Carrie Fisher, 60Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
"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."- Carrie Fisher
This was the obituary that Carrie Fisher, the iconic “Star Wars” actress, author and mental health advocate once suggested. It’s undoubtedly more memorable than most of the obituaries that have been written for her.
Mark Hamill and Fisher, shown here in costume as the twins Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, starred in George Lucas’ “Star Wars” trilogy from the first 1977 film.
Fisher portrayed Leia -- first a princess, later a general -- in the “Star Wars” franchise with ferocity and sass. Over the years, she poked fun at the role, which she reprised in 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” joking at the time, “I’d like to wear my cinnamon buns hairstyle again but with white hair.”
In addition to “Star Wars,” Fisher appeared in movies like “When Harry Met Sally” and “The Blues Brothers,” and made guest appearances on several television shows, including “30 Rock,” “Sex and the City” and “Weeds.” Fisher was a prolific writer, doctoring screenplays and producing several unflinching accounts of her struggles with substance abuse and bipolar disorder. She fictionalized parts of her life for the darkly funny novel “Postcards from the Edge,” which became a film starring Meryl Streep. Upon the critical success of her confessional one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking,” she adapted it into her first of three memoirs.
Fisher, pictured here at age 21, had a tumultuous youth. Her love affairs included a short marriage to singer Paul Simon, a relationship with Dan Aykroyd and a recently revealed on-set romance with “Star Wars” costar Harrison Ford. Fisher had a daughter, Billie Lourd, while dating talent agent Bryan Lourd.
One of Fisher’s closest companions was her therapy dog, Gary. The French bulldog, who helped the actress with her bipolar disorder, joined her at awards shows and TV appearances, like this guest spot on “Good Morning America” in 2015.
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For a woman who grew up in the spotlight -- her parents were Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds -- she was refreshingly candid about fame’s downsides. “The best part is money, traveling and the people you meet. The worst part is, again, money, travel and the people you meet,” she once told Rolling Stone.
That wit-laced honesty remained an essential part of Fisher’s character as she promoted her latest memoir, “The Princess Diarist,” published in November. Proud of the topsy-turvy life she lived, and unafraid to say so, she showed there is no shame in laying bare the truth -- especially if it’s entertaining.