LOS ANGELES (AP) — Carrie Fisher, a daughter of Hollywood royalty who gained pop-culture fame as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” and turned her struggles with addiction and mental illness into wickedly funny books, a hit film and a one-woman stage show, died Tuesday, December 27, after falling ill aboard a flight last week. She was 60.
Fisher, the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, had been hospitalized since Friday, December 23, when paramedics responded to a report of a patient in distress at Los Angeles airport. Her family gave no details on the emergency, but media reports said she had suffered a heart attack.
Fisher made her feature film debut opposite Warren Beatty in the 1975 hit “Shampoo.” She also appeared in “Austin Powers,” ”The Blues Brothers,” ”Charlie’s Angels,” ”Hannah and Her Sisters,” ”Scream 3″ and “When Harry Met Sally …”
But Fisher is best remembered as the headstrong Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” in 1977, her hair styled in futuristic braided buns. She uttered the immortal phrase “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.”
She reprised the role in Episode VII of the series, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, and her digitally rendered image appears in the newest installment, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
Fisher long battled drug addiction and mental illness. She said she smoked pot at 13, used LSD by 21 and was diagnosed as bipolar at 24. She was treated with electroshock therapy and medication.
In 1987, her thinly veiled autobiography “Postcards From the Edge” became a best-seller. It was adapted into a 1990 movie starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep.
More books followed: “Delusions of Grandma,” ”Surrender the Pink,” ”The Best Awful,” ”Shockaholic” and this year’s autobiography, “The Princess Diarist,” in which she revealed that she and Ford had an affair on the “Star Wars” set.
Fisher’s one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking,” which she had performed across the country since 2006, was turned into a book, made its way to Broadway in 2009 and was filmed for HBO in 2010.
In the past 15 years, Fisher appeared as a television guest star, perhaps most memorably as a has-been comedy legend on “30 Rock.” She also supplied the voice of a recurring character on the animated “Family Guy” for the past decade.
Fisher starred with her mother in a documentary set to air on HBO in 2017. “Bright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
Besides her mother, Fisher is survived by her brother, Todd Fisher, and her daughter, Billie Lourd.