Actress Carrie Fisher, famed for portraying Princess Leia in the classic “Star Wars” film series, was out of emergency care Saturday after suffering some type of medical problem that may have been a heart attack aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles.
Her brother confirmed reports of the medical incident, but would not characterize her condition.
She was removed from the plane by paramedics and hospitalized after arriving at LAX Friday.
The website TMZ reported that the 60-year-old daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds suffered a “massive heart attack” on the flight, and passengers performed CPR on the actress and author.
Asked for comment about Fisher, United Airlines officials said, “Medical personnel met United flight 935 from London to Los Angeles upon arrival today (Friday) after the crew reported that a passenger was unresponsive. Our thoughts are with our customer at this time and any requests for additional information should be directed to local authorities.”
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, crews responded to Los Angeles International Airport at 12:11 p.m. “for a patient on an inbound flight in cardiac arrest.
LAFD firefighter paramedics were standing by for the plane’s arrival, provided advanced life support and aggressively treated and transported the patient to a local hospital.”
The LAFD did not identify the patient as Fisher. There was no immediate word on her condition. The Los Angeles Times reported she was in critical condition.
According to TMZ, paramedics were able to get a pulse after working on Fisher for about 15 minutes, and she was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where she’s on a ventilator.
Late Friday afternoon, Fisher’s brother Todd was quoted in media reports as saying his sister was “out of emergency” and stable, but he later said that although she was not in intensive care, he could not characterize her condition or say what caused her to become stricken.
A woman who said she was sitting near Fisher on the flight wrote on Twitter that Fisher “stopped breathing.”
“She wasn’t breathing for 10 minutes or so,” wrote the passenger, Anna Akana. “They were administering CPR up until we landed.”
She wrote that a doctor and nurse who were passengers on the flight helped attend to Fisher, along with members of the United Airlines flight crew.
Another passenger, Brad Gage, wrote on Twitter that he was sitting in front of Fisher on the flight, “and she was just taken off the plane by EMTs.”
The flight touched down at LAX shortly after noon.
Fisher reprised her role as Princess Leia in the 2015 film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” She pioneered the character in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, the first film of which was released in 1977.
Fisher has been touring to promote her latest book, “The Princess Diarist.”
The actress was briefly married to singer Paul Simon in the 1980s. She has a 24-year-old daughter, Billie Catherine Lourd, fathered by talent agent Bryan Lourd. Billie Lourd was at the hospital Friday afternoon with her mother, as was Fisher’s beloved French bulldog, Gary.
Fisher has openly discussed her struggles with cocaine and prescription medication abuse, memorialized in her memoir, “Wishful Drinking,” which was adapted from her one-woman stage play of the same name.
She has authored eight books, but her latest, “The Princess Diarist,” made headlines when it was released in November for its disclosure that she had an affair with then-married actor Harrison Ford during filming of the original “Star Wars.”
In addition to “Star Wars,” Fisher has appeared in such films as “The Blues Brothers,” “The Man with One Red Shoe,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” “The ‘Burbs,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “Fanboys.”
“Star Wars” star Mark Hamill, who portrayed Luke Skywalker, wrote on Twitter, “As if 2016 couldn’t get any worse … sending all our love to @carriefisher.”
Peter Mayhew, who portrayed Chewbacca in “Star Wars,” added: “Thoughts and prayers for our friend and everyone’s favorite princess right now.”
Fisher also lends her voice to the animated series, “Family Guy,” voicing Peter Griffin’s brewery boss, Angela.
Alex Borstein, who also lends her voice to the show, tweeted, “Very (expletive) angry at Carrie Fisher’s heart. Hoping our `Angela’ will be okay. familyguyfamily”
— City News Service