So long, Princess: Actress and writer Carrie Fisher dies at 60

December 28, 2016

On Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, famed actress and writer Carrie Fisher – best known for her role in the “Star Wars” trilogy as Princess and General Leia Organa – passed away at the age of 60 after suffering a heart attack on board a plane heading for L.A. on Dec. 23.

For two generations, Fisher has served as the face of one of the most iconic movie characters of all time. Now, on the eve of 2017 — 40 years after the release of the original “Star Wars” movie – -the woman behind the witty girl from a galaxy far, far away has become one with the Force. As the daughter of Debbie Reynolds, the famous Hollywood actress who starred in films like “Singing in the Rain, Fisher certainly exceeded her expectations as a female role model in the entertainment industry. For the love of Alderaan, she popularized that cinnamon bun hairstyle that costume stores still sell every Halloween.

But beyond the roles she played on stage and on screen as a young woman, Fisher went on to inspire the masses with her writing, especially in terms of her battle with drug addiction and bipolar disorder; she opened a window between the media and the public for people dealing with mental illnesses. For that very reason, Harvard College recently endowed her with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, which hardly sums up the amount of influence she had both onscreen and behind the scenes, whether writing about mental health or writing punny jokes for the awards ceremonies.

I grew up with Star Wars. Although I insisted on dressing up as Han Solo for Halloween instead of Princess Leia, her spirit as the go-get-’em, blaster-in-hand, badass fighter for the Rebel Alliance has forever inspired me as a young woman to have that same attitude tackling life. Carrie Fisher, the woman and lifetime achievement, had the same influence over all of us, and we will forever be indebted to her for that. May the Force be with her… always.

Rest in peace, Carrie Fisher.

— On Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, Fisher’s mother Debbie Reynolds tragically passed away of a stroke at 84 years old, only a day after her daughter’s death.

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