Carrie Fisher, who suffered from a cardiac event on a flight home to Los Angeles from London on Friday shortly before landing, has passed away, according to her daughter Billie Lourd’s publicist. She was 60 years old.
An outpouring of thoughts and prayers started on Friday and continue today, with many people, celebrities and fans, saying how much she has meant to them over the years. For me, she was the first “movie crush” I can recall. I had Star Wars trading cards, and me and my friends fought over a particular card of her. She was the prototype Strong Woman, busting the “princess” stereotype. She may have been the damsel in need of a rescue, but she took part in her own rescue and wasn’t afraid to get dirty doing it. All the boys wanted to be Luke, because back then everyone thought Luke would get the girl in the end.
Carrie wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, and even played up the “Star Wars vs. Star Trek fan feud” tongue-in-cheek with fellow actor and “rival” William Shatner. Shatner tweeted this afternoon, “I’m deeply saddened to learn of the death of Carrie Fisher. I will miss our banterings. A wonderful talent & light has been extinguished.” More recently, with her re-appearance in her iconic role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she spoke out against the body-shaming “fans” who criticized her looks on how she aged since she last appeared as Princess Leia some 32 years previously. “Please stop debating about whether OR not I aged well.unfortunately it hurts all3 of my feelings. My BODY hasnt aged as well as I have,” she wrote on Twitter.
She was very open about her struggles with alcoholism and mental health, even writing a semi-autobiographical book about a substance-addicted actress called “Postcards From The Edge” that became a movie starring her friend Meryl Streep, and then in 2009 wrote her memoir, “Wishful Drinking”.
Regretfully, we were supposed to meet Carrie last year at a convention, but she had to cancel due to an illness, and she wasn’t able to attend this year.
We miss you already, Carrie.
Update 12/28: Just a day later Debbie Reynolds, her mother, passed away after being rushed to the hospital this afternoon, according to her son, Todd Fisher. Her and her son were reportedly working on funeral arrangements for Carrie.
2016 has been full of such sadness. 2017 cannot get here fast enough.