NEW YORK/CHICAGO (REUTERS) – Hollywood actress Carrie Fisher was in stable condition, her mother Debbie Reynolds said on Sunday (Dec 25), after the Star Wars star suffered a cardiac episode two days earlier on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
“Carrie is in stable condition. If there is a change, we will share it. For all her fans and friends, I thank you for your prayers and good wishes,” Reynolds said on Twitter.
Fans of the actress who famously portrayed Princess Leia in Star Wars said they were saddened by the 60-year-old’s illness and hospitalisation.
But they said they were inspired by the appearance of a young Princess Leia in the saga’s most recent movie playing in theaters this weekend.
Fisher suffered heart problems shortly before her flight landed in Los Angeles on Friday and received emergency treatment on the plane before she was rushed to a hospital.
A stable condition would be an upgrade from Friday, when her brother, Todd Fisher, said she was in critical condition. The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has declined to comment, citing patient confidentiality laws.
The daughter of a Hollywood power couple, movie star Reynolds and entertainer Eddie Fisher, she achieved her own fame portraying Princess Leia in the cinematic space saga launched in 1977.
After celebrity friends and co-stars wished her well on Saturday, many fans went to a Christmas Day screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which a digital replica of the young Princess Leia appears on screen at the end.
“It’s kind of surreal that this movie is coming out now and to think of Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia having a heart attack, it’s pretty terrifying,” Mike Rosenberg, 28, who works in finance, said at a Times Square cinema.
“It’s Christmas Day. I’m sure everyone has her in their heart today.”
The audience gasped when seeing Princess Leia, said Heather Kemp, a 44-yer-old attorney who had just seen Rogue One in a Times Square cinema.
“It was sad and it was inspiring at the same time,” Kemp said. “Whenever you see any of the characters like C3PO and R2D2, there were reactions. But yeah, definitely for her.”
The Princess Leia character, who was courageous and a capable fighter as well as glamorous, was a role model for Kemp when she first saw the original movie.
“She’s spunky,” Kemp said.
At least one fan in the Chicago suburb of Skokie expressed optimism for Fisher by attributing Leia-like abilities to the actress.
“She’s a warrior and will pull through,” said Alexa Mullally, 38. “I grew up watching Star Wars and adored Princess Leia.”
At another screening in Evanston, Gary Mendel, 50, summed up the feelings of many fans who saw a long list of beloved celebrities die in 2016. “I’m hoping 2016 took enough of our idols and will let her recover,” Mendel said.