Carrie Fisher was immortalized as a film icon for her role as Princess Leia, in Star Wars. She passed away at the age of 60 on December 27th, 2016 following a heart attack while on an international flight.
Her drug addiction, particularly in the 1970’s, became the subject of her iconic autobiography, Postcards From The Edge, which was first published in 1987. It was a ground-breaking story at the time and it changed the way that many people viewed addiction. After all: if a famous, beautiful, wealthy actress who was a household name could suffer from addiction, surely anyone else could?
Carrie Fisher – Autobiography and History
In Postcards from the Edge, the lead character Suzanne struggles to understand how someone who’s suffered could believe in God. She contemplates this while in rehab treatment facility. As this occurs, a woman from Alcoholics Anonymous tells Suzanne that God only gives people what He believes they can handle. The woman insists it is not a curse, but a compliment. In essence, her shoulders are big enough to carry the weight.
Indeed, Fisher had a weight to carry. She was born to wealthy parents who were both actors. Her mom was famous actress Debbie Reynolds. She appeared in many films and shows from 1948-2015. Reynolds was best known for her roles in Singin’ in the Rain, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and as the voice of Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web. She passed away just a day after Fisher, at the age of 84, after suffering a stroke.
Regarding her mother, Fisher once said, “My mother is fantastic. Without her, I would have been raised by wolves.”
Carrie Fisher’s father was Eddie Fisher, who was one of the most popular singers of the 1950’s. He was married 5 times, including once to Elizabeth Taylor and Connie Stevens.
Both of Fisher’s parents had their fair share of issues. According to Time, Eddie Fisher allegedly fainted when Carrie was being delivered. Carrie wrote in Wishful Drinking that when she was born, she was “virtually unattended.”
Carrie Fisher – Stardom and Drug Problems
Although Fisher enjoyed the benefits of stardom, which for her included an alleged affair with Harrison Ford, a marriage to Paul Simon, and hosting Saturday Night Live, she also suffered greatly from a co-occurring condition: drug abuse with mental illness.
According to the Toronto Sun, Fisher said she believed her father was “an untreated manic depressive,” who dealt with his problems through drugs and alcohol. She felt as if she inherited some of her addiction issues from him.
In an interview with WebMD, regarding her struggles, Fisher said “Well, I am hoping to get the centerfold in Psychology Today. It’s a combination of everything….I wanted my version of it out there. Now, it seems every show I watch there’s always someone bipolar in it! It’s going through the vernacular like “May the force be with you” did. But I define it, rather than it defining me.”
Fisher was officially diagnosed with bipolar at age 29. Concurrently, she was also classified as an alcoholic and a drug addict. She also spent time in rehabs for addiction treatment, and was not shy about topics like cocaine use and drinking.
Carrier Fisher – Her Death
Carrie Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, planned a joint funeral for her and his mother (Reynolds). It is currently pending, and they are expected to be buried alongside friends like Liberace and Bette Davis. The results of Fisher’s death are still inconclusive. It is speculated that her prior drug use could have complicated her heart problems, or that she could also have been abusing drugs again prior to her death.
tags: carrier fisher, addiction, postcards from the edge, star wars, princess leia, Debbie Reynolds, eddie fisher