By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Carrie Fisher, who rose to fame as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” films and later endured drug addiction and stormy romances with show business heavyweights, died on Tuesday, her daughter said through a family spokesman.
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” Lourd said in a statement issued by Simon Halls. “She was loved by the world, and she will be missed profoundly.”
Fisher was 60 years old.
Fisher, who had been in England shooting the third season of the British sitcom “Catastrophe,” suffered a heart attack during a flight on Friday from London to Los Angeles. She was met by paramedics and rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Her death came a month after the actress and author made headlines by disclosing 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.
Fisher said the affair started and ended in 1976 during production on the blockbuster sci-fi adventure in which she first appeared as the intrepid Princess Leia. Ford played the maverick space pilot Han Solo.
“It was so intense,” Fisher told People. “It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.” She was 19 and Ford was 33 at the time of the affair.
“How could you ask such a shining specimen of a man to be satisfied with the likes of me? I was so inexperienced, but I trusted something about him. He was kind,” she wrote of Ford in the memoir, the latest of several books Fisher authored over the years.
Fisher reprised the role in two “Star Wars” sequels. She gained sex symbol status in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” when her Leia character wore a metallic gold bikini while enslaved by the diabolical Jabba the Hutt.
She returned last year in Disney’s reboot of the “Star Wars” franchise, “The Force Awakens,” appearing as the more matronly General Leia Organa, leader of the Resistance movement fighting the evil First Order.