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Carrie Fisher

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"…she will always be the princess who took command and never backed down. Never was in jeopardy. She was always helping the other guys get out of the messes they created. We'll all love her forever and ever."
―George Lucas[src]

Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956December 27, 2016) was an American actress, best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise.

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

"One actress in particular seemed tailor-made to play a princess. As the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher was the product of Hollywood royalty."
―Ed Singer[src]

Fisher was born Carrie Frances Fisher in Beverly Hills, California on October 21, 1956, the daughter of the singer Eddie Fisher and the actress Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds; her paternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. Her younger brother is Todd Fisher. Her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, whose mother is actress Connie Stevens.

When she was two years old, her parents divorced and her father married actress Elizabeth Rosamund Taylor. The following year, her mother, Reynolds, married shoe store chain owner Harry Karl--who squandered Reynolds's life savings without the knowledge of either Reynolds or Fisher. Fisher grew up wanting to follow in the footsteps of her famous parents. She began appearing with her mother in Las Vegas at age 12. She attended Beverly Hills High School but left to become an actress. She appeared as a debutante and dancer in the hit Broadway revival Irene (1973) starring her mother.

CareerEdit

"We signed away our likeness, so when I look in the mirror, I have to pay George a couple of bucks."
―Carrie Fisher, joking about the success of Star Wars[src]

Soon after, Fisher enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, which she attended for 18 months. Her first movie appearance was in the Columbia comedy Shampoo (1975) starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, and Goldie Hawn, with Lee Grant and Jack Warden.

In 1977, Fisher starred as Leia Organa in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, directed and written by George Lucas, along with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness.

Star Wars was a huge success and made her internationally famous. Her character of Leia became a merchandising triumph; there were small plastic dolls of her in every toy store across the United States. Fisher has often joked that it was actually Princess Leia who became famous, and she just happened to look like her. After her appearance in Return of the Jedi wearing the famous "metal bikini" or "slave" outfit, Fisher was, for a brief time, regarded as a sex symbol.

Leia19

Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back

In the late 1970s, Fisher became addicted to various drugs. (Her genetic lineage from her father, the singer Eddie Fisher, had rendered her highly physiologically vulnerable to such addictions.) She appeared as Princess Leia in the 1978 made-for-TV movie The Star Wars Holiday Special, and her drug use was quite evident from her on-screen performance. The problem became so severe that John Landis nearly dismissed her from The Blues Brothers (1980) for being unable to sober up long enough to film a proper scene. She then cleaned up and joined N.A. and A.A.

She appeared on Broadway as Iris in Censored Scenes from King Kong (1980). She appeared again as Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (1983). She was also a replacement in the Broadway play Agnes of God (1982).

Fisher's novel Postcards from the Edge—which was semi-autobiographical in the sense that she fictionalized events obviously from her real life, such as her drug addiction of the late 1970s and her complicated, precarious relationship with her mother, Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds—was published in 1987. It became a sensational bestseller and she received the Los Angeles Pen Award for Best First Novel.

In 1990, Columbia released a movie version of Postcards from the Edge, which Fisher adapted for the screen from her own novel and which starred Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid.

Relaxingontheset-MOSW

Fisher and her co-stars relax on the set of Star Wars.

Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia Organa in A New Hope (1977), The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983). She later reprised her role for Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II, in which she also provided the voice for Mon Mothma. She also voiced Mothma via her character "Angela" on Family Guy: It's A Trap!.

Fisher hosted the November 18, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live, in which she came onto the stage outfitted as Leia Organa, complete to her hair being arranged into the hairstyle she had employed throughout most of A New Hope, which some people had noted resembled an Imperial TIE fighter. She opens the show by telling a long "joke" based entirely on Star Wars references. She then appeared in a sketch, again as Leia, in which she sings and dances with a group of 1950s teenagers. The episode contained the first polished performance by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as their popular Blues Brothers characters, Joliet Jake (Belushi) and Elwood (Aykroyd); their performance as such actually preceded Fisher's hosting activities. Fisher later appeared in The Blues Brothers movie as Joliet Jake's vengeful ex-lover, listed in the credits as "Mystery Woman." She is one of the few actors to star in movies with both John and Jim Belushi, later appearing with Jim in the film The Man with One Red Shoe.

In addition to her acting work, Fisher was also a novelist and a frequent script doctor on the screenplays of other writers. Her novels, aside from Postcards From The Edge, include Surrender the Pink (1991), Delusions Of Grandma (1993), and The Best Awful There Is (2004). She also published a book of photographs titled Hollywood Moms (2001) and even wrote three primarily non-photographic non-fiction books, Wishful Drinking, based on a 2006 one-woman stage show she and writer-director Joshua Ravetch had jointly developed, published in 2008, Shockaholic, published in 2011, and The Princess Diarist, which was published in 2016. Fisher wrote the 1993 episode of Lucas's TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles titled "Paris, October 1916."

Fisher developed and appeared in two one-woman stage shows; the first, mentioned above, was Wishful Drinking, in which she appeared during 2006 and in 2008, and the second, in which she appeared during 2008, was called A Spy In The House Of Me.

Fisher co-wrote the TV comedy movie These Old Broads (2001), of which she was also co-executive producer. It starred her mother, Debbie Reynolds, as well as Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, and Shirley MacLaine. In this, Taylor's character, an agent, explains to Reynolds's character, an actress, that she was in a drunken blackout when she married the actress's husband, "Freddy."

Though Fisher demonstrated talent as a singer, notably in both the SNL segment she hosted and the Holiday Special, she is not known to have made any recordings of music.

