More than a princess: Carrie Fisher used show biz to tell life’s truths
December 28, 2016 12:00 AM
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press
Carrie Fisher in 2011.
By the Editorial Board
Add actress, author and screenwriter Carrie Fisher’s name to what seems like a never-ending list of notable deaths in 2016. Ms. Fisher died Tuesday at age 60 after a heart attack last week. She was enjoying renewed cultural relevance thanks to her appearance in the 2015 “Star Wars” reboot “The Force Awakens” and her acerbic 2016 memoir “The Princess Diarist.”
Because the “Star Wars” spinoff story “Rogue One” is dominating movie markets around the world, Ms. Fisher has been a trending subject on social media. Fans who have been enthralled with her since her first appearance as Princess Leia in the 1977 debut of “Star Wars” were looking forward to her next outing as the iconic character.
As memorable as that character is, Ms. Fisher can’t be reduced to Princess Leia. She was also a highly regarded script-doctor and writer. Her caustic semi-autobiography “Postcards from the Edge” and her memoir “Wishful Drinking” satirized Hollywood myths about itself while dealing honestly (if irreverently) with her various addictions.
Because she was merciless about her own foibles, she garnered a huge readership. She also became a fearless advocate for greater mental health services after revealing that she suffered from bipolar disorder. Ms. Fisher was the kind of activist who made it OK to talk about mental health issues in public without resorting to hushed whispers.
There is no overestimating Ms. Fisher’s impact on an entire generation of filmgoers for whom she will always be Princess Leia. But she was also the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and pop singer Eddie Fisher. She was a mother. She was Hollywood royalty at a very young age and she was a truth-teller until the end.
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