The Star Wars actress and Guardian columnist suffered a heart attack last Friday on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, tweeted Sunday, December 25, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, that her daughter was in stable condition.
But today, a spokeperson for the family released a statement to People on behalf of Billie Lourd, Fisher’s daughter:
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” reads the statement.
“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Of course, her work as the iconic Princess Leia gave so many nerdy girls a rare, capable, kind, and badass hero to latch onto. But she also made her mark as an author and screenwriter. Her 1987 semi-autobiographical novel, Postcards from the Edge, was a bestseller, and she went on to write the screen adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Shirley Maclaine.
She was nominated for a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio recording of Wishful Drinking, her 2008 memoir based on the one-woman Broadway show of the same name. The actress published another memoir earlier this year, The Princess Diarist, based on the journals she kept while filming Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Fisher was also a very in-demand script doctor from the early ’90s to the mid-2000s, having worked on Hook, Sister Act, and The Wedding Singer, and even the Star Wars prequels, though she wasn’t credited.
The actress had been on quite the upswing in recent years after years of battling substance abuse and mental illness, topics that she openly addressed in her novels—earlier this year Harvard College gave her the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism (an award for those whose “contributions to popular culture and society exemplify the values of Humanism: compassion, creativity, and honesty, among others”) for her outspokenness on addiction and mood disorders.
Now if someone would please place Cher, Chaka Khan, and Dame Maggie Smith under maximum security lockdown, that would be great.