Carrie Fisher, the actress best known as Princess, then General, Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise, died on Dec. 27 at the age of 60, after suffering a heart attack days four days earlier.
Anyone watching the news or checking their Facebook or Twitter feeds on Dec. 23 got the devastating news that the actress went into cardiac arrest while flying from London to Los Angeles.
We got some hope when we heard she was in stable condition because anyone who knows Fisher’s story knows what a fighter she is. But, alas, tragedy struck.
Family spokesman Simon Halls released a statement to People 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.”
Fisher’s sisters Joely and Trisha Leigh Fisher have also broken their silence on the tragic news.
Breaking my silence with a broken 💔 heart…the Unfathomable loss…the earth is off its axis today…how dare you take her away from us pic.twitter.com/fUHwsHRwyy
— Joely Fisher (@MsJoelyFisher) 27 December 2016
— Tricia Leigh Fisher (@TriciaLFisher) 27 December 2016
Fisher touched people in so many ways, from her Star Wars co-stars and other actors, to women in general, for her strong, unapologetic, badass portrayal of Leia. But what many may not know about was her fight against mental illness and addiction.
In what was her final open letter, published by The Guardian on Nov. 30, Fisher doled out advice to a reader struggling with bipolar disorder. She explained how she herself avoided accepting her own bipolar diagnosis for years, but attending support group meetings—which she initially hated—helped share the burden.
“We have been given a challenging illness, and there is no other option than to meet those challenges,” Fisher wrote. “Think of it as an opportunity to be heroic—not ‘I survived living in Mosul during an attack’ heroic, but an emotional survival. An opportunity to be a good example to others who might share our disorder. That’s why it’s important to find a community–however small–of other bipolar people to share experiences and find comfort in the similarities.”
Hollywood’s own took to Twitter to express their grief:
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 27, 2016
“Devastated at this monumental loss. How lucky we all are to have known her, and how awful that we have to say goodbye.” -Daisy 💙 pic.twitter.com/XEXH9Fz3Za
— Daisy Ridley❄️ (@_DaisyRidley_) December 27, 2016
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) December 27, 2016
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.
— Anthony Daniels (@ADaniels3PO) December 27, 2016
Dearest Carrie, so incredibly sad to say farewell so soon to such a beautifully honest and unique human being- see you in the multiverse.
— Andy Serkis (@andyserkis) December 27, 2016
— James Arnold Taylor (@JATactor) December 27, 2016
So so so sad. Thank you, Carrie Fisher. What a loss.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 27, 2016
#CarrieFisher was so witty and provocative and unrelentingly interesting. Goddamn, I loved her. Everyone did.
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) December 27, 2016
My heart is heavy but I’m grateful that I got to know her. I’ll cherish the memories, conversations and her consistent support. Rest well ❤️ pic.twitter.com/SkPiRgGf03
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) December 28, 2016
She was a walking masterclass. Remained so upbeat throughout her life and career. Unapologetically Carrie Fisher. Always.
— Jordan Fisher (@Jordan_Fisher) December 27, 2016
R.I.P. Carrie Fisher. A brilliantly funny, talented woman. We will miss your humor now more than ever.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) December 27, 2016
Carrie Fisher. RIP. What a talent. What a year. pic.twitter.com/yEFfv2GN6K
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) December 27, 2016
Carrie is survived by Lourd, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, brother Todd Fisher, half-sisters Joely and Tricia Leigh, and beloved French bulldog, Gary, who will be cared for by her daughter. RIP, Carrie. The world already isn’t the same.