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Carrie Fisher dies: Harrison Ford leads tributes after Star Wars Princess Leia actress passes away aged 60

Carrie Fisher has died in hospital, days after suffering a heart attack on a transatlantic flight.

The 60-year-old, who became an international screen star and sex symbol when she appeared as Princess Leia in the 1977 sci-fi blockbuster, was taken ill on a flight from London to Los Angeles on December 23.

Family spokesman Simon Halls released a statement on behalf of Fisher’s 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.

"She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers."

Ms Fisher was being treated in a hospital intensive care unit after the incident which prompted well-wishes from fans and stars.

Her mother Debbie Reynolds tweeted on Christmas Day: "Carrie is in stable condition. If there is a change,we will share it. For all her fans & friends. I thank you for your prayers & good wishes."

Tributes have poured in for the actor, who went on to appear in three Star Wars sequels including 2015's seventh film in the franchise, The Force Awakens.

Star Trek actor William Shatner tweeted: "I'm deeply saddened to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher. I will miss our banterings. A wonderful talent & light has been extinguished."

Actress Whoopi Goldberg said: "Carrie Fisher has passed, she was funnier & smarter than anyone had the right to be. Sail On Silver Girl. Condolences Debbie & Billie R.I.P."

Mia Farrow added: "Carrie was brilliant, funny and talented. Sending huge love be to her mom, her daughter, Billie and her many friends."

Fisher appeared as a guest on Graham Norton's show at the beginning of the month to promote her latest memoir titled The Princess Diarist.

Norton tweeted; "Numb. Unbelievable that such a bright funny loving spark could be extinguished. @carrieffisher you will be missed. I wish you peace."

Fisher had appeared to be stable in hospital in California following her medical episode on a United Airlines flight on Friday.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said paramedics administered advanced life-saving care to a patient at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday and transported the person to a nearby hospital. He did not identify the patient.

United Airlines said a passenger on flight 935 was "unresponsive".

A spokeswoman for police at LAX airport said at the ime: "Los Angeles police responded at 12.15pm to Terminal 7 regarding a female victim who went into cardiac arrest.

"Upon arrival the LAFD (Los Angeles Fire Department) was already performing CPR on the victim and the victim was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment."

It was reported that Fisher was given CPR by passengers on board before the plane landed at LAX, where paramedics tried to resuscitate her for 15 minutes before finding a pulse.

Fisher had made headlines recently with a revelation from her book claiming she had an ''intense'' affair with her co-star Harrison Ford during the making of Star Wars.

She claimed she had a three-month romance with Ford - a married father-of-two at the time - which she kept secret for 40 years.

She told People magazine: ''It was so intense. It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.''

Fisher was 19 at the time of the alleged affair in 1976, 14 years younger than Ford, who was 33.

Over the course of the Star Wars franchise, Leia matured from a lithe, bikini-clad princess to a seasoned and respected resistance general in the latest instalment.

Fisher had been due to reprise her role for Star Wars VIII, which is scheduled for release in December 2017.

The actress was born in Beverly Hills, California, to actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, who also found fame hosting his own television show.

She made her acting debut in 1975 in Shampoo, starring alongside household names such as Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn.

The daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, Fisher shot to fame in 1977 in the role of Princess Leia Organa in George Lucas’s Star Wars (later renamed ‘A New Hope’).

Tributes to Fisher

The death of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher at the age of 60 has prompted a stream of tributes.

Hollywood superstar Harrison Ford has led the tributes.

Ford, who appeared as Hans Solo opposite Fisher's Princess Leia in four Star Wars movies, hailed his co-star, saying: "We will all miss her."

The Indiana Jones actor, 74, said in a statement: "Carrie was one-of-a-kind...brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely."

Actress Whoopi Goldberg was also among those paying tribute, tweeting: "Carrie Fisher has passed, she was funnier & smarter than anyone had the right to be. Sail On Silver Girl. Condolences Debbie & Billie R.I.P."

