American actress and author Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956; passed away December 27, 2016). She was nominated for four Saturn Awards for her performance as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy (1977–1983). Postcards from the Edge and Fisher’s autobiographical one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, and the nonfiction book that was adapted from it were both semi-autobiographical works.
She was nominated for a BAFTA for writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of Postcards from the Edge, and for her one-woman show Wishful Drinking, she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special. As a script doctor, Fisher worked on the scripts of other writers, notably those for Hook (1991), Sister Act (1992), The Wedding Singer (1998), and numerous entries in the Star Wars film series.
Carrie Fisher’s Early Life
Carrie Frances Fisher was born to Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on October 21, 1956, at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. Fisher’s forebears came to the United States as Russian Jews. Her mother has raised as a Nazarene and was of Scots-Irish and English ancestry. Fisher’s parents split up when she was just two years old, in 1959.
Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher were born to Fisher’s father’s third wife, actress Connie Stevens. Her mom wed shoe magnate and entrepreneur Harry Karl in 1960. Fisher was 17 years old when Reynolds and Karl split up in 1973. A child who “hid in books” eventually earned the nickname “the bookworm” among her family and friends.
As a child, she spent her time reading and writing poems inspired by great works of literature. She went to Beverly Hills High School up until the age of 16 when she made her debut as a debutante and singer in her mother’s Broadway revival of Irene (1973). Fisher was unable to finish high school because her career on Broadway kept her so busy.
Fisher attended London’s Central School of Speech and Drama for a year and a half beginning in 1973. Fisher was eventually approved to study art at Sarah Lawrence College, and she did just that. Later, she quit school without completing her degree.
Carrie Fisher’s Personal Life
Fisher revealed the romance in her memoirs, The Princess Diarist, published in 2016. It lasted for three months, beginning in 1976, during the filming of Star Wars. The actress and musician dated from 1977 till 1983 after meeting on the set of Star Wars. Canadian actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd proposed to her on the set of their 1980 film The Blues Brothers, and they were briefly engaged. Those were her exact words: “We were given rings and subjected to blood tests—the whole nine yards. Then, though, I reconciled with Paul Simon.”
Fisher and Simon were married from August 1983 to July 1984 and then dated again following their divorce. She was featured in Simon’s music video for “Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War” while they were still married. Their love story inspired Simon to write “Hearts and Bones.” eir breakup inspired the song “Graceland,” in which he makes a reference to her. Fisher stated it was an honor to be featured in Simon’s music.
Fisher dated Creative Artists Agency CEO and talent agent Bryan Lourd thereafter. Billie Lourd, their sole child, entered the world that year. Catherine Fisher Lourd, Eddie Fisher’s granddaughter, goes by the moniker “Billy,” according to the singer’s autobiography (Been There, Done That). Lourd broke up with her because she was seeing another man. Fisher has referred to Lourd as her “second husband” in interviews, yet a story from 2004 showed that the two were never actually married.
Carrie Fisher’s Career
During the middle of 1974, at the age of 17, Fisher made her film debut as the sultry teen Lorna Karpf in the Columbia Pictures comedy Shampoo, which was released the following year, 1975. It stars Lee Grant and Jack Warden as her real-life parents. The film also stars Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, and Goldie Hawn. Fisher played as Princess Leia alongside Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford in George Lucas’ sci-fi picture Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) in 1977.
She and her co-stars weren’t very close before the film’s success, but they became fast friends thereafter. Fisher played Ringo Starr’s love interest in the April 1978 episode of Ringo, the TV special starring the Fab Four. The following month, she co-starred in the ABC-TV film Leave Yesterday Behind with John Ritter (who had previously acted in Ringo). At the time, Fisher co-starred with Olivier and Woodward in a TV adaptation of the William Inge drama Come Back, Little Sheba for the anthology series Laurence Olivier Presents.
In the 1978 TV special Star Wars: A Holiday Celebration, she played Princess Leia and sang in the final scene that November. Fisher is credited as “Mystery Woman” in the film The Blues Brothers, where she played Jake’s furious ex-lover. Fisher claims that Dan Aykroyd “saved her life” by using the Heimlich technique when she choked on a Brussels sprout while filming the movie in Chicago.
She had a 1980 Broadway debut in the play Censored Scenes from King Kong. Later that year, she featured on the cover of Rolling Stone on July 12, 1980, alongside her co-stars from Star Wars, to promote the release of the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. She also performed the role of Sister Agnes in the 1983 Broadway production of Agnes of God.
To promote her 1983 film Return of the Jedi, in which she reprised the role of Princess Leia, Fisher posed on the cover of the Summer 1983 issue of Rolling Stone magazine wearing a metal bikini. The outfit eventually developed its own cult following. In 1986, she co-starred with Mia Farrow and Barbara Hershey in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters.
Postcards from the Edge was Fisher’s debut novel, released in 1987. The author satirized and dramatized aspects of her own life, including her drug use in the late 1970s and her relationship with her mother, in this semi-autobiographical novel. She won the Los Angeles Pen Award for Best First Novel for its success. She also appeared in the 1987 Australian movie The Time Guardian. When Harry Met Sally… starred Fisher in 1989, and the same year she co-starred with Tom Hanks as his character’s wife in The ‘Burbs.
