Carrie Fisher, famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, is dead.
Fisher died following a massive heart attack she suffered on a flight from London to Los Angeles earlier this week. She was 60 years old.
Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956) was an American novelist, screenwriter and actress. Born the daughter of Hollywood royalty Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, the actress and writer was best known for her iconic role as Star Wars’ rebel Princess Leia, and her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge, for which she wrote the screenplay to the film of the same name.
Her HBO special, Wishful Drinking, in which she recounted her unusual life, was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding variety, music and comedy special in 2011.
In addition to writing and acting, Fisher was open about addressing her own problems with substance abuse and bipolar disorder, and was a vocal activist for mental health reform.
Also, Fisher was open about being an agnostic, and was not afraid to share her doubts concerning the existence of God.
For example, in 1992, a good-natured Fisher declared:
I love the idea of God, but it’s not stylistically in keeping with the way I function. I would describe myself as an enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God.
Last April, in recognition of her support for humanism, and humanist values, Fisher received the prestigious 10th Annual Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, awarded by the Harvard Community of Humanists, Atheists, and Agnostics (HCHAA) and the Humanist Hub.
The Humanist Hub’s Program Director, Sarah J. Chandonnet, said the humanist groups chose Fisher for the lifetime achievement award because of her openness about agnosticism and mental illness.
An announcement for the award, via Harvard, reads in part:
Ms. Fisher’s work humanizes a popular culture obsessed with celebrity, and helps readers laugh at the absurdity of contemporary society and relationships. Her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy.
Fisher is survived by her mother Debbie Reynolds, her daughter actress Billie Lourd, and her beloved French bulldog, Gary.