“You get to choose what monsters you want to slay. I’m sorry to say this again, but let’s face it–the Force is with you.”
Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, Fisher’s life and legacy nonetheless cannot be attributed to a single film. She was an actress, author, activist, philanthropist, and mother who made her ups and downs public so she could better help others. Though no longer with us, Fisher’s legacy lives on.
Here are 26 out-of-this-world facts about Carrie Fisher.
Carrie Fisher Facts
25. A Star is Born to Stars
Carrie’s parents are Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Debbie Reynolds was a critically acclaimed actress, singer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Eddie Fisher was a musician and TV show host. With parents like these, it’s easy to see that Carrie was born with the genes of a star.
24. An Early Brush with Destiny
Fisher’s first brush with stardom came at the age of 15 when she dropped out of school to appear with her mother on the Broadway musical Irene.
23. Before Leia she was Lorna
Star Wars wasn’t her first film. Two years prior, in 1975, Fisher was cast as Lorna Karpf in Shampoo, a satirical romantic comedy.
22. Classically Trained
In 1973, Fisher enrolled at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. She described her 18 months in the program as some of the “best years of her life.”
21. College Drop Out
Prior to beginning her professional career, Fisher briefly enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, but dropped out to pursue a brighter calling.
20. Healing Sick Scripts
Fisher was a sought-after script doctor. She rewrote and edited scripts (often without credit) for many films: Sister Act, Hook, Lethal Weapon 3, and The Wedding Singer all have her touch. Fisher has said she was particularly good at writing female characters and love scenes.
19. The Princess and the Author
Aside from being an accomplished actress and script doctor, Fisher was also a prolific author. In 1987, she published the semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge. The novel, set in Hollywood, revolves around a young actress trying to put the pieces together after entering rehab–something Fisher knew all too well. In 1990, the novel was turned into a film, and Fisher also wrote the script.
17. Like Mother, Like Daughter
Fisher’s only child, Billie Lourd, is an actress who is most known for appearing on Scream Queens and American Horror Story. Billie’s father, Bryan Lourd, is a talent agent who Fisher dated from 1991 to 1994.
16. There is No Underwear in Space
Fisher was not allowed to wear a bra as Princess Leia underneath her iconic white dress. Instead, her breasts had to be taped with gaffer tape. George Lucas told Fisher that there is no underwear in space.
15. A Mental Health Advocate
Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 24. In her memoir Shockoholic, Fisher details how multiple drugs, including Lithium, didn’t help her with the disorder nearly as much a electroconvulsive stimulation therapy.
14. A Sobering Moment
Fisher’s difficulties with bipolar disorder led to a drug and alcohol addiction. At the age of 28, she overdosed and entered rehab.
13. A Different Path, Same Destiny
In her memoir The Princess Diarist, Carrie writes that she didn’t want to be in show business. She didn’t view it as a “career choice.” Thanks to the public relationship between her mother Debbie and father Eddie, Carrie saw firsthand how celebrity and public life can put a strain on a relationship.
12. Gary May Have Been Her Greatest Love
Gary Fisher, a French bulldog who served as Fisher’s therapy canine, was by her side until her death in 2016. Gary, whom Fisher took everywhere, was found in, according to Fisher, “a very tragic pet store” in New York. Notably, Gary has a loyal Twitter and Instagram fan base.
11. Life Imitates Art
When Han and Leia went home for the week, Carrie and Harrison began. In The Princess Diarist, Fisher wrote that she and Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo throughout the Star Wars trilogy, had an affair that lasted three months.
10. A Real Hero Among Us
Fisher used her star power, wealth, and role as a public figure to help many AIDS and HIV charities.
9. Bad Hair Days
The Princess Leia buns are recognizable around the world. But for Fisher, it was just a bad hair day. She claimed the buns made her face look too wide, weighed a lot, and took two hours to create.
8. Carrie Fisher, Not Princess Leia
Though millions of fans have come to love her character as the resilient heroine Princess Leia Organa, Fisher has some mixed feelings about the role. One of those mixed feelings is about her identity, which she claims director George Lucas took away from her due to the heavy merchandising of Star Wars characters over the years. In a 2011, Fisher told a reporter that she feels like she is “Minnie Mouse” and that the identity of Princess Leia “So eclipses any other identity that I’ve ever had.”
7. Under Pressure
Fisher was asked–or as she puts it, pressured–to lose 35lbs for her role reprisal in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fisher used this pressure to explain to her fans how, in show business, the only thing that matters is “weight and appearance.”
6. Goodnight, Princess
On December 23rd, 2016, on a flight from London to Los Angeles, Fisher suddenly stopped breathing. After 4 days in the intensive unit at UCLA Medical Center, Fisher died. She was 60 years old. Of course, her dog Gary was by her side the whole time.
5. Trouble in the Galaxy
Fisher’s autopsy showed evidence of a variety of illicit drugs in her system. The coroner suggested that sleep apnea–the repeated stopping of breathing during sleep–and fatty tissue buildup in her arteries also contributed to her death.
4. The Fans Make the Star
Sad fans were shocked to find out that Fisher didn’t have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They quickly rushed to the famous sidewalk to create a makeshift star for Fisher that read “Carrie Fisher: May the Force Be With You, Always Hope.” Fans left cinnamon rolls, roses, bracelets, and candles at the site.
3. A Galaxy Mourns
The Last Jedi, the newest release in the Star Wars franchise, is dedicated to Fisher. The end credits of the film read, “In loving memory of our princess, Carrie Fisher.”
2. An Offer You Can’t Refuse
When Carrie Fisher learned her friend had been assaulted by a hollywood film executive, she personally went to his office and delivered a Tiffany’s package wrapped in a white bow. Inside was a freshly butchered cow’s tongue and a note that read, “If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box!”
1. One Final Request
Based off her experience going braless in Star Wars (remember, there is no need for underwear in space), Fisher requested that her death be reported as she “drowned in moonlight, strangled by own bra.”