December 27, 2016

Goodbye to Carrie Fisher.

"Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the 'Star Wars' movie franchise phenomenon, died on Tuesday morning. She was 60."

Here she is, alongside her mother Debbie Reynolds, talking about the breakup of her parents (with Debbie getting the very long last laugh):

I hope that isn't too much laughing. I was looking for the interview she did with her father, back when she had a talk show in 2004, which I blogged here:
It was ragged, frighteningly raw, really, but very funny. He is an eely sweetheart of a man, and he sat there and let his daughter bounce zingers off him for an hour. She's bitter and good natured, and she let him have it about his life of heavy drug use and womanizing.
And I'm a big fan of the movie based on her book "Postcards from the Edge":

Here she is in her first role — she's a teenager — with Warren Beatty in "Shampoo":


MadisonMan said...

I'm sorry for her family, especially her Mom.

Lesson learned: don't have massive heart attacks on planes.

The force wasn't strong enough with her, I guess.

Saint Croix said...

I loved Star Wars.

Unknown said...

I always enjoyed the interplay between her and Han Solo.

Saint Croix said...

also loved her in When Harry Met Sally...

Saint Croix said...

she's on an episode of Big Bang Theory

I might have to track that down!

Jaske said...

I was 11 when Star Wars released, and had a massive crush on Carrie Fisher. So sad to hear this, RIP great lady.

sunsong said...

Rest in Peace Carrie...

Saint Croix said...

She did a Nero Wolfe and a Dr. Katz.

She did one of the Scream movies, and an Austin Powers.

And my favorite Woody Allen, Hannah and Her Sisters.

Always kept working, trying new things, writing books, no pride, all about the work.

rest in peace

Alex said...

Wow... 2016 worst year ever if you're into celebrities. Otherwise where are the obits for the normal Joe & Jane? Oh yeah they don't count.

Michael K said...

"I always enjoyed the interplay between her and Han Solo."

They were sleeping together which might have added to it.

11 hour airplane flights are not good for you if you are in poor health.

Ann Althouse said...

Did you even remember that she was married to Paul Simon?

And just before I heard that she died -- for some unrelated reason -- I was listening to Paul Simon... "My Little Town."

And after it rains
There's a rainbow
And all of the colors are black
It's not that the colors aren't there
It's just imagination they lack

Alex said...

Paul Simon is alive & well because he didn't snort coke.

traditionalguy said...

Blood clots are long airline flight freebies.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Hate to say it, but the return of Peter Cushing raises the question for episode 8..

Rusty said...

She was genuinely funny. She did an "eight out of ten cats" episode for the BBC and comedian Jimmy Carr that aired on the 21st. I might be her last public appearance. You can see it on Utube.

donald said...


"I remained celibate for you...".


glam1931 said...

I hadn't seen SHAMPOO since it came out, and was rather shocked by how harsh that dialogue plays today; I suspect it's a reason why the film is rarely shown anymore, despite being a huge hit at the time. Definitely reflects a huge cultural shift since 1968 (the year the film is set). Thanks for posting.

Alex said...

Honestly I never saw her in anything outside of Star Wars. My guess is she did too much coke and blew the rest of her career.

rcocean said...

Cocaine can cause long-term damage to your heart. So, that's why a 60 y/o woman with good genes dies at 60.

I'm sorry to see her go, although to be honest, I thought she wasn't particularly good as Princess Lei. She obviously got the part because she Hollywood royalty and probably knew Lucas personally.

She was a better author than actress.

etienne said...
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Matt said...

All these middle-aged celebrities dropping dead. Perhaps the lifestyle advocated by '60's radicals isn't so glamorous after all.

My 2nd crush, after Maria from Sesame Street. Wore a Princess Leia shirt to my 1st day of kindergarten. Even got an autographed pic of her in response to a fan letter as a 5 year old. It was her in the Hoth outfit from Empire Strikes Back. Very, very pretty. I'll admit I'm bummed.

James Pawlak said...

No mention of:
1. "The Blues Brothers"; Or,
2. Of her support for murdering babies?

richlb said...

CGI Fisher will return in Disney's Lucasfilm's Star Wars Episode VIII - The Search For The Uncanny Valley.

eddie willers said...

