Actress Carrie Fisher, whose grit and wit made “Star Wars'” Princess Leia an iconic and beloved figure to millions of moviegoers, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. She was 60.
Her death was confirmed in a statement issued by the publicist for Billie Lourd, Fisher’s daughter.
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” Simon Halls said.
Fisher’s death came four days after she suffered a cardiac event on a flight from London to Los Angeles, according to a source familiar with the situation.
The actress and advocate, who got her start in Hollywood as a seductive teen in the 1975 film “Shampoo,” was the daughter of screen legend Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher.
But her biggest break as an actress came just a few years after she dropped out of high school to appear alongside her mother on Broadway.
She beat out the likes of Jodie Foster and Amy Irving for the part of Leia in George Lucas’ original 1977 “Star Wars.” Her tough-as-nails princess was strong and independent — and the role positioned Fisher in the decades that followed as something of a feminist icon.
The film became a blockbuster — the Internet Movie Database ranks it as the fourth most-watched movie of all time, behind “Titanic,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “The Wizard of Oz” — and turned Fisher into an overnight star.
“I was trained in celebrity, so I did the only thing I knew,” Fisher once told Rolling Stone. “I went into the family business.”
Fisher went on to appear in 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.” She drew almost as much attention for Leia’s hair and wardrobe as she did for her performances in the movies. Her character wore her brown hair in two enormous swirly buns over her ears, and donned a revealing metal bikini as Jabba the Hutt’s captive in “Return of the Jedi.”
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