Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia Of Star Wars Fame, Dies At 60

Fisher suffered a enormous heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles last week. A spokeswoman for Fisher’s daughter said the actress died Tuesday morning.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Carrie Fisher died this morning at the age of 60. She had suffered a heart attack Friday whilst she was onboard a flight from London to Los Angeles. Fisher was an actress and a writer. She was very best known by far for her part as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movies.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE”)

CARRIE FISHER: (As Princess Leia Organa) I have placed information vital to the survival of the Rebellion into the memory systems of this R2 unit. My father will know how to retrieve it. You have to see this droid safely delivered to him on Alderaan. This is our most desperate hour. Aid me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

SIEGEL: NPR’s Andrew Limbong has this appreciation.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: Carrie Fisher was 19 when she played Princess Leia Organa in the initial “Star Wars” film, playing a lady who just witnessed her complete planet disappear and nevertheless has to manage the guys who show up ostensibly to rescue her.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE”)

FISHER: (As Princess Leia Organa) I don’t know who you are or exactly where you came from, but from now on you do as I tell you, OK?

LIMBONG: It was here when Fisher started maintaining a diary, the stuff that would later turn out to be her current memoir, “The Princess Diarist.” Earlier this year, she told WHYY’S Fresh Air that she kept a log partly simply because she was 1 of the only females on set.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

FISHER: I feel I sort of felt isolated. You know, I did not truly have anyone – I did not confide in men. Effectively, I didn’t confide in anyone.

LIMBONG: From there, she and Princess Leia had been forever tied. From a certain slant, that could be tragic. But right after some time, she discovered humor in her devoted fan base. This is from her 1-woman Broadway show turned 2010 HBO particular referred to as “Wishful Drinking.”

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, “WISHFUL DRINKING”)

FISHER: And the guy behind the counter goes, aren’t you? Yeah. He said, I believed about you every single day from when I was 12 to when I was 22. And I mentioned, every single day?

(LAUGHTER)

FISHER: And he mentioned, effectively, four instances a day.

(LAUGHTER)

FISHER: What am I supposed to say, thank you?

(LAUGHTER)

LIMBONG: Carrie Fisher was born in 1956 to two huge stars, the singer Eddie Fisher and the award-winning actress Debbie Reynolds. Being born to two renowned people who ended up famously divorcing, again, could be tragic. But time passes and it becomes funny.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, “WISHFUL DRINKING”)

FISHER: I grew up – I grew up knowing that I had the prettiest mother of any person in my class. But, you know, my mom, she’s also – she’s a little bit eccentric. I mean, she does – she has a lot of distinctive tips. For instance, she believed that I need to have a youngster with her last husband, Richard, simply because it would have good eyes.

(LAUGHTER)

FISHER: I must almost certainly clarify this you prior to you think it is weird.

(LAUGHTER)

LIMBONG: Following “Return Of The Jedi,” she began writing books, beginning with the semi-autobiographical “Postcards From The Edge,” which is about a movie actress who works to overcome her drug addiction. Fisher had a issue with drug abuse and was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She wrote the screenplay to the movie version of “Postcards,” which came out in 1990, starring Meryl Streep.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, “POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE”)

MERYL STREEP: (As Suzanne Vale) So what am I supposed to do? Go to a halfway residence for wayward SAG members or something?

LIMBONG: Carrie Fisher was out and open about her problems with drugs and alcohol and mental illness and therapy. She told WHYY’s Fresh Air that getting all of this out there and speaking about the baggage was a way for her to comprehend herself.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

FISHER: It creates community when you talk about private issues and you can discover other men and women that have the same issues. Otherwise, I never know, I felt really lonely with some of the issues that I had or history that I had. And when I shared about it, I located that other folks had it, as well.

LIMBONG: Sharing for Carrie Fisher was a way to look at life’s troubles and figure issues may be OK. Andrew Limbong, NPR News.

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