Cocaine can cause long-term damage to your heart

As Robin Williams said, "Cocaine is God's way of telling you that you make too much money".

whitney said...

She was funny. Postcards from the edge was absolutely hilarious. I recently read the princess diarist and wishful drinking. Both good. She loved Princess Leia. She felt responsible for the character and knew that, at this time, pictures of her in star wars would flood the internet. I think she would be okay with the collective mourning for her and her character. And she was a believer so I will pray for her.

rehajm said...

Sorry Carrie, metal bikini.

Catastrophe, too.

narciso said...

Odd they said it happened in the first film, because they didn't have as much s green time as in empire.

johns said...

i saw her one-woman show at the Geffen in Westwood a few years ago. She can certainly do snark and sarcasm. The long bit on how all her parents' marriages results in her being her own grandmother or some such is hilarious.
I agree with the earlier comment that she wasn't a very compelling actress, but was very smart and and a good writer. One of my favorite scenes is from "Postcards", when the young airhead actress says she likes sex because of the "dolfins", and when Carrie corrects her you can just feel the resentment of the better-looking woman, kind of like SNL doing Michael Dukakis--I'm can't believe I'm losing to this guy!

Bay Area Guy said...

Very sad news, Godspeed.

I was either not yet born or too young to experience the hysteria surrounding Elvis in the 50s, and the Beatles in the 60s.

But, as a young boy, I do remember Star Wars in May of 1977.

Boy, that movie took us by storm. It was like Cowboys and Indians, or Cops and Robbers -- but in Space with much fancier weaponry. We absolutely loved it. We breathed it. We couldn't stop talking about it. We couldn't stop thinking about it. We went to the movie theater to watch it 5, 6 or 7 times.

It truly was a social/cultural phenomenom of the highest order.

Bilwick said...

I don't like to be one of those people who like or dislike actors based on whether I agree with their politics. You know, like the leftist doofuses who hated John Wayne because he was a conservative. However, I lost a lot of affection for Ms. Fisher when she dedicated one of her books to our Dear and Glorious Leader, Il Dufe--aka Barack Obama. (I'm paraphrasing.) I could just imagine Princess Leia dedicating a book to the Memory of our Beloved Saviour, Emperor Palpatine. Brainwashed Eloi, Carrie was.

That said, in that scene in THE FORCE AWAKENS where Han Solo is waiting and the hatch on the spaceship opens and Princess Leia steps out--with her musical theme playing in the background--I got verklempt.

Bilwick said...

Also, to be less negative about her, I enjoyed her novel "Surrender the Pink." There's a chapter in it in which the New York City protagonists are in Manhattan during a huge snowfall that shuts down the city--except the indefagitable New York pedestrian. That chapter really captured the sense of anything-can-happen magic I used to experience when I lived in Manhattan and there was a huge snowfall.

Jason said...


veni vidi vici said...

Glad I didn't follow her on twitter; that whole iconography-typing thing is really tiresome to read. I care, just not that much.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I guess this means she won't be at Trump's Inaugural Ball.

Anthony said...



etienne said...
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Mary Beth said...

Rusty said...

She was genuinely funny. She did an "eight out of ten cats" episode for the BBC and comedian Jimmy Carr that aired on the 21st. I might be her last public appearance. You can see it on Utube.

12/27/16, 1:12 PM

I saw that. The pacemaker joke is kind of cringy now.

madAsHell said...

I need to go back, and watch "Shampoo" again. Some of the dialogue is fairly clever.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Blues Brothers - Tunnel Scene

harkin said...

"And just before I heard that she died -- for some unrelated reason -- I was listening to Paul Simon... "My Little Town.""

