by Graham Pierrepoint
When thinking about American actresses who helped to define a pop culture phenomenon – it’s hard not to consider Carrie Fisher, the film star, editor, humorist and rights campaigner – who passed away earlier this week. While Fisher will arguably be best known for her portrayal as Princess Leia in the culturally important Star Wars franchise, her talents reached far beyond the world of inter-galactic battles and evil empires. Fisher was multi-faceted, multi-talented, and helped to make movies altogether better behind the scenes as much as she did in front of the camera.
The daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, Fisher passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest on board a transatlantic flight over the festive period – and had been fighting for her life over several days. The star’s loss is nothing less than earth-shattering – at a time not only where the franchise that helped to make her a household name is just getting started up again, but where humor is needed in the world more than ever – and through her own writing, including the creation of her own one-woman stand-up play, Fisher had a keen eye for what worked on paper as well as what worked well on screen.
Fisher’s career as an actress soared from the early 1970s onward while she branched out into script doctoring – the act of editing and proofing movie screenplays to ensure that they would essentially be fit for audiences – and while she largely gave up this wing of her talent in the early 00s, she continued to write and remain creative in such a regard up until her passing. Most recently, Fisher published her memoirs, The Princess Diarist, which offer a little more insight into her life during her earlier career – embellishing those points made in several semi-autobiographical novels, most notably Postcards From the Edge, which was published almost thirty years ago.
Fisher remained candid about her life and her struggle with bi-polar disorder, which she has recounted in word and in person – and she remained an activist on mental health issues and drug addiction throughout her time in the public eye. She returned to the franchise she is best known for – Star Wars – and recently finished filming scenes for 2017’s installment. Fisher will be sorely missed not only as the iconic Leia, but also for her refreshing, candid attitude towards the troubles that life may have thrown at her.