Mia Farrow added: "Carrie was brilliant, funny and talented. Sending huge love be to her mom, her daughter, Billie and her many friends (sic)."

Fisher appeared as a guest on Graham Norton's BBC show at the beginning of the month to promote her latest memoir.

Norton tweeted: "Numb. Unbelievable that such a bright funny loving spark could be extinguished. @carrieffisher you will be missed. I wish you peace."

Transworld Publishers, which published The Princess Diarist in November, said in a statement: "We are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher. Our thoughts are with her family and friends."

Actor Steve Martin tweeted: "When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well."

Dame Joan Collins said: "My heart goes out to Debbie Reynolds on the death of Carrie her talented daughter. There have been too many deaths this year."

Singer Bette Midler tweeted: "Carrie Fisher didn't make it. I am so terribly sorry, and send my sincere condolences to her family, friends and fans all around the world."

Stephen Fry said: "She was the brightest, funniest, bravest, kindest, cleverest and sweetest person I ever knew. A crushing blow to lose @carrieffisher."

Ellen DeGeneres described Fisher as "a brilliant writer, actor, and friend. She was so much fun. I can't believe she's gone."

Actor Adrian Grenier said: "RIP Carrie Fisher. Thank you for bringing a forceful space princess to our galaxy and for breaking stereotypes on and off the screen."

Actor Kevin Nealon tweeted: "Thank you, Carrie, for all the excitement and laughs you brought this world. I already miss you. RIP #carriefisher."

Singer Anastacia wrote: "Rip Carrie Fisher. So much loss this year."

Young Guns actor Lou Diamond Phillips added his condolences on Twitter, writing: "Dear Lord, it doesn't stop. From a teenage crush to a mature respect for your writing and wit, Carrie you will be missed. #RIPCarrieFisher."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: "Inspiring, entertaining & a real cultural icon. Rest in peace Carrie Fisher - a true talent who will be much missed."

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter: "We'll never forget you, Carrie. May the Force be with you always."

Walt Disney Company chairman and chief executive Bob Iger said in a statement: "Carrie Fisher was one-of-a-kind, a true character who shared her talent and her truth with us all with her trademark wit and irreverence.

"Millions fell in love with her as the indomitable Princess Leia; she will always have a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans as well as all of us who were lucky enough to know her personally.

"She will be sorely missed, and we join millions of fans and friends around the world who mourn her loss today."

Kathleen Kennedy, president of film company Lucasfilm, added: "Carrie holds such a special place in the hearts of everyone at Lucasfilm it is difficult to think of a world without her. She was Princess Leia to the world but a very special friend to all of us.

"She had an indomitable spirit, incredible wit, and a loving heart. Carrie also defined the female hero of our age over a generation ago. Her groundbreaking role as Princess Leia served as an inspiration of power and confidence for young girls everywhere. We will miss her dearly."

Actor, writer and director Jon Favreau said: "Such a sad day for her family, friends and millions of fans. Carrie Fisher is deeply missed."

Actress Anna Kendrick wrote: "Carrie Fisher wore glitter in her hair. When I said I liked it, she ran her fingers through it and lobbed a handful at me. #TheGreatest."

Courtney Love Cobain tweeted: "Carrie fisher - great wit - great friend / one of the brightest lights has gone out . Deep condolences to Billie and Debbie."

Mark Hamill, who played the main role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars alongside Fisher, tweeted: "No words #Devastated."

Anthony Daniels, who played the android C3PO, said: "I thought I had got what I wanted under the tree. I didn't. In spite of so many thoughts and prayers from so many. I am very, very sad."

Billy Dee Williams, who played buccaneer turned resistance general Lando Calrissian alongside Fisher in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, said: "I'm deeply saddened at the news of Carrie's passing. She was a dear friend, whom I greatly respected and admired. The force is dark today!"

Fisher also lent her voice to the cartoon series Family Guy, playing the part of Angela, the overbearing brewery boss of main character Peter Griffin. The show's creator, Seth MacFarlane, said: "Carrie Fisher was smart, funny, talented, surprising, and always a hell of a fun time to be around. Family Guy will miss her immensely."