One and one-half wandering Jews
Free to wander wherever they choose
Are travelling together
In the Sangre de Cristo
The Blood of Christ Mountains
Of New Mexico
On the last leg of the journey
They started a long time ago
The arc of a love affair
Rainbows in the high desert air
Mountain passes slipping into stones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Thinking back to the season before
Looking back through the cracks in the door
Two people were married
The act was outrageous
The bride was contagious
She burned like a bride
These events may have had some effect
On the man with the girl by his side
The arc of a love affair
His hands rolling down her hair
Love like lightning shaking till it moans
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
Hearts and bones
And whoa whoa whoa
She said why?
Why don't we drive through the night
And we'll wake up down in Mexico
Oh I
I don't know nothin' about nothin'
About Mexico
And tell me why
Why won't you love me
For who I am
Where I am
He said:
'Cause that's not the way the world is baby
This is how I love you, baby
This is how I love you, baby
One and one-half wandering Jews
Returned to their natural coasts
To resume old acquaintances
Step out occasionally
And speculate who had been damaged the most
Easy time will determine if these consolations
Will be their reward
The arc of a love affair
Waiting to be restored
You take two bodies and you twirl them into one
Their hearts and their bones
And they won't come undone
Hearts and bones

harkin said...

Above is from Hearts And Bones

About their honeymoon IIRC

madAsHell said...

What happened to her voice?

Dave in Tucson said...

> Lesson learned: don't have massive heart attacks on planes.

Probably a better lesson is, don't do piles of cocaine.

Also, the writing style she used for her tweets is unreadable.

Paco Wové said...

About their honeymoon IIRC

Funny, and I always thought it was about their breakup.

Michael K said...

"But, as a young boy, I do remember Star Wars in May of 1977."

Have you ever seen Silent Running ?,

It was the original with the space animation using models and I took my oldest son to see it when it came out. The story is a bit of enviro propaganda but the movie and the special effects were magic. It was 5 years before Star Wars.

Fernandinande said...

MAJMike said...

At my age of 66, 60 seems so young.

Sorry she had to go.

Ann Althouse said...

"One of my favorite scenes is from "Postcards", when the young airhead actress says she likes sex because of the "dolfins", and when Carrie corrects her you can just feel the resentment of the better-looking woman, kind of like SNL doing Michael Dukakis--I'm can't believe I'm losing to this guy!"

That other actress is Annette Bening.

Speaking of Warren Beatty.

harkin said...

"Funny, and I always thought it was about their breakup."

That too - How crazy that he wrote it before they were married! He was a time traveler.

William said...

I can absorb the deaths of any number of rock stars with equanimity, but news of her death left me bleak and saddened. As a general rule, celebrities live in a galaxy far, far away, and I don't look to them for comfort or support, but there was something accessible and appealing about her that drew me in.......Some here have observed that she wasn't a very compelling actress. That may be true, but she was just right for Princess Leia. She was like Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz or Emilia Clarke in GOT. She was kind and direct and uncomplicated. Her role was to inspire the knight errants in their quest. It's a kind of Virgin Mother role, and you do not want a lot of nuance in the line readings.......I saw her HBO special, Wishful Drinking. She was very funny. Despite or, maybe, because of all the fame and privilege she had a rough life. She was a prenatal celebrity. That was her in the womb of Debbie Reynolds when Eddie Fisher commenced his affair with Liz Taylor. The raw facts of her life were a lot crazier than she was. I'd give her a pass on the drug use. She wasn't trying to get high so much as she was trying to get straight,.......,I'm very sorry to hear of her passing. She touched my life.

harkin said...

Poor Carrie's not even cold and the snowflakes are in an uproar, correcting anyone recalling Star Wars and calling her "Princess" that she was "promoted" to General and blaming "mansplaining".

Should we mansplain to these poor knuckleheads that Princess is not a military rank and General is not a royal title?

Nah.....let them enjoy the playpen.

Smilin' Jack said...

I was going to watch a Star Wars movie in tribute, but then realized I don't have any, because they sucked. So I'll watch Barbarella instead. RIP Carrie.

HT said...

In a time when so many live so fearful of making waves or consuming even one or two Cokes, she was truly out there on the edge. All these deaths during Christmas are making me sad.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

She was evidently a great writer with a mordant wit, honest to the end, and a bit of a crazy woman who dealt with her burdens in ways that shined. I am sad that her earlier escapades taxed her already overburdened heart; and perhaps took her earlier from us than anyone deserved. She will always be galactic royalty and the emissary of a new hope. And I once had my own secret childhood crush on her too. I think we all did. You'd have to have been crazy not to.

I am quite sad. A thousands stars have gone out.

rcocean said...

"She was evidently a great writer with a mordant wit,"

If she was a great writer where does that leave Tolstoy and Hemingway? Super-great?

