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.”
As People.com reports, 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.
The daughter of showbiz veteran Debbie Reynolds and entertainer Eddie Fisher, Fisher was brought up in the sometimes tumultuous world of film, theatre and television.
Escaping Hollywood in 1973, the star enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she spent over a year studying acting.
Just two years later, though, the bright lights of Hollywood drew her back, and Fisher made her film debut in the Warren Beatty-lead Shampoo.
Her role in Star Wars would follow in 1977 – the experience she recently detailed in memoir, The Princess Diarist. She was only 19 when the first installment of the beloved sci-fi franchise was filmed.
Billie Lourd, Fisher’s only child, was born in July 1992.
For her obituary, Carrie had some personal recommendations from this 2008 article written by Carrie Fisher:
Remember the white dress I wore all through that film? George came up to me the first day of filming, took one look at the dress and said: ‘You can’t wear a bra under that dress.’
‘OK, I’ll bite,’ I said. ‘Why?’ And he said: ‘Because … there’s no underwear in space.’
He said it with such conviction. Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn’t see any bras or panties anywhere.
He explained. ‘You go into space and you become weightless. Then your body expands but your bra doesn’t, so you get strangled by your own underwear.’
I think that this would make for a fantastic obituary. I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.
And so another talent who will be fondly remembered by generations of movie goers dies, lost in a year which has seen a disproportionally great number of entertainment icons quietly pass away.