• Mattie Stu

The Legacy of Carrie Fisher

Carrie Frances Fisher was born on the 21st of October, 1956, in Los Angeles, California. As the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, she was destined for a life in the spotlight. In fact, Carrie failed to graduate from both high school and drama school due to her eagerness to follow in the footsteps of her parents. In 1975, Fisher made her film debut in the Columbia Pictures comedy Shampoo. However, her big break came two years later, when she was cast as Leia Organa in George Lucas' blockbuster Star Wars. As the smart and wisecracking princess, opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, Carrie became a pop culture icon. And by reprising the role in both of its sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), she cemented herself as a superstar...

Following the success of Star Wars, Carrie Fisher appeared in The Blues Brothers alongside Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. She even returned to Broadway, performing in Censored Scenes from King Kong and later Agnes of God. Unfortunately, Carrie's career began to suffer in the early to mid-1980s, as she wrestled with addiction and depression. As the decade drew to a close, however, a semi-autobiographical account of Fisher's struggles and her relationship with her mother became an award-winning bestseller. Postcards from the Edge was even adapted into a screenplay for a 1990 film of the same name, featuring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. With a once more flourishing career, Carrie performed in a series of supporting roles and became one of Hollywood's most sought after screen writers. As a result, she revised scripts such as Sister Act (1992), Outbreak (1995) and The Wedding Singer (1998). Fisher's career came in full circle in 2015, with the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. The return to her career-defining role helped the movie smash box office records and earn more than $247 million domestically in its opening weekend alone. Knowing she still had plenty of gas left in the tank, Carrie agreed to once more portray Leia in Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is scheduled for release in 2017.

In her personal life, Carrie had one child from a relationship with agent Bryan Lourd. This followed a brief engagement with Dan Aykroyd and a marriage with singer/songwriter Paul Simon, which ran from August 1983 to July 1984. However, arguably Fisher's most notable relationship was with Harrison Ford in 1976. So intense was the affair that she described it in her 2016 memoir The Princess Diarist as “Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.” Unfortunately, only a month after the book's release, Carrie suffered a massive heart attack while traveling from London to California. She was administered CPR while in the air and was rushed to hospital immediately upon landing in Los Angeles. Fisher was said to be in a stable condition. However, four days after, the beloved actress passed away aged 60. Her death broke the hearts of millions across the globe, but none more than her mother:

“I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie.”

While making funeral arrangements for her daughter, Debbie Reynolds suffered a stroke. She passed away not long after.

Carrie wasn't just an actress. She was more than Marquine, the Mystery Woman, April, Carol Peterson, Marie, Sally Hansen, Angela and Princess Leia. Sure, she will be remembered for masterfully portraying each character, but Fisher was someone who spoke her mind, who lived life carefree and to the full, who overcame addiction and mental illness, who campaigned for causes she truly believed in, and most importantly, she was a great friend to anyone who really knew her. Carrie Fisher will be missed. However, she will never be forgotten.

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