A Tribute to Carrie Fisher (1956 to 2016)

(Photo property of Carrie Fisher)

It is with deep regret and sadness that I have to report this death.

Numerous media outlets including ABC, The Associated Press, People, and Rolling Stone have reported the death of actress and author Carrie Fisher.

Ms. Fisher was born to Hollywood luminaries Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher in Beverly Hills, California on October 21, 1956.

Like her famous parents, Ms. Fisher caught the acting bug at an early age and left high school to perform as a singer in the 1973 Broadway revival Irene, which also starred her mother.  She followed that project up by making her film debut with Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn in 1975’s Shampoo.

 

(Photo property of 20th Century Fox & Lucasfilm)

But in 1977, her life along with the lives of her co-stars, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), were forever changed with the release of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope. Fisher portrayed Princess Leia Organa, one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders. Eventually, in the Return of the Jedi, it was revealed that Leia was the brother of Luke Skywalker and the daughter of one of cinema’s feared villains: Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones).

After reprising Leia in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and 1983’s Return of the Jedi, Fisher appeared in numerous films such as 1980’s The Blues Brothers, 1985’s The Man with One Red Shoe, 1986’s Hannah & Her Sisters, 1989’s When Harry Met Sally and The ‘Burbs, 1991’s Soapdish & Hook.  Eventually, Ms. Fisher transferred to a more behind the scenes role as she fell in writing.

She published her very first book: the 1987 semi-autobiographical Postcards from the Edge. The book transformed into a 1990 film that starred iconic actresses Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Ms. Fisher followed up with four more novels including 1990’s Surrender the Pink, 1993’s Delusions of Grandma, 2001’s Hollywood Moms, and 2004’s The Best Awful There Is.

Ms. Fisher’s biggest book that brought her back into the public eye was her 2008 autobiographical Wishful Drinking. The book spun off Ms. Fisher’s one-woman play and a 2011 film documentary.  She wrote two more autobiographies including 2011’s Shockaholic and this year’s The Princess Diarist.

In addition to work as an actress and author, Ms. Fisher was a strong advocate for mental health. She bravely shared her battles with bipolar disorder and addictions to both cocaine and prescription medicine on shows such as 20/20, the Today Show, and Stephen Fry’s The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.

Millennials might remember Ms. Fisher for her cameos in various media such as 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, Entourage, Family Guy, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and Smallville. Thankfully, she made her final return to the Star Wars universe in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII as General Leia Organa.

She is survived by her mother, daughter Billie Lourd, brother Todd Fisher, and her beloved dog: Gary.

Jake’s Take is sending its thoughts and prayers to Ms. Fisher’s family, friends, and fans! Ms. Fisher, thank you for entertaining us with your work over the past five decades. We will miss you and “May the Force Be Always With You.”

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar