Mark Hamill pays tribute to 'Princess' Carrie Fisher during Tony Awards 'In Memoriam' segment

Mark Hamill took the stage at the 71st Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, where he paid special tribute to an actress close to his heart -- his friend and Star Wars co-star Carrie Fisher.

The 65-year-old actor honored Fisher, who died in December, while introducing the Tony Awards' emotional "In Memoriam" segment.

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"This past year, we lost many beloved members of our theatrical family. Legends of the stage, artists from behind the scenes, princes of show business, and a princess," Hamill said, subtly referring to Fisher's iconic role as Princess Leia as he touched his hand to his heart.

"They inspired a generation of theater lovers projecting strength, resilience, and integrity," he continued. "We'll cherish their passion and their expertise that made Broadway what it is today and their indomitable spirit that continues to influence what it strives to become tomorrow."

The legendary actress and writer, who wrote and starred in an autobiographical one-woman play, Wishful Drinking, died in December, days after going into cardiac arrest during a flight from London to Los Angeles International Airport. After receiving advanced life support from the paramedics, Fisher was relocated to a nearby hospital where she later died.

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In May, Hamill and several other members of Fisher's Star Wars family opened up to Vanity Fair about working alongside the iconic actress, and how they've dealt with the loss.

According to Hamill, whose 40-year friendship with Fisher began when they appeared alongside each other in the original 1977 Star Wars film, the reality of Fisher's death is too much for him to comprehend.

"I can't say that phrase... Carrie's name and then the d-word," he said. "Because I think of her in the present tense. Maybe it's a form of denial, but she's so vibrant in my mind, and so vital a part of the family, that I can't imagine it without her... It's just so untimely, and I'm so angry."

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