More sad news to report before the year is over. Hollywood legend Carrie Fisher has passed away.
The actress, producer, screenwriter and author has died four days after suffering a heart attack. She was 60 years old.
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd [Fisher’s daughter] confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” read a statement released by a family spokesperson. “She was loved by the world, and she will be missed profoundly.”
The daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, Fisher made her acting debut on stage at age 15, playing a debutante and singer in a hit Broadway revival starring her mother. Her screen debut came in the 1975 comedy Shampoo, starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn, and it was two years later that she would take on the role that would change it all.
Fisher will forever be known for her hugely influential turn as Leia Organa in the Star Wars universe. Fisher brought undeniable spirit to the role, making Leia a tough, no-nonsense but always kind-hearted freedom fighter, a determined woman who persevered despite having lost her family. Fisher would revisit the character a number of times after George Lucas’ 1977 Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars: A New Hope), reprising the role in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), last year’s The Force Awakens, and – cough – 1978’s Star Wars Holiday Special.
Deadline reports that Fisher managed to complete her part in the next Star Wars chapter, Star Wars: Episode VIII, which will apparently give Leia a larger role. Fisher was expected to stay on for Star Wars: Episode IX. No word as yet on how LucasFilm will be dealing with her death in future films.
Fisher put in work in a number of projects away from that galaxy far, far away. Her career credits include The Blues Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters, The ‘Burbs, and When Harry Met Sally…, as well as a number of television credits including Smallville, Weeds, 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, a recurring role in the Amazon comedy series Catastrophe, and recurring voice work in Fox’s Family Guy.
When she wasn’t in front of the screen, Fisher was often writing. She penned semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge, often touching on her battles with drugs and mental health issues. She was also a script doctor, polishing a number of screenplays written by other writers.
In her book, Wishful Drinking, Fisher described how George Lucas asked that she not wear a bra “because there is no underwear in space”. He explained to the actress that if one’s body were to expand in space, the underwear would prove quite the issue. In jest, Fisher wrote:
“…I think that this would make for a fantastic obit — so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”
It’s been a terrible year when it comes to losses. Damn you, 2016.
Carrie Fisher, you will be missed.