I don’t know anyone who isn’t a fan of Star Wars. For me, it was a blatant part of my childhood. Who didn’t want a lifesaber, have boyfriend as handsome and charismatic as Harrison Ford or be Princess Leia.
Well, today I am heartbroken to write that another piece of my childhood has joined the galaxy of stars…Carrie Fisher.
I once met Carrie at a party given by a friend. She was acerbic, hilarious and great fun to be around because she always kept it real – 24/7. Remember that book she wrote called Postcards from the Edge in which Meryl Streep portrayed the fictionalized version of Carrie in the film and Shirley MacLaine was her Mom. If you haven’t seen it, you really need to check it out like yesterday.
The daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds (whose marriage and tumultuous divorce made headlines while she was just a girl), Fisher grew up in Beverly Hills and would make her first prominent acting appearance in the Broadway revival of Irene, which starred her mother. This was followed in 1975 with an acclaimed appearance in Warren Beatty’s hit comedy Shampoo.
But it was of course her second film role that would catapult her to permanent and worldwide fame. Co-starring alongside Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill in the George Lucas-directed Star Wars – since retitled Star Wars: A New Hope – Fisher portrayed Leia Organa, Princess, Senator and in the most recent film, General. Fisher would go on to portray Leia in the Star Wars sequels The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and 2015’s The Force Awakens, as well as the much-derided 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special.
She also appeared in The Blues Brothers, The Man with One Red Shoe, Hannah and Her Sisters, When Harry Met Sally…, and a slew of other films, often referencing her most well-known role…Princess Leia.
She most recently starred with her mom Debbie Reynolds in documentary Bright Lights, which premiered at the 54th New York Film Festival and appeared on Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce, Family Guy and Catastrophe.
The stress of coping with the fame and notoriety of portraying Princess Leia took a heavy toll on her, however, as she developed addictions to drugs and alcohol with which she struggled for years. Her struggle to overcome addiction provided Fisher with the inspiration for her reinvention in her 30s as an acclaimed writer. Always outspoken her battles with drugs and mental health issues, she channeled her experiences into her first novel, Postcards From The Edge.
Following an actress named Suzanne Vale struggling to put her life back together after a near-fatal drug overdose, the novel drew heavily from Fisher’s battle against substance addiction, her relationship with her mother, and even her difficulties with her most famous role. It was an immediate success the book was adapted into a 1990 film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine, directed by Mike Nichols and written by Fisher herself. She would write four other novels, including Surrender the Pink and The Best Awful There Is. Among her credited and uncredited work as a script doctor, she worked on Hook, Sister Act, Last Action Hero, Lethal Weapon 3, The Wedding Singer.
“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.”
RIP Carrie Fisher and May The Force Always Be With You sweet spirit…