 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 movie.
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