BY TROY MASTERS | Talk about a complicated, wild and deeply connected public life in several fishbowls. Carrie Fisher, 60, who died today in Los Angeles, was the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, step-daughter of Elizabeth Taylor, ex-wife of Paul Simon, one-time wife of Hollywood power broker Bryan Lourd (a gay man) and mother of noted actress Billie Lourd.
Billie’s father, Bryan Lourd, is Creative Artists Agency co-chairman. Lourd famously divorced Fisher after he fell in love with another man and came out of the closet. The pair remained friends and, according to a 2010 article in The Advocate, continued to take family vacations together.
Her dog, Gary, could be seen with her wherever she was.
In 2005, another gay friend, Republican operative R. Gregory Stevens, died of a heart attack induced by “cocaine and oxycodone use” in Carrie Fisher’s home — in her bed, actually, and with her in it. The pair had attended an Oscar party, then sat up past midnight watching “Mrs. Miniver.”
Fisher was much more than an actress in Star Wars; she was an author (Postcards From The Edge), a go-to script and movie consultant, an advocate for people with mental illness, and truth teller. She struggled quite openly throughout her life with drug and alcohol addiction.
British gay icon Stephen Fry, who also struggles with manic depression and addiction, described his good friend Fisher as ‘not mad enough to be committed, but not sane enough to lead much of a normal life.’
Paul Simon wrote several songs about her, she claimed, including She Moves On.
Fisher recently made headlines when she suggested in a Tweet that then Presidential candidate Donald Trump was using cocaine. “I don’t know because every day something weirder comes out about him, and more awful,” she said.
It remains one of the few high-profile tweets to which Donald Trump has not yet replied (but the day is young).
Her saltiness made her particularly appealing to LGBT people. Fisher once said she regretted that Princess Leia, her character in the Star Wars movie series, was not campier and had not spawned any drag queen imitators. “I didn’t have a good enough costume,” she said.
Bruce Vilanch, the Hollywood script writer and bon-vivant, was one of her best friends.
Fisher suffered a major heart attack earlier this week while on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
From Hollywood Reporter: A child of Hollywood royalty, Fisher carved out her own idiosyncratic career, enjoying her biggest onscreen popularity as Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy before going on to establish herself as an acerbic, truth-telling writer with such books as Postcards From the Edge. 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.
Born to actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher in 1956, Carrie Fisher grew up in a showbiz fishbowl — her parents divorced when she was just two, after Fisher left Reynolds for actress Elizabeth Taylor in what at the time was a major tabloid scandal.
The young Carrie, who grew up in Beverly Hills, first stepped onstage when she was 15 to join her mother in the Broadway musical Irene. She made her film debut four years later in Warren Beatty’s Shampoo (1975), playing a precocious teen who seduces Beatty’s sexually adventurous hairstylist.
Appearing at Cannes in May to promote the documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, which HBO will air in March, Fisher joked, “I didn’t want to be in show business, and I think I did a very good job [of that].”
Nevertheless, she left her mark on the big screen. Star Wars (1977), in which she led the rebellion as Princess Leia, was only her second film and first starring role. She would reprise the part in the two sequels that rolled out in 1980 and 1983, and she returned to the character, in a now-mature incarnation, in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fisher, who is thanked in the end credits of the new Star Wars spinoff movie Rogue One, was scheduled to appear in the next Star Wars movie, Episode VIII, scheduled for release Dec. 15.
Fisher often spoke with ambivalence about Leia, telling Rolling Stone in 1983: “She has no friends, no family; her planet was blown up in seconds — along with her hairdresser — so all she has is a cause. From the first film, she was just a soldier, front line and center. The only way they knew to make the character strong was to make her angry.”