Carrie Fisher, the actress best known as Star Wars‘ Princess Leia Organa, has died after suffering a heart attack. She was 60.
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,” reads the statement.
“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Fisher was flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital.
Within the last 48 hours, we’ve also lost Vera Rubin, who discovered dark matter and was an inspiration to generations of women who went into astronomy, and George Michael, whose music I didn’t particularly love but who meant a lot to many.
There’s been some arguing over whether 2016 has actually been that bad for celebrity deaths. The argument goes that we have more famous people than ever before and many of those are at an age where death is not unexpected (e.g., Rubin, who was 88). I can see that argument. And I won’t mourn too heavily for someone who lives to be in their 80’s or 90’s. But we’ve seen a lot of big names taken this year well before their time — Prince, Bowie and now Fisher. So I can see both sides of the argument.
Either way, Fisher was an icon to my generation and her presence in The Force Awakens was one of the many good things about it. I don’t know if you’ve seen Rogue One, but if you have, you’ll know why the ending of that movie is now particularly poignant (the movie is great, BTW, and you should totally see it).
RIP, Ms. Fisher. We didn’t have you with us nearly long enough.