Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our 'Princess' Is Now Gone Forever . . . .

America doesn't have royalty. It's not in our DNA.
But Hollywood, the Dream Factory, has its own kind of royalty.
And, there was a young lady who not only had movie royalty in her bloodline but who also played a princess on the big screen. She really was a sort of all-too-human royalty.
She was Carrie Fisher, now dead at the age of 60 after suffering a massive heart attack aboard an airplane just a few days ago.
Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was  the star-crossed daughter of the legendary actress and entertainer Debbie Reynolds and the 1950s Philadelphia-born crooner Eddie Fisher.
Carrie Fisher was an American actress, screenwriter, author, producer, and speaker. 
She was remarkably creative and simply exuded talent.
She was known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Fisher was also known for her semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge, and the screenplay for the film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play, and its nonfiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the show. Her other film roles included Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The 'Burbs (1989), and When Harry Met Sally... (1989).
Fisher publicly discussed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and her addictions to cocaine and prescription medication, including an appearance on ABC's 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry for the BBC. She said that her drug use was a form of self-medication, using pain medication such as Percodan to "dial down" the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. "Drugs made me feel normal," she explained to Psychology Today in 2001. "They contained me."
She discussed her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking and various topics in it with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today that same year, and also revealed that she would have turned down the role of Princess Leia had she realized it would give her the celebrity status that made her parents' lives difficult. This interview was followed by a similar appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on December 12, 2008, where she discussed her electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments. At one point, she received ECT every six weeks to "blow apart the cement" in her brain. In 2014, she told The Telegraph that she was no longer receiving the treatment.
Fisher revealed in another interview that she took cocaine during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. "Slowly, I realized I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter," she noted. In 1985, after months of sobriety, she accidentally overdosed on a combination of prescription medication and sleeping pills. She was rushed to the hospital, creating the turn of events that led to much of the material in her novel and screenplay, Postcards from the Edge. Asked why she didn't take on the role of her story's protagonist, named Suzanne, in the film version, Fisher remarked, "I've already played Suzanne."
In 2016, Harvard College gave Fisher its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, noting that "her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy."
Fisher described herself as an "enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God". She was raised Protestant, but often attended Jewish services, the faith of her father, with Orthodox friends. She was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Inc. weight loss television ads that aired in January 2011.
Inasmuch as there is no natural genetic successor to Hollywood royalty, there is no one -- absolutely no one -- who can or will replace Carrie Fisher.
She was inimitable.
May she rest in peace.

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