Most of these articles read understandably like obituaries. In truth this obituary should be a monument to a princess. Naturally, there will be discussion of he achievements and major roles but it’s tempered with admiration. My experience with Carrie Fisher as a fan was as deeply impactful as any relationship built on respect and affection. She played by no ones rules and shaped her own destiny. Just as it all seemed to be coming to fruition her light was snuffed out.
Carrie Fisher will always be most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia, but she was a royal presence in every field. Carrie began her life in the spotlight as the daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds she could not escape the throngs of adoring fans. As the world heaped praise and attention onto her famous parents Carrie struggled to find her own place in and out of the family. In the early years she followed her mother and even acted in her various stage shows. Carrie’s talent was impossible to hide and before long she earned fame in her own right.
In 1975 she landed the role of Lorna in the Warren Beatty vehicle Shampoo. The film performed well launching several into the atmosphere, and propelling Carrie to a galaxy far, far away. Her next feature film would shape her life for the next four decades. Star Wars: A New Hope premiering in 77’ made the starlet a household name. Her visage was plastered on every conceivable media and the style of her character became legend. She struggled in the early years of this franchise to keep the weight off, as she was galaxy hopping in outfits now the stuff of male fantasy. Her turn in the Slave Leia costume is an image readily retrievable for most.
From her new found position in Hollywood. This position being, star in her own right, she offered wit and wisdom about the industry and those who take themselves to seriously in it. Carrie was a prolific talent excelling as an author, screenwriter, actress, stage presence, and mental health advocate. She wrote over seven books one of which was transformed into a film. Her screenwriting talents include award winning Meryl Steep vehicle Postcards From The Edge. The story centers around a young actress with a substance abuse problem forced to move back with her estranged mother to avoid unemployment and destitution.
The story definitely had shades of familiarity for Carrie who herself suffered with substance abuse. Moreover for many years she had a strained relationship with her famous mother. Both issues would be righted later in her life. Fisher took to the stage in her one-woman show Wishful Drinking to reveal all the grit and grime of her life. Part of the impetuous behind her books and stage performances was her battle with Bipolar Disorder. She suffered for years with this crippling disorder. Not one to ever be a damsel in distress she became a spokeswoman for all those suffering with it.
She was a superstar. I fell in love with Carrie when I was seven years old and watched Star Wars for the first time. She stole my heart as the kick ass Princess Leia and kept it as the wildly talented Carrie Fisher. My whole life I have secretly measured my love interests against the intelligence, strength, and humor of Carrie. I’ve also not so secretly measured our compatibility by how much they like Star Wars/ Princess Leia. There are no words to describe the loss of your first crush. The woman that first makes you say, “she’s the one”. That boyhood fascination you share with your friends. Even now as an adult it is hard to digest that our heroine our first love is gone.
You will be missed. Women today are forever changed by the example you set. You showed it was possible for the damsel to handle her distress and hold her own against the scoundrels. You also made it ok to look like a Greek Goddess while kicking ass. Today’s world of superheroes and skimpy outfits is a lesser byproduct of Princess Leia’s example. She was strong of heart and mind with real life courage to conquer her own demons and reach the stars.
You are missed.
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