Carrie Fisher rose to global stardom portraying Princess Leia in George Lucas’ three original Star Wars films. After an early peak, Fisher made occasional appearances, including those in Hannah and Her Sisters, The Burbs, When Harry Met Sally, and Soapdish.
As well as the daunting burden of the Star Wars typecast, Fisher’s career prospects over the late 1980s and beyond were hampered by a struggle with bipolar disorder and a difficult relationship with substance abuse. In the latter years of her career, Fisher received praise for speaking publicly about her experiences with mental disorder and addiction and wrote several highly impactful books, including Postcards from the Edge and Wishful Drinking.
In December 2016, aged 60, Fisher sadly died four days after falling unconscious on a flight from London to Los Angeles. The cause of death was identified to have been from a convergence of factors, including cardiac arrest and asphyxiation due to sleep apnea. A full coroner’s report released six months after Fisher’s death detailed that Fisher had cocaine in her system, as well as traces of heroin, other opiates, and MDMA at the time of death.
In 2018, on the two-year anniversary of her mother’s death, Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, posted on Instagram to pay a touching tribute. Lourd filmed herself in a Christmas scene as she sat at a piano and sang Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’, citing the classic as one of her late mother’s all-time favourite songs.
The post’s caption read: “It has been two years since my Momby’s death and I still don’t know what the ‘right’ thing to do on a death anniversary is (I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way about your loved ones).”
Adding: “So I decided to do something a little vulnerable for me, but something we both loved to do together – sing,” she continued. “This is the piano her father gave her and this was one of her favourite songs. And as the song says, we must ‘keep on moving.’”
Billie Lourd continued to say, “I’ve found that what keeps me moving is doing things that make me happy, working hard on the things that I’m passionate about and surrounding myself with people I love and making them smile. I hope this encourages anyone feeling a little low or lost to ‘keep on moving’. As my Momby once said, ‘take your broken heart and turn it into art’ – whatever that art may be for you.”
Watch Billie Lourd’s wonderful rendition of Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’ below.