Carrie Fisher leaves behind a wonderful legacy far beyond Princess Leia.
Carrie Fisher, the actress, novelist, and comedienne best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, has passed away at age 60 following a heart attack on a flight between London and Los Angeles on December 23, 2016.
A spokesperson for the family released the following confirmation to EW:
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning. She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Fisher was the daughter of well-known actress Debbie Reynolds and actor Eddie Fisher. She was raised in the Hollywood spotlight and had no qualms at poking fun at the movie industry throughout her life. She got her first taste of on-screen fame with a small role in Shampoo. Shortly after that, she met George Lucas while auditioning for the lead role in Stephen King’s Carrie with the director’s mentor, Brian De Palma– She didn’t get that role, but Lucas had another one in mind for her. She won him over in her audition as rebel princess Leia.
As Princess Leia, Fisher was praised for giving the character much needed spunk and a sense of agency that wasn’t often present in women in film. Star Wars and Leia were beloved, earning Fisher and her co-stars worldwide fame. Though she was best known for the role and never escaped its notoriety, Fisher had a whooping 89 acting credits in film and television, plus multiple stage appearances.
Though she didn’t shy away from the Star Wars franchise or talking about her role, Fisher struggled with celebrity status. She admitted to years of drug use to combat her bi-polar disorder in the 1980s before become an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness for the rest of her life. Her struggle was the basis for her first novel turned screenplay, Postcards From The Edge.
Fisher released three more fictional novels, Surrender The Pink, Delusions of Grandma, and The Best Awful There Is. She also crafted three brilliant, poignant and humorous autobiographical novels: Wishful Drinking, Shockaholic, and The Princess Diarist, the first of which was adapted into a one-woman stage show. On top of her own screenplays and stage plays, she also did work doctoring screenplays for films like Sister Act and The Wedding Singer.
Carrie Fisher is survived by her mother; her daughter, actress Billie Lourd; three siblings, Todd Fisher, Joely Fisher, and Tricia Leigh Fisher; as well as her beloved French bulldog, Gary. A bright figure in the world of fantasy, feminism, and advocacy who inspired so many, she will be sorely missed.