Steven Spielberg revealed he has “always stood in awe” of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, who died yesterday aged 60.

The Academy Award-winning director paid tribute to Fisher, the daughter of Jewish singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, who passed away just days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

Spielberg, 70, said: “I have always stood in awe of Carrie.  Her observations always made me laugh and gasp at the same time.  She didn’t need The Force.  She was a force of nature, of loyalty and of friendship.  I will miss her very much.”

Jewish celebrities have added to the tributes for Fisher, who shot to fame as Princess Leia in the 1977 sci-fi blockbuster and went on to appear in three Star Wars sequels including 2015’s seventh film in the franchise, The Force Awakens.

Her co-star Harrison Ford, said: “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.”

Carrie Fisher

Steven Spielberg lead the tributes to Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher

Meanwhile, Star Trek actor William Shatner said via his Twitter account: “I’m deeply saddened to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher. I will miss our banterings. A wonderful talent & light has been extinguished.”

Comedienne Roseanne Barr tweeted: “Hail Hail! A genius has vacated this realm-RIP Carrie Fisher,” while talk show legend Larry King said: “We’ve lost a true gem with Carrie Fisher’s passing. Her humor, talent and brutal honesty were gifts to the world. Her voice will be missed.”

British actor and presenter Stephen Fry added: “She was the brightest, funniest, bravest, kindest, cleverest and sweetest person I ever knew. A crushing blow to lose.”