Carrie Fisher’s death due to ‘sleep apnoea and other causes’

Actor best known for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars died in December aged 60

Carrie Fisher came from a Hollywood family, as the daughter of actor Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. Photograph: Getty Images

Carrie Fisher came from a Hollywood family, as the daughter of actor Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The death last year of actor Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, was due to sleep apnoea and other causes, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said in a statement on Friday.

Sleep apnoea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

Fisher died aged 60 on December 27th, four days after she became unresponsive on a flight from London to Los Angeles and was rushed to a hospital.

She was a mental health advocate who spoke about her struggles with bipolar disorder and cocaine addiction.

Aside from her film work, she was also popular as a writer and humorist and her memoir “The Princess Diarist” was released a few weeks before she died.

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has since found she died of sleep apnoea and “other undetermined factors”, said the coroner.

Fisher also had atherosclerotic heart disease and had used drugs, the statement said, but noted the significance of these factors in relation to her death had not been ascertained.

Fisher came from a Hollywood family, as the daughter of actor Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher.

Suffered a stroke

The day after Carrie Fisher died, Reynolds, who starred in Hollywood musicals such as Singin’ in the Rain suffered a stroke and died, aged 84. Eddie Fisher died in 2010.

Born in Beverly Hills, Carrie Fisher got her show business start at age 12 in her mother’s Las Vegas nightclub act. She made her film debut as a teenager in 1975 comedy Shampoo, two years before her breakthrough in the first Star Wars movie.

Fisher reprised the role in later Star Wars sequels, gaining sex symbol status in Return of the Jedi in 1983 when her Leia character was enslaved by the diabolical Jabba the Hutt.

In the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also known as Episode VII of the franchise, she appeared again as Leia, who by then had become an astute military general.

After undergoing treatment in the mid-1980s for cocaine addiction, Fisher wrote the bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge, about a drug-abusing actress forced to move in with her mother. The book was later adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.