Tragic Death of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
On Wednesday, Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds died of a potential stroke while making preparations for the funeral of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, who’d died one day before following a heart attack on a flight from London.
The departures in rapid sequence have left fans and fellow stars reeling over the loss of such fearless and gifted girls.
Meanwhile Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd is fighting to make sense of the disaster.
They’ve also shed light on the close relationship between the three generations of girls a life in the limelight ensured has been greatly recorded.
As the oldest child of singer Eddie Fisher and Reynolds, star of Singin’ in the Rain, Fisher joked that her habit challenges and bipolar disorder made her “truly a product of Hollywood inbreeding. When two stars partner, someone like me is the results”.
She’s talked at length about her envy of her mom’s beauty and challenge with her public persona that left little room for her kids growing up.
In her autobiography, Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher said physicians and nurses were buzzing around her parents at her arrival although her mom was unconscious with anesthetic and her dad had passed out.
“So when I arrived I was almost unattended. And I’ve been attempting to compensate for that fact ever since.”
She also said she and her brother didn’t enjoy “sharing” her mom and being called Debbie Reynold’s daughter, feeling uncomfortable and insecure around the glamorous star. They slept on the carpet next to her bed to be close to her and saw her putting on make-up.
“I believe it was when I was 10 that I recognized with deep conviction that I wouldn’t be, and was in no way now, the beauty that my mom was. I was a gawky-looking and intensely uncomfortable, insecure daughter … I determined afterward that I’d better develop something else — if I wasn’t going to be quite, perhaps I could be funny or smart.” she wrote in her autobiography.
The pair had a difficult relationship at times due to Fisher’s addiction as well as the blurry lines between their public and private lives.
Fisher also made light of her dad’s leaving her mom for Elizabeth Taylor, saying he consoled her after the passing of her husband.
Reynolds has said it took 30 years for Fisher to be “joyful with her” and she didn’t understand what the trouble was, but “I don’t bake biscuits and I don’t remain house.”
She told People magazine that being “estranged” for a span was the most “difficult time of all” that was “very heartbreaking”.
Nevertheless, they finally mended their relationship and Fisher said her mom instructed her to “sur-thrive”.
It appears Fisher learned specific lessons she applied to her very own relationship with her daughter Billie Lourd, who also acts.
She recently told Teen Vogue Fisher raised her to be “true, kind and assured in yourself”.
“She raised me to not think of women and men as distinct. She raised me without gender. It’s kind of the reason she named me Billie. It’s not about really being a powerful girl — it’s about being a powerful person. She once said, ‘I never sat you down with a credo. It was more about directing by example’.”
Carrie Fisher as a Writer
Though she never quit playing, writing would turn out to be Fisher’s redemption. She channeled her encounters with drug addiction and rehabilitation into her first publication, the 1987 novel Postcards from the Edge, which was later adapted into a movie starring Meryl Streep as Fisher’s alter ego. (Fisher also wrote the screenplay.) Fisher would go on to write four more novels, along with a set of screenplays. She became one of Hollywood’s most sought-after script doctors also, hitting up the screenplays of movies including Hook, The Wedding Singer, Sister Act, and even Lucas’s Star Wars prequels.
Fisher also wrote three memoirs, the most recent of which, The Princess Diarist, was released only weeks ago. Among other things, the novel delves into Fisher’s secret relationship with Harrison Ford, which took place while they were filming the very first Star Wars. At the time, Ford was 33; Fisher was just 19. “It was so extreme,” she told Individuals of their three-month relationship. “It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.”
Fisher continued composing and making appearances in movies like Austin Powers and TV series like 30 Rock into the 21st century. She performed Wishful Drinking as a one-woman show from 2008 to 2010, bringing it from San Francisco to Broadway. She reentered the public eye in a leading manner, however, in 2014, when Disney officially disclosed that she, Ford, and Mark Hamill would all be featured in the cast of Star Wars: The Power Awakens. It seemingly didn’t take much to get Fisher back into her old franchise saddle: “I’m a female in Hollywood, over the age of let’s say 40 and then we may also say 50… They don’t need to ask you in the event you’d like to work at that age,” she joked on Good Morning America in 2015, during her spectacularly amusing Force Awakens press tour.
Star Wars: Princess Leia
Filming the film, which efficiently rebooted Star Wars for a fresh generation, was a pleasure, Fisher told USA Today: “It was like being back on campus.” The picture would go on to bring in almost $1 billion in the U.S. and over $2 billion worldwide, becoming America’s highest-grossing picture of all time (without correcting for inflation.)
Fisher also appeared in this month’s Rogue One, to some level; the ending of the movie briefly features a digitally left Leia, made to look like 19-year old Fisher. She reprises the character more fully in the following Star Wars movie, Episode VIII, which is set for launch in December 2017. Shooting for the film concluded in July of this year.
Its release may ensure, even more, that Fisher is consistently seen by the general public as Princess Leia first, and Carrie Fisher second—though that doesn’t appear to be a fortune that Fisher minded. While she joked, in Wishful Drinking, that George Lucas had “ruined” her life by casting her in the very first Star Wars, her position has seemingly softened over time. “Folks need me to say that I’m sick of playing Leia and that it destroyed my life,” she told The Daily Beast in 2015. “If my life was that simple to destroy, it deserved to be destroyed.”
Nor did she have any regrets about her brilliant, disruptive, unfailingly public life. As Fisher told the L.A. Times in 2010: “I do not believe in regrets. I understand they are human and I have them occasionally. But I do not enjoy to hang out with them. The sole things I repent is any suffering I caused someone else.”