Carrie Fisher and Bipolar
Prior to her death in 2016, Carrie Fisher had fought the bipolar disease and substance abuse for 45 years. The Star Wars star, best known for playing Princess Leia, was diagnosed with the illness while she was in her twenties, following a drug overdose that left her fighting for her life. The manic or depressive episodes that are characteristic of bipolar disorder are often quite severe and can endure for weeks, months, or even years.
People with bipolar disorder may experience elevated moods and an inflated sense of self-importance during the manic phase, during which they may also become easily distracted and too active. Not eating or sleeping for days on end and taking enormous risks are also indicators. Feelings of despair, worthlessness, hopelessness, a loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities, impaired concentration and memory, disturbed sleep, and suicidal ideation are all symptoms that may arise during depressive episodes.
Individuals with bipolar disorder may experience manic or depressive episodes with varying regularity. Between the two phases, you can have a ‘normal’ mood. It’s possible to be in a “mixed state,” in which depressive and manic symptoms coexist. While the actress was medicated for her sickness, she also developed a lifelong drug addiction out of worry that the drugs would inhibit her ability to be creative.
Her drug abuse started when she tried to suppress the symptoms of her sickness by using drugs. Choosing to experiment with drug use is frequently a coping mechanism. Self-medication with drugs and alcohol is a common response to the symptoms of bipolar disorder, particularly during the manic or depressed phase. Substances that alter mental states can fool the brain into thinking that use is necessary for normal functioning. Carrie’s inability to recall certain events is attributable to both her long history of drug abuse and her treatment with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Carrie Fisher is the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Carrie often struggled with feelings of inadequacy as a result of her mother Debbie’s enormous success as an actress; Debbie had a 70-year career after being thrust into the spotlight with her performance as the lead in Singin’ in the Rain (1952). Carrie’s unhappiness, caused by her fear that her mother was trying to outshine her, persisted despite her stardom. Debbie Reynolds, Carrie’s mom, passed away just 24 hours after her daughter from a stroke, just a few days after Carrie’s passing. The Prozac tablet-shaped urn containing Carrie’s remains was interred alongside Debbie’s casket.
A role model for mental illness (bipolar disorder)
Carrie was always quite forthright about her condition, and she even drew inspiration from it in her writing. Because of her fame, her struggles with substance abuse were also widely discussed; some people criticized her for being so open about her struggles, while others admired her courage. In addition to her career as an actress, Carrie was also a successful author, having written many novels and serving as a “script doctor” on a number of Hollywood productions. Her memoir Wishful Drinking details her struggles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder.
Speaking up about health issues is a powerful way for famous figures like Carrie to help others and raise awareness. The stigma that still surrounds mental health issues like Carrie’s may be lessened if more people feel safe enough to talk about their own experiences. They can serve as role models for those dealing with similar mental health issues, reassuring them that they are not alone and proving that persons with mental illness can achieve success in all aspects of life.
Carrie Fisher’s Death Reason
Fisher was on a commercial flight from London to Los Angeles on December 23, 2016, about fifteen minutes before landing when she had a medical emergency, concluding the European leg of her book tour (her last TV appearance was on an episode of Great Britain’s 8 Out of 10 Cats broadcast December 21, 2016). A passenger sitting next to Fisher called for help when she stopped breathing; another passenger administered CPR until emergency personnel arrived.
The aircraft crew alerted Los Angeles emergency services when a passenger was reported to be unresponsive just before landing. Eventually, Fisher was airlifted to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where she was put on a ventilator. Fisher, 60, passed away at the UCLA Medical Center on the morning of December 27, 2016, following four days in intensive care. Billie Lourd, Fisher’s daughter, released a statement confirming her mother’s death. The deaths of many of her co-stars and directors from Star Wars and other films prompted public reflection.
Cardiac arrest/deferred was listed as the official cause of death on the death certificate issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on January 9, 2017, indicating that further testing was to be performed. Sleep apnea and the development of fatty tissue on the walls of the arteries were among the contributing factors, according to a press statement issued by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office on June 16, 2017.
According to a comprehensive report from June 19, 2017, Fisher tested positive for cocaine, heroin, various opiates, and MDMA. Further, the inquiry was unable to pinpoint exactly when she had taken the medicines or establish whether or not they played a role in her passing, as mentioned in the report. Her words were that Fisher “Had a lifelong struggle with drug abuse and mental illness. She succumbed to it in the end. She made no secret of the fact that these illnesses are stigmatized in any of her writings… My mom would want people to talk about their problems when she’s gone.”
On December 28, 2016, the day after Fisher’s death, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, had a stroke at the house of her son, Todd, where the family was organizing Fisher’s burial arrangements. Later that afternoon, she passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after being brought there. It was at this time that Reynolds reportedly exclaimed, “I want to be with Carrie,” before she had the stroke, as recounted by Todd.
A private memorial service was held in honor of Fisher and Reynolds on January 5, 2017. Fisher’s mother was buried in a tomb, but Fisher was incinerated. Her remains were interred in a crypt in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills, next to Reynolds’s. The remaining embers are stored in a huge Prozac novelty pill.
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