Remembering the eternal “Princess Leia” Carrie Fisher

The actress famous for her “Star Wars” character was born on this day in 1956

Remembering the eternal “Princess Leia” Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher would have been 63 today. On December 27th, 2016 the actress suffered a major heart attack and passed away shortly thereafter. Her mother Hollywood Legend Debbie Reynolds would tragically die the very next day at 84. Bringing a sad end to a year where we had lost so many icons.

Born on October 21, 1956, Fisher was raised in Beverly Hills with her younger brother. Known for her love of reading, Fisher was regarded as a bookworm during her youth and eventually developed an interest in theater. At age 15, Fisher appeared in the Broadway revival of Irene and eventually attended London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. In 1975, the actress made her big screen debut in “Shampoo” alongside Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. But it was two years later that Fisher landed the role of a lifetime when she was cast as Princess Leia in George Lucas’ “Star Wars”. Fisher first played Princess Leia in 1977 in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope”. Initially, the actress didn’t think the space opera would hit it off with general audiences, but her thoughts were quickly turned once the sci-fi flick became a hit. Fisher would go on to reprise her role as Leia in the next two Star Wars films to round out the original trilogy. Outside of Star Wars, Fisher has starred in numerous films and television series. She appeared in “The Blue Brothers” and “The Man With One Red Shoe”, making her one of few actors to work alongside both John and James Belushi. She is also an accomplished writer who published her first novel in 1987 titled “Postcards from the Edge”. The book was picked up by Colombia Pictures and turned into a film adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Dennis Quaid. The actress would reprise her role of Leia for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens along with co-stars Mark Hammill and Harrison Ford. Fisher also had connections with the second Star Wars trilogy as a script doctor. Before her passing Fisher was promoting her nonfiction novel titled “The Princess Diarist”. The bestseller is a collection of journals that Fisher kept during the filming of the first Star Wars film. In June 2017, a coroner’s report was released which revealed that Fisher had a mixture of drugs in her system, including evidence of cocaine, methadone, MDMA, alcohol and opiates, when she suffered cardiac arrest. The report noted that “sleep apnea and other undetermined factors” contributed to Fisher’s death. Her daughter actress Billie Lourd addressed the findings and her mother’s open struggles with addiction. ”My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life,” she said. “She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases. I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles,” she added. “Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programs. Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure. Love you Momby,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was released on December 15, 2017, ant it was Carrie Fisher’s final film performance.



Look back at Carrie Fisher’s debut role in “Shampoo”, 1975



Watch an interview with Carrie Fisher on Ellen, 2016



By Ken Warren, 2017/18

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