Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher passes away after suffering a heart attack

Posted on 27 December 2016
By Khyle Deen
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Carrie Fisher, the actress best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise, has passed away after suffering a heart attack while flying from London to Los Angeles late last week. She was 60 years of age.

Family spokesman Simon Halls released a statement to PEOPLE on behalf of Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd:

The statement read: “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,”

“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd, 24. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Fisher was flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital.

The daughter of renowned entertainers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Fisher was brought up in the sometimes tumultuous world of film, theater and television.

She escaped Hollywood in 1973, Carrie then enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she spent over a year studying acting.

Two years later though, the shining stars and alluring glow of Hollywood pulled her back, with Fisher making her film debut in the Warren Beatty-led Shampoo.

In 1997, her life changed when she was cast in what would be most prolific role, Star Wars, starring as Princess Leia. She detailed the experience, including her on-set affair with costar Harrison Ford, in her latest memoir, The Princess Diarist. She was just 19 years of age when the first installment in the Star Wars franchise was filmed.

In addition to the second and third Star Wars films – and last year’s The Force Awakens – Fisher starred in 1980’s The Blues Brothers, The Man with One Red Shoe, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986 and, later, When Harry Met Sally.

She is survived by her mum, Debbie Reynolds, daughter Lourd, brother Todd Fisher, half-sisters Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, and beloved French bulldog, Gary.