Fisher felt force of Star Wars fame

Carrie Frances Fisher was born into a showbusiness dynasty and lived much of her life in the full glare of Hollywood's limelight.

She was the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, who became a household name thanks to her 1952 role in Singin' In The Rain alongside Gene Kelly.

Her parents parted ways when her father left Reynolds for Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor.

Fisher, who was born in Beverly Hills, on October 21, 1956, was one of two children from the marriage. Her brother, Todd, also followed in the family footsteps to carve out a career in the entertainment industry.

Fisher made her acting debut in 1975 in Shampoo, appearing alongside Hollywood stars Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn.

But her big break was landing the role of Princess Leia in the first instalment of the Star Wars Trilogy, Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977.

The movie became a surprise global blockbuster, earning her the same fame as her mother.

She went on to appear in the 1980 hit The Blues Brothers and in the same year graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine alongside her Star Wars co-stars as they promoted the next instalment, The Empire Strikes Back.

But she was also a successful writer.

In 1987 she published Postcards From The Edge, which was later turned into a Hollywood blockbuster starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine and Dennis Quaid.

Streep played the title role of actress Suzanne Vale, a recovering addict trying to get her life back on track. The part earned her a best actress nomination at the 1991 Academy Awards.

Most of Fisher's novels, including Postcards From The Edge, have been New York Times bestsellers, while her one-woman confessional stage show, Wishful Drinking, was published in book form in 2008, to rave reviews.

The stage show saw her talk frankly about failed marriages to Paul Simon and Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd, with whom she had a daughter, Billie.

The actress also lifted the lid on other colourful events from her life including the death of a gay Republican lobbyist in her California mansion in 2005 from an overdose of painkillers.

Her 2011 memoirs, Shockaholic, documented her time spent with the late singer Michael Jackson and her stepmother Taylor, who married her father when she was just two. Taylor would later leave Eddie Fisher and marry actor Richard Burton.

Fisher spoke openly about her battles with drug and alcohol addiction, and her periods of depression.

Her father died in 2010, following complications after hip surgery.

In an interview with the Press Association, while promoting Shockaholic in 2011, she spoke about his loss.

Asked how she coped, she said: "Like I do with everything else, I pretend it's not happening until I can't any more. It just haunted me and stayed with me. It still does.

"It bothers me that I wasn't there (she was on tour when when he died). He was calling for me. I felt I let him down. How crazed is that?"

More recently, Fisher made headlines with her book The Princess Diarist, in which she claimed she had an ''intense'' affair with co-star Harrison Ford during the making of Star Wars.

She said she had a three-month romance with Ford - a married father-of-two at the time - which she kept secret for 40 years.

She told People magazine: ''It was so intense. It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.''

Fisher was 19 at the time, 14 years younger than Ford.

Appearing on the Graham Norton show earlier this month, she said she thought her revelation had "bugged" Ford.

"I had no idea it would cause such a sensation - 400,000 news sites picked up on it and it became a little embarrassing," she said.

"They made a lot of things up which I now have to talk about - I never said he was bad in bed."

2016-deaths.jpg
Public figures who passed away in 2016: (L to R, top to bottom) Canadian singer Leonard Cohen, US singer Prince, Italian film director Ettore Scola, Iranian film director Abbas Kiarostami, Polish film director Andrzej Wajda, Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Congolese singer Papa Wemba, US writer Jim Harrison,, US film director Michael Cimino, Polish film director Andrzej Zulawski, Hungarian writer and literature Nobel prize Imre Kertesz, Italian writer Umberto Eco, US writer Harper Lee, British singer David Bowie and Italian writer and actor Dario Fo, US actress Carrie Fisher, British actor Alan Rickman, and British singer George Michael. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Entertainment's long list of losses in 2016

The world of entertainment has lost stars from all genres of the industry in 2016.

