Rest in Peace Princess Leia
The force will be with her, now and always.
by Jason Koenigsberg
Beloved actress and author Carrie Fisher has passed away. She was undeniably most well known for her iconic role as Princess Leia Organa from the original Star Wars trilogy, a role she reprised last year in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Born to Hollywood royalty her father singer Eddie Fisher and her mother actress Debbie Reynolds, Carrie paved her own way in show business.
Barely into her twenties when she was cast as Princess Leia, the Star Wars films made her an international star and were so successful that she never had to work again if she did not want to. She continued to act consistently throughout the rest of her life in roles that were never as big as Star Wars, but made memorable impressions like the mystery woman in The Blues Brothers (1980), Dianne Wiest’s friend/rival in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Tom Hanks’s wife in The ‘Burbs (1989), Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan’s best friend in When Harry Met Sally (1989), the therapist for Dr. Evil and his son in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and the nun from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001). All were small parts that could have been throwaways if a less talented actress took them, but Carrie Fisher made them memorable. Funny when she needed to be, serious when it required it and always bringing a level of professionalism where the shadow of Princess Leia never out shined her other roles. Carrie Fisher may not have been the most successful actress post Star Wars, but she was very successful at shedding her image as a sex symbol and not being typecast as another Princess Leia.
Carrie Fisher was also a very successful writer and wrote about her very public battles with drug addiction and bipolar disorder. She used her celebrity status to advocate for mental illness and the millions of people who suffer from them. She wrote the book Postcards from the Edge and penned the screenplay for the 1990 film adaptation directed by Mike Nichols and starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. All of her writing was somewhat autobiographical and served as a catharsis for her afflictions and life in the spotlight.
One of her greatest achievements was her one woman show Wishful Drinking (2010) which was on HBO and based on an autobiographical book of the same name. She was funny, heartfelt and always very honest about her life and her weaknesses. Carrie Fisher came off as very personable and self-aware and not a typical Hollywood aristocrat which she easily could have been. Carrie Fisher was a smart, talented and down to earth human being that was taken from us far too soon. We are fortunate to have her films, television shows, books and our memories of her.
Check out this clip of Carrie Fisher from Wishful Drinking, seek out the entire show if you have time.