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Carrie Fisher Passes Away at 60 After Suffering Heart Attack

On the set of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Corbis via Getty Images

Iconic Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died Tuesday, December 27, after suffering a heart attack. She was 60 years old.

A spokesperson for her family, Simon Halls, confirmed her passing to PEOPLE on behalf of her daughter, Billie Lourd.

“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” the statement reads. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”

The news of Fisher’s passing comes just days after the actress went into cardiac arrest while on a plane from London to Los Angeles on Friday, December 23. After landing, Fisher was rushed to a hospital, where she was believed to be in stable condition on Monday per a tweet from her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

She later passed away from complications arisen from her heart attack.

Born on October 21, 1956 to legendary actress Reynolds and entertainer Eddie Fisher, Carrie Frances Fisher made her cinematic debut alongside Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn in 1975’s Shampoo.

However, it was her role in 1977’s sci-fi smash Star Wars for which she would become most known throughout her prolific career.

Fisher was only 19 when she starred as the iconic Princess Leia alongside Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in George Lucas’ space opera, Star Wars: A New Hope—a film which would launch one of cinema’s most profitable, beloved and recognizable franchises.

She would famously reprise her role as the fearless space princess-turned-galactic hero and general in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, 1983’s Return of the Jedi and 2015’s The Force Awakens, for which she was nominated for a 2016 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Throughout her career as an actress, Fisher also appeared in films including The Blues Brothers, The ‘Burbs and When Harry Met Sally. However, she was also a celebrated screenwriter and producer, as well as a talented script doctor who worked behind the scenes to polish movies like Hook, The Wedding Singer and Sister Act.

Fisher was also an author who published a number of novels and nonfiction works, including 2016’s memoir, The Princess Diarist.

Throughout the ’80s, Fisher struggled with drug addiction and nearly overdosed in 1985, a harrowing episode which she later acknowledged in her 1987 novel Postcards From the Edge.

The actress was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1985, and she would become a fervent advocate for mental health issues and addiction treatment, which she discussed during an interview with the Herald Tribune in 2013. In 2016, Harvard College awarded Fisher the Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism for her activism work.

Fisher is survived by her mother, Reynolds, 84, and her daughter, Lourd, 24.

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