Here is a list of some of the biggest names to die so far this year:

:: Singer David Bowie died aged 69 on January 10.

:: Actor Alan Rickman died aged 69 on January 14.

:: Eagles frontman Glenn Frey died aged 67 on January 18.

:: Broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan died on January 31 aged 77.

:: Author Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill A Mockingbird, died aged 89 on February 19.

:: Actor Frank Kelly, who played Father Jack in the comedy series Father Ted, died aged 77 on February 28.

:: Coronation Street creator Tony Warren died aged 79 on March 1.

:: Nancy Reagan, actress and former first lady of the United States, died aged 94 on March 6.

:: Beatles producer Sir George Martin died aged 90 on March 8.

:: Magician Paul Daniels died aged 77 on March 17.

:: Comedian Ronnie Corbett died aged 85 on March 31.

:: This Morning agony aunt Denise Robertson died aged 83 on March 31.

:: Sherlock Holmes actor Douglas Wilmer died aged 96 on March 31.

:: Drugs campaigner Howard Marks, known as Mr Nice, died aged 70 on April 10.

:: Reality TV star and music producer David Gest died aged 62 on April 12.

:: British playwright Sir Arnold Wesker died aged 83 on April 12.

:: Comedian Victoria Wood died aged 62 on April 20.

:: Pop star Prince died aged 57 on April 21.

:: Television writer Carla Lane, known for sitcoms such as The Liver Birds and Bread, died aged 87 on May 31.

:: Boxing champion Muhammad Ali died aged 74 on June 3.

:: Singer Dave Swarbrick of folk band Fairport Convention died aged 75 on June 3.

:: Anton Yelchin, actor in Star Trek, died aged 27 on June 19.

:: Comedian, Royle Family actress and writer Caroline Aherne died aged 52 on July 2.

:: Ken Barrie, the voice of Postman Pat, died aged 83 on July 29.

:: Kenny Baker, who played droid R2D2 in the Star Wars films, died aged 81 on August 13.

:: Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka and other memorable comedy roles, including parts in The Producers and Young Frankenstein, died aged 83 on August 28.

:: Former Israeli president Shimon Peres died aged 93 on September 28.

:: Former Coronation Street actress Jean Alexander, who played Hilda Ogden, died aged 90 on October 14.

:: Raine Spencer, the stepmother of Diana, Princess of Wales, died aged 87 on October 21.

:: London-born fashion designer Richard Nicoll died aged 39 on October 21.

:: Jimmy Perry, screenwriter known for shows including Dad's Army and It Ain't Half Hot Mum, died aged 93 on October 23.

:: Singer, songwriter and television personality Pete Burns, who founded pop band Dead Or Alive, died aged 57 on October 23.

:: Sir Jimmy Young, who hosted BBC radio programmes for half a century, died aged 95 on November 7.

:: The death at 82 of Canadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen, who penned the classic song Hallelujah, was announced on November 11.

:: The Man From Uncle star Robert Vaughn died aged 83 on November 11.

:: Musician Craig Gill, drummer of Madchester band Inspiral Carpets, died aged 44 on November 22.

:: The death of West End star Keo Woolford, 49, who starred in The King And I opposite Elaine Paige, and in the television remake of Hawaii Five-O, was announced on November 30.

:: The death of comic actor Andrew Sachs, 86, best-known for playing Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, was announced on December 1.

:: Peter Vaughan, who starred in Game Of Thrones and Porridge, died aged 93 on December 6.

:: Greg Lake, King Crimson founder member and one-third of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died aged 69 on December 8.

:: Restaurant critic AA Gill died aged 62 on December 10.

:: Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt died in Spain at the age of 68 on Christmas Eve.

:: Liz Smith, who played the Royle Family's Norma (Nana), dies aged 95 on Christmas Eve.

:: George Michael passes away aged 53 on Boxing Day.

:: Richard Adams, author of Watership Down, dies aged 96 on December 27

:: Carrie Fisher dies aged 60 on December 27


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