Actress Carrie Fisher in intensive care unit after ‘cardiac episode’
Hollywood actress and writer Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, suffered a cardiac episode on Friday during a flight from London to Los Angeles, where she was rushed to a hospital after landing.
Fisher, 60, was described by her younger brother, Todd Fisher, as being in critical condition, and he said she remained under medical treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a Los Angeles hospital several hours after becoming ill. Earlier, he told Associated Press she was stable.
“It’s not fair to say ‘stable.’ I am not saying she is fine, or not fine,” he told Reuters by telephone in response to reports about her condition. “She is in the ICU.”
He said he was driving and en route to pick up their mother, the veteran entertainer Debbie Reynolds. Todd Fisher offered no details about his sister’s condition or the circumstances of how she was stricken. He said the information had came from his sister’s assistant.
The Los Angeles Times cited one unnamed source as saying the actress had been “in a lot of distress on the flight” after suffering a “cardiac episode” on the plane, which landed at Los Angeles International Airport shortly after noon.
The city Fire Department confirmed that its emergency personnel met an arriving flight at the airport to treat a patient in “cardiac arrest,” but declined to identify the individual, citing medical confidentiality laws.
However, two passengers who said they were aboard the flight and sitting near Fisher posted messages on Twitter reporting that she had fallen ill. Well-known YouTube performer Anna Akana tweeted that Fisher had “stopped breathing,” and comedian Brad Cage, who said he and Akana were sitting in front of the actress, tweeted separately that Fisher was taken off the plane by paramedics.
United Airlines issued a statement saying that Flight 935 from London to Los Angeles was met on the ground by medical personnel after the crew reported that a passenger was “unresponsive.” The airline also declined to name the passenger.
Fisher, who has been on a tour promoting a new memoir, The Princess Diarist, made her big-screen debut as a teenager in the 1975 comedy Shampoo. But her big break come in 1977 as the intrepid Princess Leia in the first of several Star Wars movies.
Fans and colleagues in the entertainment industry, including Star Wars co-stars Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew, sent an outpouring of concern and well-wishes on social media immediately after the reports surfaced.