The news that will shake and sadden many of Hollywood actress Carrie Fisher who died of heart attack while travelling to London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. It was delivered by her daughter Lourd of the announcement of her death.
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.
She was the daughter of showbiz parents who were massive stars Debbie Reynolds and entertainer Eddie Fisher, Fisher was a product of the tumultuous world of film, theatre and television.
Escaping Hollywood in 1973, the star enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she spent over a year studying acting. She had said she was not sure if she wanted to be actor but two years later, the bright lights of Hollywood drew her back, and Fisher made her film debut in the Warren Beatty-lead Shampoo.
Her role in Star Wars would follow in 1977 – the experience she recently detailed in memoir, The Princess Diarist. She was only 19 when the first installment of the beloved sci-fi 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.
Fisher wed musician Paul Simon in 1983. It was on the rocks after a year. The relationship continued, though, on-and-off for several years after the pair divorced in 1984. Carrie had struggled with abuse problems and was known for this from the age of 13years.
She said she later dabbled in drugs like cocaine and LSD. Fisher’s addiction was largely profiled in her 1987 best-selling, semi-autobiographical novel, Postcards from the Edge, which was later turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep.
“I never could take alcohol. I always said I was allergic to alcohol, and that’s actually a definition to alcoholism — an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind,” Fisher told the Herald-Tribune in 2013. “So I didn’t do other kinds of drugs until I was about 20. Then, by the time I was 21 it was LSD. I didn’t love cocaine, but I wanted to feel any way other than the way I did, so I’d do anything.”
In 1985, Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she told the Herald-Tribune, and subsequently became an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness.
Throughout much of the ’90s, Fisher focused on her writing career, publishing Surrender the Pink and Delusions of Grandma. In addition, Fisher reportedly helped craft the scripts for numerous Hollywood films, going uncredited, for films like The Wedding Singer, Hook and Sister Act.
Billie Lourd, Fisher’s only child, was born in July 1992. The Scream Queens star’s father, talent agent Bryan Lourd, dated Fisher for three years and is now married to Bruce Bozzi.
In 2005, Fisher was recognized with the Women of Vision Award by the Women in Film & Video – DC. Three years later, Fisher’s Wishful Drinking autobiography was turned into a one-woman stage show and eventually an HBO documentary.
Of returning to the role that launched her career – Leia – for The Force Awakens, Fisher told PEOPLE in 2015, “I knew that something enormous was likely going to impact my life from this film and that there was absolutely no way of understanding what that was or was likely to be.”
The film – which brought Fisher back into the spotlight – earned her a nomination for the 2016 Saturn Award for best supporting actress.
Just last month, Fisher also revealed her surprising on-set affair with Star Wars costar Harrison Ford in The Princess Diarist, telling PEOPLE of the three-month fling, “It was so intense.” The memoir, which drew from Fisher’s old diaries and notebooks, brought up mixed feelings for the actress.
“I had forgotten that I’d written them, and I’ve never written diaries sort of like that,” she said. “I write when I’m upset … it was about two or three months of upset.”
Fisher added, “It was sad because I was so insecure, and it’s very raw and obviously I didn’t expect anyone — including myself, I suppose later on — to read it.”
The tributes have been coming in from all who loved her she was a force.
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