âStar Warsâ actress Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Hollywood royalty who soared to fame as a wise-cracking intergalactic princess, died Tuesday, four days after suffering a massive heart attack.
Fisher, 60, never regained consciousness after going into cardiac arrest aboard a plane around noon Friday while traveling from London to Los Angeles to promote her latest memoir.
âIt is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother, Carrie Fisher, passed away at 8:55 this morning,â Fisherâs family spokesman, Simon Halls, said in a statement Tuesday.
Fisherâs actress mother, Debbie Reynolds, 84, called her daughter âbeloved and amazing.”
âI am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love, Carrieâs Mother,â Reynolds wrote on Facebook.
Fisher was most famous for her elaborately coiffed role as Princess Leia Organa in the sci-fi movie series.
She landed the coveted job at just 19, beating out actresses Jodie Foster and Amy Irving.
But while the once-in-a-lifetime gig made her the fantasy of teenage boys and sci-fi geeks everywhere, it also proved to be a burden, Fisher frequently lamented.
She would go on to write critically acclaimed books, do star turns in hit movies and marry a music legend, but âPrincess Leia will be on my tombstone,ââ Fisher said.
âForty-three years ago, George Lucas ruined my life. And I mean that in the nicest way possible,â Fisher wrote in her 2008 book, âWishful Drinking,â referring to the seriesâ creator.
Fisher ribbed Lucas for turning her into a sex symbol by demanding that she wear Leiaâs iconic gold metal bikini in âReturn of the Jedi.â
âWhen he showed me the outfit, I thought he was kidding,â she told NPR last month while promoting her new autobiography, âThe Princess Diarist,ââ her eighth book.
âAnd it made me very nervous. I had to sit very straight because I couldnât have lines on my sides, like little creases. No creases were allowed.â
âGod, he was just so handsome,â Fisher dished in âThe Princess Diarist.â
âNo. No, more than that. He looked like he could lead the charge into battle, take the hill, win the duel, be leader of the gluten-free world, all without breaking a sweat.â
Recently, Fisher had reprised her role for the newest âStar Warsâ sequel trilogy.
âThe Force Awakensââ came out last year, and she also finished filming for the second flick, âEpisode VIII,â due out next December.
But behind the cameras, over the years, she struggled with alcoholism, pill addiction and bipolar disorder.
Fisher memorably told Oprah Winfrey in a 2011 interview that she was getting regular jolts of electroconvulsive therapy.
Meanwhile, her romances and friendships through it all amounted to a celebrity Whoâs Who.
She married Paul Simon when she was 26, later joking that he was a short Jewish singer like her father, crooner Eddie Fisher.
Both suffered from depression, and a year and one miscarriage later, they divorced, then continued to date on and off for the next decade. In between, Fisher became engaged â then un-engaged â to comedian Dan Aykroyd.
âWhere there should be a flower and a gardener, we were two flowers. In the bright sun. Wilting,â Carrie once said of her relationship with Simon.
Simon would write several song lyrics with Fisher in mind, including these from his 1986 tune âGracelandâ:
âShe comes back to tell me sheâs gone,
âAs if I didnât know that,
âAs if I didnât know my own bed,
âAs if Iâd never noticed,
âThe way she brushed her hair from her forehead.â
Fisher once said, âIâm not as cooperative as you might want a woman to be.”
âEvery man, I think, or at least the ones I end up finding, thereâs no such thing as a consort. All men are kings. That was my little discovery . . . I really thought menâs fantasy is to have an intellectual geisha. So what I did was I learned to cook, and I took a massage course. But thatâs not all of it. You have to also agree.â
Fisher bore her only child, Billie, with her second husband, Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd â who left her after three years of marriage for another man.
In addition to the âStar Warsââ franchise, Fisher was known for her roles in everything from flicks such as âWhen Harry Met Sallyââ to satirical appearances in TVâs âSex and the Cityââ and âThe Big Bang Theory.ââ
Fisher also was a prolific writer, plumbing her struggles as a celebrity daughter, sci-fi icon and against-the-odds survivor in sassy, salacious memoirs and semi-autobiographical novels.
âIt isnât all sweetness and light sabers,â she quipped of her life in her 2011 memoir, âShockaholic.â
In this excerpt, the bookâs main character, Suzanne, talks about a recent rehab stay:
âMom brought me some peanut butter cookies and a biography of Judy Garland. She told me she thought my problem was that I was too impatient, my fuse was too short, that I was only interested in instant gratification. I said, âInstant gratification takes too long.â â
But long before Fisher began writing â or even blasting away at stormtroopers â she was already in the public eye as the daughter of 1950s superstars.
âI had to share her, and I didnât like that,â Fisher told NPR last month of her movie-star mother.
âWhen we went out, people sort of walked over me to get to her, and no, I didnât like it.â
Her father was also a star crooner. Her parents divorced in 1959, when Fisher was just 18 months old.
Her father had hopped into bed with a newly widowed Elizabeth Taylor, and decided to stay there, creating a major Hollywood scandal.
âI am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result,â Fisher said.
She added that seeing Hollywood so up close, including through her parentsâ eyes, was unnerving.
âTheir bright, white-hot star of celebrity was slowly dimming and fading and cooling. It scared me,ââ she said. âI saw what it did to them. It hurt them.â
I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.
– Carrie Fisher
As she grew up, her father never visited, and her mom took to drink, Fisher complained.
It was not a conventional family, even by celebrity standards, Fisher said. The year she turned 15, her mom gave her and her grandmother matching vibrators for Christmas.
âAs unusual as a gift like this sounds, you have to admit that they are ideal stocking stuffers,â Fisher quipped in her tome âWishful Drinking.â
âWell, I have to admit, I enjoyed mine, but my grandmother refused to use hers,â Fisher said.
âShe was concerned that it would short-circuit her pacemaker. She said that she had gone this long without an orgasm; she might as well go the whole way. (And that pacemaker, by the way, was later recalled).â
Fisher started smoking pot at age 13. Over the years, she added booze and pills, all to numb her bipolar disorder, she said.
She snorted coke while shooting the first âStar Warsâ sequel, âThe Empire Strikes Back,â she told the Daily Mail in a 2010 interview promoting the stand-up comedy version of âWishful Drinking.â
âI didnât even like coke that much,â she told the Mail. âIt was just a case of getting on whatever train I needed to take to get high.â
Her addiction was so out-of-hand that comedian John Belushi â who would OD on cocaine and speed at 33 in 1982 â once told her to slow down.
A source told Radar Online that the still-struggling Fisher suffered a drug relapse about a month before her fatal heart attack.
âI saw her myself high as a kite once, not that long ago,ââ the source said. âIronically, she said to me, âYouâre too old to get high anymore, dear.â I replied, âYou, too, dear.â â
A rep for the actress did not respond to The Postâs request for comment.
Fisher was once asked if she was afraid to die.
âNo. I fear dying,ââ she replied. âAnything with pain associated with it, I donât like. Iâve been there for a couple of people when they were dying; it didnât look like fun. But if I was gonna do it, Iâd want someone like me around. And I will be there!â
It was clear where she got her wit from.
After Fisher revealed that she and Ford had been an item, her mother, Reynolds, tweeted, “Why all the fuss about Carrieâs admitting she had an affair with Harrison Ford? I have to admit I slept with her father!â