US actress Carrie Fisher has died at the age of 60 just days after suffering a heart attack during a flight. 

According to TMZ, the beloved star, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the iconic Star Wars franchise, passed away in a UCLA medical center where she was taken following the on-board heart attack.

A number of Fisher's co-stars and figures in the film industry have since spoken out about her death, including LucasFilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, who released a statement on the official Star Wars Facebook page. 

"Carrie holds such special place in the hearts of everyone at Lucasfilm it is difficult to think of a world without her," the statement reads.

"She was Princess Leia to the world but a very special friend to all of us. She had an indomitable spirit, incredible wit, and a loving heart.

"Carrie also defined the female hero of our age over a generation ago. Her groundbreaking role as Princess Leia served as an inspiration of power and confidence for young girls everywhere. We will miss her dearly."

As well as her starring role in Star Wars, Fisher also appeared in a number of other classic and cult films, including When Harry Met Sally, The Blues Brothers and The 'Burbs.

She was also a best-selling author, having written a string of hugely successful books including Postcards From The Edge (1987), Hollywood Moms (2001), Wishful Drinking (2008) and The Princess Diarist which was released just last month.

TMZ have reported that a LucasFilm official confirmed Fisher will again reprise her character in Star Wars: Episode VIII set for release next year, as she had wrapped all her scenes prior to her tragic passing. 

Director JJ Abrams said of Fisher's death, "You didn't need to meet Carrie Fisher to understand her power.

"She was just as brilliant and beautiful, tough and wonderful, incisive and funny as you could imagine. 

"What an unfair thing to lose her. How lucky to have been blessed with her at all."

Meanwhile, Harrison Ford spoke in a statement given to TheWrap.

"Carrie was one-of-a-kind… brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless.

"She lived her life, bravely…My thoughts are with her daughter Billie, her mother Debbie, her brother Todd, and her many friends. We will all miss her."

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