This is some fucking bullshit. Carrie Fisher—life idol to millions of women across generations for her strong portrayal of Princess Leia in a genre once thought to be dominated by men, as well as a brilliant, brilliantly funny writer who helped to normalize women talking about mental health struggles—has died aged 60 after having a heart attack. We needed another 16 books from her, and a lifetime longer of her guidance, wisdom and wit. It’s too goddamn soon.
People reports that Fisher’s death was confirmed by her daughter, actress Billie Lourd, via family spokesman Simon Halls:
“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.”
Fisher was on a plane returning from London for Christmas when she went into cardiac arrest Friday. She had been promoting her latest book, The Princess Diarist, which chronicled her affair with Harrison Ford during the filming of Star Wars. It is so classically Carrie Fisher that she spilled a little tea before she left us.
Though Fisher had recently reprised her role as Princess Leia in 2015's The Force Awakens, for decades she’s considered herself primarily a writer, something she did with flair, aplomb and grace. The Princess Diarist was her third autobiographical book, but her novels and screenplays were semi-autobiographical, including 1987's Postcards from the Edge. In that book, later made into an acclaimed film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, she wrote about a woman with a flagging film career trying to make it through rehab for drugs and dealing with an overbearing mother. (Fisher’s real-life mother is Debbie Reynolds, who is 84; she chronicled their relationship in her wonderful book and stage show Wishful Drinking.)
Throughout her life, Fisher was open about both her addiction to drugs and her mental health issues; in her writing about it, she was acerbic, self-deprecating, honest and prone to grand statements at once, as conversational and intimate as a beloved friend. She was flawed and fabulous, the type of woman those of us who might feel a little out of place aspired to be. She was a role model, a warrior, a genius. She smoked a Blu e-cig like no one ever has.
Fisher was preceded in death by her father, the singer Eddie Fisher. In addition to her mother Debbie Reynolds and daughter Billie Lourd, Fisher leaves behind her beloved French bulldog, Gary.