‘Star Wars’ ac­tress, best-sell­ing au­thor Car­rie Fisher dies.

‘Star Wars’ hero­ine, men­tal health ad­vo­cate died fol­low­ing heart at­tack

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY SANDY CO­HEN

LOS AN­GE­LES | Car­rie Fisher, the daugh­ter of Hol­ly­wood roy­alty who played Princess Leia in the orig­i­nal “Star Wars” and turned her ex­pe­ri­ences with ad­dic­tion and men­tal ill­ness into best­selling books, a hit film and pop­u­lar stage per­for­mances, died Tues­day af­ter suffering a med­i­cal emer­gency aboard a flight on Fri­day. She was 60.

Her daugh­ter, Bil­lie Lourd, re­leased a state­ment through her spokesman an­nounc­ing Miss Fisher’s death.

“It is with a very deep sad­ness that Bil­lie Lourd con­firms that her beloved mother Car­rie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morn­ing,” read the state­ment from pub­li­cist Si­mon Halls. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed pro­foundly.”

Miss Fisher, the daugh­ter of ac­tress Deb­bie Reynolds and crooner Ed­die Fisher, had been hos­pi­tal­ized since Fri­day, when paramedics re­sponded to a pa­tient in dis­tress at Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Miss Fisher’s fam­ily said she was in in­ten­sive care Fri­day evening.

She made her fea­ture film de­but op­po­site War­ren Beatty in the 1975 hit “Sham­poo.” She also ap­peared in “Austin Pow­ers,” “The Blues Broth­ers,” “Char­lie’s An­gels,” “Hannah and Her Sis­ters,” “Scream 3” and “When Harry Met Sally.”

But Miss Fisher is best re­mem­bered as the tough, feisty and pow­er­ful Princess Leia in the orig­i­nal “Star Wars” in 1977, ut­ter­ing the im­mor­tal phrase “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope,” her hair styled in fu­tur­is­tic braided buns. She reprised the role in Episode VII of the series, “Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens” in 2015, and her dig­i­tally ren­dered im­age ap­pears in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

“No words #Dev­as­tated,” ac­tor Mark Hamill posted on Twit­ter Tues­day.

Ac­tor Peter May­hew, who played Chew­bacca in the “Star Wars” films, wrote: “There are no words for this loss. Car­rie was the bright­est light in ev­ery room she en­tered. I will miss her dearly.”

Miss Fisher long bat­tled drug ad­dic­tion and men­tal ill­ness. She said she smoked pot at age 13, used LSD by 21 and was first di­ag­nosed as bipo­lar at age 24. She was treated with elec­tro­con­vul­sive ther­apy and med­i­ca­tion.

In 1987, her thinly veiled au­to­bi­og­ra­phy “Post­cards From the Edge” be­came a best seller. It was adapted into a 1990 film star­ring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep.

More books fol­lowed: “Delu­sions of Grandma,” “Sur­ren­der the Pink,” “The Best Aw­ful,” “Shock­a­holic” and this year’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, “The Princess Diarist,” in which she re­vealed that she and co-star Har­ri­son Ford had an af­fair on the set of “Star Wars.”

Walt Dis­ney Co. chief Bob Iger said in a state­ment Tues­day that Miss Fisher “was one-of-a-kind, a true char­ac­ter who shared her tal­ent and her truth with us all with her trade­mark wit and ir­rev­er­ence.”

Ever ready to sat­i­rize her­self, she has even played Car­rie Fisher a few times, as in David Cro­nen­berg’s dark Hol­ly­wood sendup “Maps to the Stars” and in an episode of “Sex and the City.” In the past 15 years, Miss Fisher also ap­peared as a tele­vi­sion guest star, re­cently in the Ama­zon show “Catas­tro­phe” as the mother of Rob De­laney’s lead, and per­haps most mem­o­rably as a has-been com­edy leg­end on “30 Rock.”

She also stars with her mother in a doc­u­men­tary set to air on HBO next year. Di­rected by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, “Bright Lights” pre­miered at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val ear­lier this year.

Lately, she en­deared her­self to the so­cial-me­dia gen­er­a­tion with her un­usual Twit­ter style and con­stant ac­com­pa­ni­ment by her dog, Gary Fisher, a French bull­dog with his own Twit­ter and In­sta­gram ac­count. (“Sad­dest tweets to tweet. Mommy is gone. I love you @car­ri­eff­isher,” the dog’s Twit­ter feed read Tues­day.)

Her one-woman show, “Wish­ful Drink­ing,” which per­formed across the coun­try since 2006, was turned into a book, made its way to Broad­way in 2009 and was cap­tured for HBO in 2010.

Lit­tle was off-lim­its in the show. She dis­cussed the scan­dal that en­gulfed her su­per­star par­ents (Fisher ran off with El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor); her brief mar­riage to singer Paul Si­mon; the time the fa­ther of her daugh­ter left her for a man; and the day she woke up next to the dead body of a pla­tonic friend who had over­dosed in her bed.

“I’m a prod­uct of Hol­ly­wood in­breed­ing. When two celebri­ties mate, some­thing like me is the re­sult,” she said in the show. At another point, she cracked: “I don’t have a prob­lem with drugs so much as I have a prob­lem with so­bri­ety.”

Be­sides her mother and daugh­ter, Fisher is sur­vived by her brother, Todd Fisher.

“One-of-a-kind, a true char­ac­ter who shared her tal­ent and her truth with us all with her trade­mark wit and ir­rev­er­ence.”

— Bob Iger, Walt Dis­ney Co. chief


Ac­tress and writer Car­rie Fisher died at the age of 60, a pub­li­cist re­ported Tues­day. Known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in “Star Wars,” Miss Fisher was also a best-sell­ing au­thor and men­tal health ad­vo­cate.

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