Carrie Fisher Dies At 60, Takes Part Of Your Youth With Her
Carrie Fisher died this morning in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack Friday. She was 60, and a hell of a fine, flawed human being who never took her starring role in the Star Wars movies too seriously. You have to love somebody who says her greatest achievement in life was becoming a PEZ dispenser, and who told George Lucas that if he wanted her to do commentary tracks for the first DVD release of the trilogy, he'd have to give her a copy of the disastrous, never-released-to-video 1977 Star Wars Holiday Special, of which she once said,
It’s shocking. If you deliberately tried to make something to punish people for liking ‘Star Wars,’ because people have this huge appetite for ‘Star Wars’ – something that will kill it. It’s devastating. It’s a total mystery how that happened. It is a car crash. It is a terrorist attack. It’s worse than the worst dental work you ever had.
She survived a celebrity childhood, drug addiction, commitment to a mental hospital for bipolar disorder, having her face owned by George Lucas and plastered on a billion licensed products, and that damned metal bikini, and came through it all with a wry wit. To remember her, you could do worse than to watch her one-woman show "Wishful Drinking," which we watched last night hoping she'd pull through after the heart attack. It's exactly as wonderful and as painful as you'd expect Carrie Fisher to be, starting with taking questions from the audience about that gay Republican friend who died in her bed of a drug overdose in 2005 ("What were you wearing?" did not strike her as a useful question. Neither did "What was he wearing?"), and moving through an autobiographical monologue that leaves you amazed she made it alive out of the 1980s. She said that when she was born, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, was anesthetized, and her father, Eddie Fisher, fainted when he saw his daughter crowning:
So when I arrived, I was virtually unattended! And I have been trying to make up for that fact ever since.
Her observations on Star Wars are of course hilarious. She recalls George Lucas telling her why she would be braless in the white dress in the first movie: Nobody in space wears underwear. She said he seemed really sure of that, as if he'd been there. She also enjoyed -- maybe with a bit of a grimace -- pointing out her sometimes-there, sometimes-not English accent in a clip from the film.
When Fisher suffered the heart attack, she'd been flying back from London on a book tour to promote her recent memoir, The Princess Diarist, in which she said of the Princess Leia character, "Who wears that much lip gloss into battle?" Also (spoiler warning), the New York Times informs us the book confirms "what many fans had long suspected: During the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she and Harrison Ford (who was married at the time) had an affair." Now stop acting shocked, you.
Carrie Fisher enjoyed being an actor in one of the biggest entertainment franchises ever -- hell, the film-n-marketing phenomenon that created the phrase "entertainment franchise" -- but never took the whizbang stuff too seriously. After some fans complained she looked "too old" in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she tweeted:
That's the attitude we always loved, and which she brought to the character of Princess Leia, for that matter. She may have been a princess, but she could handle her own rescuing, thank you very much.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.