Iconic ‘Star Wars’ actress dies at age 60
Carrie Fisher, who was born to Hollywood stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher but became famous in her own right as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, died days after suffering from cardiac arrest aboard a flight. She was 60.
Fisher fell ill Friday on a flight from London to Los Angeles and was rushed to the hospital. Emergency workers who met the plane said she was unresponsive. Several people who were on the flight tweeted that they saw her receive CPR from passengers who may have been nurses. The plane was then met by paramedics at LAX who provided advanced life support.
The oldest child of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, her family was shadowed by scandal when she was just 2 years old – when her father left her mother for Elizabeth Taylor.
“I am truly a product of Hollywood inbreeding,” Fisher wrote in her 2008 autobiography “Wishful Drinking.” “When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.”
Fisher made her film debut as a precocious teen in 1975’s “Shampoo,” starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn.
But her big break came just two years later, when she starred as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. Fisher revealed earlier this year that she and co-star Harrison Ford had a three-month affair while filming the first film, when she was just 19 years old and he was 33 years old — and married with two children. “It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend,” she said in her 2016 memoir “The Princess Diarist.”
The scene in “The Return of the Jedi” where she wore a gold metal bikini as a sex slave became one of the most famous pop-culture moments of a generation. She told Rolling Stone in 1983 that the films are “basically boys’ fantasies.”
“Nearly naked, which is not a style choice for me,” Fisher said of the bikini in an interview with NPR earlier this year. “It wasn’t my choice. When [director George Lucas] showed me the outfit, I thought he was kidding and it made me very nervous. I had to sit very straight because I couldn’t have lines on my sides, like little creases. No creases were allowed, so I had to sit very, very rigid straight … What redeems it is I get to kill him, which was so enjoyable. … I sawed his neck off with that chain that I killed him with. I really relished that because I hated wearing that outfit and sitting there rigid straight, and I couldn’t wait to kill him.”
After “The Return of the Jedi” in 1983, Fisher struggled with alcoholism, drug use and mental illness. She wrote in her memoir “The Princess Diarist” that she was first introduced to drugs at age 13. Fisher started dating singer Paul Simon while filming “Star Wars” in 1977, and they married in 1983 at their apartment in New York City. They divorced after just one year, but they continued to date on and off for a decade afterward.
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