Fisher made a comment once about her experiences off the set of Star Wars films: "I used to go in though airports and have people say; 'Princess Leia!' Like I would then go; 'Yes?' You know, like that's my real name." When The Phantom Menace was released, Fisher commented on her eagerness to see the movie, saying, "I will be thrilled to see the new movie. I've read it and I can't wait to see, because I know that he (Lucas) does better than what's on the page... if that's possible."

For The Phantom Menace, she wrote dialogues, uncredited, for the moment when C-3PO and R2-D2 meet for the very first time.[2]

In the film Scream 3 (2000), Fisher's character, Bianca Burnette, is mistaken for Carrie Fisher. Fisher pokes fun at herself with the line, "Yeah, I was up for the part of Princess Leia. But who gets it? The girl who slept with George Lucas!" Fisher appeared in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), which also featured Mark Hamill in a role. In the 2009 film Fanboys, Fisher's character references the famous "I love you/I know" line from both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

In early March of 2013, Fisher confirmed in an interview with the Palm Beach Illustrated magazine that she would return to reprise her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

Carrie Fisher had one husband, the musician Paul Simon. During their unsuccessful marriage, which lasted from 1983 to 1984, she miscarried their child. She also dated CAA principal and agent Bryan Lourd; their daughter, Billie Catherine Lourd, was born on July 17, 1992. The couple's relationship ended when Lourd came out as bisexual. For a brief time, during her participation in The Blues Brothers, she was even engaged to Dan Aykroyd, one of her castmates. It was rumored for years that she had an affair with Harrison Ford while filming the original Star Wars film; while Fisher admitted she had a crush on Ford and spent much time with him off camera, she denied having an affair with him. In 2016, however, Fisher admitted in her autobiographical title, The Princess Diarist, that she did, in fact, have an affair with Ford.[4]

In an interview on public radio in 2005, Fisher joked about being known overwhelmingly for her role as Princess Leia, and also joked that she was afraid if she ever became senile she might begin to slip back into character.

Fisher publicly discussed her problems with liquor and drugs, her battles with bipolar disorder, and overcoming an addiction to prescription antidepressants, most notably on ABC TV's 20/20.

On February 26, 2005, 42-year-old Republican Party media adviser R. Gregory Stevens was found dead in a guest room at Fisher's home. She stated that he was a longtime friend and often stayed with her. An autopsy revealed he died from an overdose of cocaine and OxyContin.

Fisher broke her 12 year run of non-dating by living with three-time Emmy award winning news pilot/reporter Bob Tur. The couple broke up in late 2005. In late 2007, she was reportedly seen with British novelist Salman Rushdie, sparking rumors of a romantic relationship.

DeathEdit

On December 23, 2016, Carrie Fisher was reported to be in critical condition after having suffered a massive heart attack on a flight.[5] Fisher had been the victim of an Internet death hoax just days before and was filming a new series in the United Kingdom for Channel 4.[6] But much to public shock and horror, Fisher died as a result of cardiac arrest on December 27, 2016, at the age of 60.[7]

Fisher's mother Debbie Reynolds died one day after her own passing.[8] Fisher is survived by her brother Todd Fisher and daughter Billie Lourd.[9]

Fisher and her mother had a joint private funeral service followed by burial at Hollywood Hills' Forest Lawn Memorial Park.[10]. Fisher's ashes were placed inside a large prozac pill shaped porcelain urn which was buried next to her mother's casket. Her brother Todd stated the pill had been one of Fisher's favorite possessions.[11]

Star Wars filmographyEdit

Year Production Role
1977 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope Leia Organa
1978 The Star Wars Holiday Special
1980 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
1982 Return of the Ewok
1983 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
1999 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace additional dialogue, uncredited[2]
2008 Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II
2011 Family Guy: It's A Trap! Angela as Mon Mothma
2015 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Leia Organa
2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story special thanks
2017 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi Leia Organa

WritingsEdit

Books
  • Postcards From The Edge (1987)
  • Surrender The Pink (1991)
  • Delusions Of Grandma (1993)
  • The Best Awful There Is (2004) (sequel to Postcards From The Edge)
  • Wishful Drinking (2008)
  • Shockaholic (2011)
  • The Princess Diarist (2016)
Photography
  • Hollywood Moms, (2001)
Screenplays/Teleplays

BibliographyEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. SWCustom-2011 Star Wars: Episode VIII Now Filming on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cameron, Brian (2016-12-31). Roger Christian Remembers Carrie Fisher. Jedi News. Retrieved on January 3, 2017.
  3. Pfaff, Jennifer (2013-02-19). Q&A with Carrie Fisher. Palm Beach Illustrated. Archived from the original on February 10, 2017. Retrieved on March 6, 2013.
  4. Woerner, Meredith (December 20, 2016). Carrie Fisher's 'Princess Diarist' comes clean about her tryst with Harrison Ford. Mercury News via Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on December 27, 2016.
  5. Kimble, Lindsay (December 23, 2016). Carrie Fisher Suffers Massive Heart Attack on Flight. People. Retrieved on December 23, 2015.
  6. Jones, Stephen (December 23, 2016). Carrie Fisher heart attack latest news: Live updates as Star Wars actress 'suffers cardiac arrest on flight'. Mirror. Retrieved on December 23, 2016.
  7. SWCustom-2011 Carrie Fisher, Our Princess, Passes Away on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  8. Actress Debbie Reynolds has died at age 84, son says.. WTOP (December 28, 2016). Retrieved on December 28, 2016.
  9. Fisher, Kendall (December 27, 2016). Star Wars' Carrie Fisher Dead at 60. E! Online. Retrieved on December 27, 2016.
  10. Kreps, Daniel (December 31, 2016). Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds to Be Buried Together. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on January 2, 2017.
  11. Kreps, Daniel (January 6, 2017). Carrie Fisher's Ashes Placed in Giant Prozac Pill Urn. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on January 7, 2017.

External linksEdit

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