Remembering Carrie Fisher: She was not just a 'Star Wars' actor

Carrie Fisher was a survivor of early fame, drug addiction, and bipolar disorder

Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies, died on Tuesday at the age of 60. She suffered a heart attack four days ago while on a plane from London to Los Angeles.

“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning. She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers,” a statement by a family spokesperson statement said.

She was a survivor of early fame, drug addiction, and bipolar disorder. The daughter of Hollywood stars Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, she wrote with unsentimental wit and understanding about her private struggles and about an industry she was raised in but stood apart from.

She opened up not just about herself but also shared a number of secrets about others, like her parents’ breakup, on being advised by Warren Beatty on wearing a bra, and about arguing with then-husband Paul Simon about whether it was better to be a man or a woman.

Carrie started performing on stage by the age of 12 and appeared with Reynolds in the 1973 Broadway revival “Irene”. She was still a teenager when she made her feature film debut in “Shampoo” in 1975.

Her drug problems began before her ‘Star Wars’ days. Her cocaine usage was so high that even world-class partyer John Belushi, who died of a drug overdose at 33, warned her to stop. She was diagnosed as bipolar in her 20s and treated with electroshock therapy and medication.

Though she is widely acclaimed for her role in Star Wars, she is remembered for several other roles too. From 1975’s turn in ‘Shampoo’ to a 2014 cameo as herself in The Big Bang Theory, she played many roles both on the big and the small screen.