Good-bye, Princess Leia

Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope - 1977

Carrie Fisher, best known for her portrayal as Star Wars’ Princess Leia, died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack.

The following statement from her daughter, Billie Lourd, was read by Simon Halls. “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.”

According to reports, Fisher, 60, was on a plane two days before Chrsitmas from London to Los Angeles when she was reported to go into cardiac arrest. She was treated for a heart attack. After hearing of her death, I reflected on Carrie Fisher and her career. The daughter of award-winning entertainers, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Carrie made her acting debut in the Warren Beatty-led ‘Shampoo,’ before making her mark in Hollywood in ‘Star Wars.’

In fact, that was the first time that I met Carrie Fisher. I was seven years old. I was sitting in the theater in Dallas, Texas with my sister, Tracey, my cousins, John and Kevin and my uncle Troy. The room was dark, the popcorn was smelling buttery and was quite tasty.

Princess Leia appeared on the screen, and I remember thinking – ‘I want to be here.’ She was pretty, she was strong and she could kick alien booty in a hot flash. Plus, she got to fly and hang out with Han Solo. What girl wasn’t excited about Han?I even have a toy – a mini Princess Lei action figure.

Her second and third Star Wars films didn’t disappoint, and her reappearance in Star Force with “The Force Awakens” was outstanding too. In the 1980s, Carrie was in The Blues Brothers, the Man with One Red Shoe, Hannah and Her Sisters and When Harry Met Sally.

Her life off the Hollywood path was not always easy– she dove into drugs. By the time she was 21, she was into LSD. In the mid-1980s, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Carrie’s life took a lot of odd turns. In the 1990s, she focused on her writing career- Fisher published a few memoirs and several pieces of fiction. She also was a ‘ghost writer’ of sorts on several Hollywood scripts.

In 2005, Carrie was honored with the Women of Vision Award by the Women in Film and Video – DC. After that, her autobiography, ‘Wishful Drinking,’ was turned into a one-woman stage show and HBO documentary.

Looking through the pages of several of Carrie’s books – both fictional and not, I noticed 70ffceb224c1d393f62b694408ccc6c7something. Carrie always seemed to be looking for something. Her beginning characters always seemed to be somewhat ‘lost.’ As she got older and more accepting of herself – you could tell it. Her words, her fiction and even her non-fiction, showed a Carrie who had become more accepting, more in tune and more accountable for her own actions.

Either way, Carrie was a favorite of many. People applauded her for her acting, her writing and her surviving the uglies in life.

She will be missed.

Pictured with her is her beloved dog, Gary.


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