Carrie Fisher, who famously starred as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films and later endured drug addiction before sharing her story as a best-selling author, died on Tuesday aged 60, her family said. She suffered a heart attack aboard a plane on Friday as she flew into Los Angeles, after which she was met by paramedics and rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Fisher described herself as an "enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God." She was raised Protestant, but often attended Jewish services, the faith of her father, with Orthodox friends.
Fisher was the daughter of actor Debbie Reynolds and the late singer Eddie Fisher. This weekend she was returning from England where she had been shooting the third season of the British sitcom "Catastrophe."
"Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter," Reynolds said on Facebook. "I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love, Carrie's Mother."
Fisher's friend and former Star Wars' co-star Mark Hamill, who played Leia's brother Luke Skywalker, said in a tweet: "No words. #Devastated"
Born in Beverly Hills, Fisher got her showbiz start at age 12 in her mother's Las Vegas nightclub act. She made her film debut as a teenager in the 1975 comedy "Shampoo," two years before her "Star Wars" breakthrough.
She made headlines last month when she disclosed she had a three-month love affair with her "Star Wars" co-star Harrison Ford 40 years ago. She 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. "It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend," Fisher told People. She was 19 and Ford was 33 at the time.
Harrison said in a statement Fisher was funny, emotionally fearless and one-of-a-kind. "She lived her life, bravely...We will all miss her."
She was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Inc. weight loss television ads that aired in January 2011.
In recent years, Fisher was a mental health advocate who spoke about her own struggles with bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction. Fisher said her writing helped her to stay focused and channel her manic energy onto paper, instead of over the people around her.
She was once engaged to comic actor Dan Aykroyd, later married, then divorced, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, and had a daughter out of wedlock with Hollywood talent agent Brian Lourd.
Fisher told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview published last month she was happier than she had ever been. "I've been through a lot, and I could go through more, but I hope I don't have to," she said. "But if I did, I'd be able to do it. I'm not going to enjoy dying but there's not much prep for that."