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

I don't know, rc. I'll leave you to nit-pick over the semantics. What a horrible person I must be for forgetting that this thread wasn't about classic or even popular authors.

Being sought out to competently fix Hollywood scripts is a noteworthy talent, when it's not even your primary claim to fame. And we live in a bigger society today with more art and more writing. Tolstoy doesn't have a comparison. As for Hemingway, my opinion of him aligns somewhat with Gore Vidal's:

"One of the reasons that the gifted Hemingway never wrote a good novel was that nothing interested him except a few sensuous experiences, like killing things and fucking—interesting things to do but not all that interesting to write about. This sort of artist runs into trouble very early on because all he can really write about is himself and after youth that self—unengaged in the world—is of declining interest. Admittedly, Hemingway chased after wars, but he never had much of anything to say about war, unlike Tolstoy or even Malraux. I think that the more you know the world and the wider the net you cast in your society, the more interesting your books will be, certainly the more interested you will be".

walter said...

Have to say it's a bit weird after seeing her just last night in Rogue one..all CGI'd up or whatever they did to portray her so young saying new lines.

rcocean said...

"As for Hemingway, my opinion of him aligns somewhat with Gore Vidal's:"

LOL. Yeah, good old Gore Vidal. Who reads Gore Vidal's fiction? Almost nobody. Meanwhile, pretty much every Hemingway novel is still in print. And people still read "War and Peace" and "Ann Karenina" - they even make movies base on Tolstoy's books.

Hemingway had a lot to say about War. He just doesn't spell it out for you. And he also says a lot of about life. Vidal just didn't like Heminway's POV. But then why would he? The two men were polar opposites. Vidal was a gay man interested in Gay sex and hanging out with Eleanor Roosevelt and Jackie. He was a better looking Truman Capote. During WW2, Hemingway was 44 y/o dodging shells in the Hurtgen Forest while Vidal never left the USA. That's the difference.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Great times with Star Wars and The Blues Brothers and she was an insightful writer. So many children of the big star era ended unfortunately, but she seems to have worked it out between her writing and therapy. It would be horrible to age under a microscope in a town like Hollywood. She had grace under pressure. I remained thankfully ignorant of her politics and will remember her for those sexy eyes and that huge gun in the tunnel scene (thanks for posting a link Hoodlum).

RIP. 2016, what a year.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

Vidal wrote and defended and forgot more about America and its history than Hemingway ever knew. But the Old Man got drunk and liked to fight and risk lives just for the heck of it so let's pretend that somehow makes him more of a man than a great lover, raconteur and elucidator of the Jefferson-Hemmings family tree.

How great that Hemingway dodged shells. Too bad he didn't take one in that great war. Would have spared us all his useless yammering about the senseless violence he loved so much that he finally inflicted it in a fatal way on himself.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

"Locusts! It wasn't my fault!"

William said...

More ponderous thoughts about Carrie Fisher: As noted, I can accept with equanimity the deaths of any number of rock stars. They're Dionysian. Dying is part of their cult and ritual. I can't remember any year in my life when some rock star didn't croak......Carrie Fisher wasn't a rock star. She was a movie star, and, more than that, the star of an iconic movie that defined and memorialized our own youthfull quests. She was the graceful figure on the Grecian urn, forever frozen in her beauty..... ,. She truly lived in a different galaxy. In that galaxy, beautiful women don't have weight problems, rehab stays, or early deaths. The real world kept penetrating the fantasy world, and, in the end, destroyed it. But she had that moment, and it was credible.

Zach said...

Poor Carrie's not even cold and the snowflakes are in an uproar, correcting anyone recalling Star Wars and calling her "Princess" that she was "promoted" to General and blaming "mansplaining".

It's useless to argue with Star Wars fans or SJWs, but here goes...

The movies set up Leia quite effectively as a princess, and not at all as a general. She is a haughty, unattainable love interest first for Luke (eew!), then for Han Solo. She defies Vader, who blows up her planet in retaliation -- something that makes sense for a princess but not for a general.

