Well, f*ck 2016. Credit where credit’s due, when it came to the end of the world, the Mayans were only four years out.
This year has seen the loss of some of the world’s greatest stars; David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, George Michael, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali – my fingers are starting to ache now – Gene Wilder, Ronnie Corbett, Anton Yelchin, Victoria Wood, and, most recently, Carrie Fisher.
Aged 60, the actress – mostly recognised for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the original Star Wars franchise – passed away in Los Angeles, on Tuesday, 27 December 2016. This comes after the star suffered a heart attack on a flight from London.
Her close friend and co-star, Harrison Ford said “Carrie was one-of-a-kind… Brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely.” Other celebrities, including Mark Hamill, Seth MacFarlane and Anna Kendrick all expressed their sorrows on Twitter.
While her character is somewhat of a Hollywood icon – with Fisher reprising her role as the leader of the Rebel Alliance on the likes of Family Guy and Robot Chicken, as well as a spot-on digital re-creation of Leia in the recent Rogue One – it should be abundantly clear that Carrie Fisher was so much more than the woman who asked her barber to base her style on cinnamon buns.
Fisher had roles in acclaimed movies such as When Harry Met Sally…, The Blues Brothers, The ‘Burbs and Shampoo, her film debut alongside Warren Beatty. She also documented her substance abuse, including LSD and cocaine, in the semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge. Three years later, a comedy-drama based on Carrie’s story was written, with her writing the screenplay. Oh, and get this – Meryl Streep played her in the movie.
Meryl Streep played her in the movie, for crying out loud.
Not only one to destigmatize substance addiction, Carrie Fisher became an advocate for mental health, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the mid-80s.
Coining the phrase “script nurse”, Carrie was deemed as one of the greatest screenwriters, and was often hired to help rewrite or polish scripts. She – while uncredited for her assistance – helped alter the screenplays for hugely popular movies including Hook, Sister Act and The Wedding Singer. You know she was good at what she did when she managed to make an Adam Sandler film amusing.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – which is to be released on 15 December 2017 – concluded production long before Carrie’s shocking death. A spokesperson for the film said Carrie had finished filming all of her scenes, and this will be one of the last movies she made.
And if you ever needed more reassurance that Carrie Fisher was just an icon of biblical proportions, remind yourself of her opening line at the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne; “I learned two things bumping into Seth Green backstage tonight. He is a big Star Wars fan, and I apparently was in Star Wars.”