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Carrie Fisher dead at 60

The Star Wars icon passed away in hospital on Tuesday morning.

Actress Carrie Fisher has died four days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

The Star Wars icon was 60.

Family spokesman Simon Halls has confirmed the sad news in a press release issued on behalf of Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd.

It reads: "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. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers."

Fisher was hospitalised on Friday (23Dec16) after landing in Los Angeles, where she died on Tuesday (27Dec16).

The actress was best-known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Fisher reprised her role for 2015's monster hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

She was returning home from Europe, where she was promoting her new book The Princess Diarist, when she suffered a heart attack. The book recounted her experiences on the set of the first Star Wars film, based on journals she uncovered which she had written during filming. The biggest revelation in the book was the news that the then-19-year-old had had a three-month affair with her married 33-year-old co-star Harrison Ford.

The actress later admitted she regretted revealing the affair, telling U.S. breakfast show Today in November (16), "He's incredibly private. I feel really bad doing that to him."

Carrie Frances Fisher was born in Beverly Hills, California, to singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her parents divorced when she was two, after her father famously left Reynolds for her close friend Elizabeth Taylor.

Fisher noted that she "hid in books" when she was young, earning herself the family nickname The Bookworm. During her school years, she immersed herself in classic literature and wrote countless poems. She attended Beverly Hills High School and made her stage debut at the age of 15 as a debutante and singer in Irene on Broadway in 1973, alongside her mother.

She enrolled at London's fabled Central School of Speech and Drama and went on to make her film debut in 1975's Shampoo, opposite Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn. She returned to her studies and transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York, but was cast in the first Star Wars film before graduation.

She continued to work in the 1980s, in films like Hannah and her Sisters, The 'Burbs, When Harry Met Sally, and Loverboy, before the film based on her first novel, Postcards from the Edge, was released in 1990, starring Meryl Streep and Shirley Maclaine. The book was loosely based on her own drug addiction struggles and her difficult relationship with her mother.

Her other books included the novels Surrender the Pink and Delusions of Grandma, while she also earned considerable acclaim for her screenwriting skills. She was often called in to rewrite existing scripts and although she was often uncredited, Carrie worked on films including Hook, Lethal Weapon 3, Sister Act, The Wedding Singer, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, starting with Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 1999.

Fisher also provided the voice of Angela, Peter Griffin's boss, on the animated series Family Guy, on which she is credited as Mon Mothma. In recent years, she made small appearances in TV series Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce and Catastrophe.

In her personal life, Carrie dated singer and musician Paul Simon from 1977 to 1983 and then became engaged to Canadian funnyman and actor Dan Aykroyd. But before they could marry, she reunited with Simon and married him in 1983. The couple divorced the following year.

Carrie and Paul reportedly reignited their romance on-and-off after their 1984 divorce. Carrie subsequently became involved with top Hollywood talent agent Bryan Lourd and referred to him at times as her second husband, although there is no record of a marriage. The couple had one child, Billie Catherine Lourd, 24. Lourd reportedly ended their relationship when he left Fisher for another man.

Carrie was also famous for her no-holds-barred discussions of her own bipolar disorder and drug addictions. She was awarded Harvard University's 2016 honour for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, acknowledging "her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy."

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