At no point during the series do we see her giving orders to troops, running a staff, or occuping any recognizable role in a military organization. She plays a role in large strategy conferences, but these are the sort of conferences that Luke (supernumerary fighter pilot), Han (smuggler), and Lando (enemy collaborator) are invited to as well. She's a general in about the same sense as Harlan Sanders was a Kentucky Colonel -- it's an honorific that has no military meaning.

Sorry for the geekery, but it grates on me how people will take offhand lines of dialogue as gospel in these movies while ignoring the basics of characterization.

walter said...

Yeeeaahhhh..just don't give a shit. Me so evil..

walter said...

If no bikini in x'er's and boomer's formative years, how much relevance?

Yancey Ward said...

I have read all of her books, and it those more than her role in Star Wars and the subsequent two movies that made this very sad for me. In her books you get a disarming honesty and self-deprecating humor that makes it impossible not to like her. As a commenter above wrote, she appeared in an episode of Big Bang Theory along with James Earl Jones playing themselves- it is a small role with a single line, but it brought a big smile to my face simply because she was playing someone who was a "a little crazy, so get ready to run".

Zach said...

I mean, if Princess Leia is a General, then for the entire three movies there's a brigade somewhere going "shouldn't we be doing something?"

walter said...

Interesting, there was period apparently where she was being a vindictive bitch..guess I lost interest at that point. Ah well..

dustbunny said...

Rcocean, Vidal was stationed in the Aleutian Islands during WWll. I don't think he had much to do with where they sent him.

Wilbur said...

The radio newscaster informed me on the way the way to work this morning that "The world is mourning the passing of Carrie Fisher."

Really? I take no pleasure from her death, but I can't get it through my head how one can truly mourn the death of an individual you never even met, let alone knew personally.

If you are truly broken up by the death of a public figure (Princess Di, Prince, Elvis, et al.) you may need to examine your own life and values.

Remember, they didn't know you, they certainly didn't want to know you, and if you were them you wouldn't either.

Sydney said...

Watching the clip with Debbie Reynolds left me wondering, "How many lives did Elizabeth Taylor wreck?"

Tank said...

It makes sense that Rhythm and Balls does not like Hemmingway.

The more I think about that, the more I think it's true.

rhhardin said...

Weird hairdo in Star Wars, otherwise a generic female actress.

I don't remember her in The 'Burbs or When Harry Met Sally, both of which I have somewhere.

The news is wondering about her replacement, as if generic actresses were hard to find.

harkin said...

Hemingway's and Vidal's writing were both mostly enjoyable to me (I especially liked The Old Man And The Sea and Julian) but neithers work really stuck with me enough to re-read.

Variety is the spice of life.

Did you see the heat Steve Martin got just for stating that Carrie was smart as well as attractive? The speech police are out in force over Leia.

rcocean said...

"Dustbunny" you need to read something about Vidal. He was politically "connected". His Grandfather was a DC lawyer and former Senator, his Dad a West Point Grad, and his Uncle was a high level officer in the Army Air Force.

During WW2, they got him various safe jobs on USA AAF bases until Vidal decided he wanted to become an officer. Since OCS was full up, Vidal volunteered to become a 2nd mate on an Army Supply ship. This lasted about 5 months (Nov 1944 - March '45) before he got sick, and transferred back to the continental USA. He made it quite clear in both his post-war interviews and in his contemporary letters that he had zero desire to fight in WW2.

William said...

I read Postcards From The Edge. I remember that I enjoyed reading it, but I can't remember anything else about it. I remember everything about Star Wars. She wasn't such a great actress, but she was certainly likable and appealing in that role. A great performance probably would have subverted the role. She was the girl next door in a galaxy far, far away. You could connect with her in a way you can't with Meryl Streep or Bette Davis. From her own account, she was nothing like a girl next door so maybe Princess Leia was a great performance.......I'm generally pretty stoical about celebrity deaths. The ven diagrams of our lives would show two separate bubbles with absolutely no overlap. But not so with Carrie. Our bubbles are far more permeable in youth, and she was part of our youth. You definitely get more of a "toll for thee" vibe with the bells that toll for her death.

ken in tx said...

I read that she was on a crash diet for a new Star Wars movie shoot. I have had heart palpitations in the past while on crash diets. To avoid them, you have to take vitamins and drink lots of water. (PS I had to make mandatory weigh-ins in a previous life, but no more.)

etienne said...
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