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Arts and Entertainment

Carrie Fisher Dead At 60

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Actress Carrie Fisher, best known as Princess Leia from the Star Wars films, has died. She was 60.

"It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning," family spokesman Simon Halls said in a statement to People magazine. "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers."

Fisher suffered a massive heart attack on Friday while on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

The actress rose to stardom in her iconic role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, but as the daughter of golden couple Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, she was Hollywood royalty from birth. She was born in Beverly Hills in 1956 and attended Beverly Hills High School. Fisher made her film debut opposite Warren Beatty in the 1975 hit Shampoo, and appeared in the first Star Wars film two years later.

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Though best known as an actress, Fisher was also an acid-tongued writer whom the L.A. Times once called "Hollywood's de facto Dorothy Parker" for her wit and self-lacerating honesty. The best-selling author had just published her eighth book The Princess Diarist in November.

Her semi-autobiographical 1987 novel Postcards from the Edge was made into a 1990 movie starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid. The film was directed by Mike Nichols, and Fisher adapted the book for screen. She was also known as an in-demand "script doctor" in the 1990s. Steven Spielberg hired her to punch up Tinkerbell's lines in Hook, according to the Times, and she also helped revise scripts for films including Sister Act (1992), Outbreak (1995) and The Wedding Singer (1998).

Fisher had a famously turbulent romance with musician Paul Simon, and their relationship (and subsequent break up) is said to have inspired much of Simon's legendary album Graceland. They divorced in 1984, but continued to date on and off for a decade after, according to People. Fisher married CAA agent Brian Lourd in 1991 and they had a child together in 1992. The couple divorced in 1994. Their daughter Billie Lourd, now 24, had a brief cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens .

Fisher struggled with drugs and mental illness throughout her life, and wrote candidly about those issues in her books and one-woman play Wishful Drinking, which was adapted into a 2009 book. She has received widespread praise from mental health advocates for her decades-long work to end the stigma around mental illness, and for her openness about her battle with bipolar disorder and addiction. "Fisher’s public admission of her bipolar disorder in 2000 paved the way for average people to learn about the little understood disease," according to Forbes.

More recently, she had a recurring role in the Amazon series, Catastrohe, playing the awful mother of Rob Delaney. Fisher had been filming episodes for the upcoming third season, and today the show's co-creator Sharon Horgan posted a brief tribute on Instagram:

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