In Memoriam 2016: Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher, the actress best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars series, has died at the age of 60 after suffering from cardiac arrest.
However, her legacy doesn’t end on December 27, 2016.
Fisher began her long-lasting career in film and media with the release of Shampoo in 1975. She starred opposite film legends Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. But with the release of Star Wars in 1977, she sprang to international fame alongside fellow actors Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill.
Fisher’s career continued throughout the ‘80s with hits such as The Blues Brothers, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and many other iconic Broadway and box office productions.
True fans will remember Fisher’s role as one of the top script doctors in Hollywood. As a script doctor, she polished up screenplays, often improving movie dialogue, for nearly 15 years (1991-2005). Her work included Hook, the Star Wars prequels, The Wedding Singer, Coyote Ugly, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Beginning in the late 1980s and into later life, Carrie Fisher became an award winning and bestselling author. Her first novel, Postcards from the Edge, fictionalized and satirized her off-screen issues, such as drug addiction and her personal relationship with her mother.
She continued writing novels, non-fiction memoirs, autobiographies, and screenplays up until her death.
Yet, Fisher’s life wasn’t all glamour and glitz. Like many actors, she quietly suffered from substance abuse and mental health conditions for years. But her open acknowledgement of and discussion about both issues helped advance the public discourse. She even received Harvard College’s Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism for her activism about addiction and mental illness.
Fisher was an actress, writer, producer, playwright, screenwriter, icon, and survivor. She was all of these things and more. Carrie Fisher is a hero.
Her role as a strong female protagonist in the Star Wars films and in life will continue to inspire generations to move forward. And adults and children alike will continue to flex their imaginations and look beyond our galaxy because of Carrie Fisher.
In the words of Lor San Tekka, “To me, she is royalty.”