Fisher in 2013
|Born||Carrie Frances Fisher
October 21, 1956
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Died||December 27, 2016
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Cardiac arrest|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actress, writer, humorist|
(m. 1983; div. 1984)
|Partner(s)||Bryan Lourd (1991–1994)|
Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016) was an American actress, writer and humorist. She first became known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars film series. Her other film roles included Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The 'Burbs (1989), and When Harry Met Sally... (1989).
Fisher wrote several semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge, the screenplay for the film of the book, an autobiographical one-woman play, and a non-fiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the play. She worked on other writers' screenplays as a script doctor. In later years, she earned praise for speaking publicly about her experiences with bipolar disorder and drug addiction.
Fisher was the daughter of the singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Fisher and her mother appear in Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, a 2016 documentary about their relationship. It premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Fisher died of cardiac arrest on December 27, 2016, at age 60, four days after experiencing a medical emergency during a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles.
Carrie Frances Fisher was born on October 21, 1956, in Burbank, California, to actors and singers Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Fisher's paternal grandparents were Jewish Russian immigrants, while her mother, who was raised a Nazarene, was of Scots-Irish and English descent.
Fisher was two years old when her parents divorced in 1959. Her father's third marriage, to actress Connie Stevens, resulted in the births of Fisher's two half-sisters, Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher. In 1960, her mother married Harry Karl, owner of a chain of shoe stores. Reynolds and Karl divorced in 1973, when Fisher was 17 years old.
Fisher "hid in books" as a child, becoming known in her family as "the bookworm". She spent her earliest years reading classic literature, and writing poetry. She attended Beverly Hills High School until age 15, when she appeared as a debutante and singer in the hit Broadway revival Irene (1973), starring her mother. Her time on Broadway interfered with her education, resulting in Fisher's dropping out of high school. In 1973, Fisher enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, which she attended for 18 months. Following her time there, Fisher applied to and was accepted at Sarah Lawrence College, where she planned to study the arts. She later left without graduating.
Fisher made her film debut in the Columbia Pictures comedy Shampoo (1975) starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn, with Lee Grant and Jack Warden as her precociously seductive character's parents. In 1977, Fisher starred as Princess Leia in George Lucas' science-fiction film Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. At the time, she believed the script for Star Wars was fantastic, but did not expect many people to agree with her. Though her fellow actors were not close at the time, they bonded after the commercial success of the film.
In April 1978, Fisher appeared as the love interest in Ringo Starr's 1978 TV special Ringo. The next month, she starred alongside John Ritter (who had also appeared in Ringo) in the ABC-TV film Leave Yesterday Behind. At this time, Fisher appeared with Laurence Olivier and Joanne Woodward in the anthology series Laurence Olivier Presents in a television version of the William Inge play Come Back, Little Sheba. That November, she played Princess Leia in the 1978 TV production Star Wars Holiday Special, and sang in the last scene.
Fisher appeared in the film The Blues Brothers as Jake's vengeful ex-lover; she is listed in the credits as "Mystery Woman". While in Chicago filming the movie, Fisher choked on a Brussels sprout; Dan Aykroyd performed the Heimlich maneuver and "saved my life". She appeared on Broadway in Censored Scenes from King Kong in 1980. The same year, she reprised her role as Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back, and appeared with her Star Wars co-stars on the cover of the July 12, 1980 issue of Rolling Stone to promote the film. She also starred as Sister Agnes in the Broadway production of Agnes of God in 1982.
In 1983, Fisher returned to the role of Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi, and posed in the character's metal bikini on the cover of the Summer 1983 issue of Rolling Stone to promote the film. The costume later achieved a following of its own. In 1986 she starred along with Barbara Hershey and Mia Farrow in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters.
In 1987, Fisher published her first novel, Postcards from the Edge. The book was semi-autobiographical in the sense that she fictionalized and satirized real-life events such as her drug addiction of the late 1970s and her relationship with her mother. It became a bestseller, and she received the Los Angeles Pen Award for Best First Novel. Also during 1987, she was in the Australian film The Time Guardian. In 1989 Fisher played a major supporting role in When Harry Met Sally..., and in the same year she appeared with Tom Hanks as his character's wife in The 'Burbs.
In 1990, Columbia Pictures released a film version of Postcards from the Edge, adapted for the screen by Fisher and starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine and Dennis Quaid. Fisher appeared in the fantasy comedy film Drop Dead Fred in 1991, and played a therapist in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). During the 1990s, Fisher also published the novels Surrender the Pink (1990) and Delusions of Grandma (1993). Fisher also did uncredited script work for movies such as Lethal Weapon 3 (where she wrote some of Rene Russo's dialogue), Outbreak (also starring Russo), The Wedding Singer and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
In the 2000 film Scream 3, Fisher played a former actress, and in 2001 she played a nun in the Kevin Smith comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. She also co-wrote the TV comedy film These Old Broads (2001), of which she was also co-executive producer. It starred her mother Debbie Reynolds, as well as Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins and Shirley MacLaine.
Besides acting and writing original works, Fisher was one of the top script doctors in Hollywood, working on the screenplays of other writers. She did uncredited polishes on movies in a 15-year stretch from 1991 to 2005. She was hired by George Lucas to polish scripts for his 1992 TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the dialogue for the Star Wars prequel scripts. Her expertise in this area was the reason she was chosen as one of the interviewers for the screenwriting documentary Dreams on Spec in 2007. In an interview in 2004, Fisher said she no longer did much script doctoring.
Fisher also voiced Peter Griffin's boss, Angela, on the animated sitcom Family Guy and wrote the introduction for a book of photographs titled Hollywood Moms, which was published in 2001. Fisher published a sequel to Postcards, The Best Awful There Is, in 2004.
Fisher wrote and performed in her one-woman play Wishful Drinking at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles from November 2006 to January 2007. Her show then played throughout 2008 at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, San Jose, the Hartford Stage, the Arena Stage and Boston. Fisher published her autobiographical book, also titled Wishful Drinking, based on her successful play in December 2008 and embarked on a media tour. In 2009, Fisher returned to the stage with her play at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Wishful Drinking then opened on Broadway in New York at Studio 54 and played an extended run from October 2009 until January 2010. In December 2009, Fisher's audiobook recording of Wishful Drinking earned her a nomination for a 2009 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album category.
Fisher joined Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne on Saturday evenings in 2007 for The Essentials with informative and entertaining conversation on Hollywood's best films. She guest-starred in the episode titled "Sex and Another City" from season 3 of Sex and the City with Sarah Jessica Parker. On October 25, 2007, Fisher guest-starred as Rosemary Howard on the second-season episode of 30 Rock called "Rosemary's Baby", for which she received an Emmy Award nomination. On April 28, 2008, she was a guest on Deal or No Deal. In 2008, she also had a cameo as a doctor in the Star Wars-related comedy Fanboys.
In 2010, HBO aired a feature-length documentary based on a special live performance of Fisher's Wishful Drinking stage production. Fisher also appeared on the seventh season of Entourage in the summer of 2010.
Fisher was among the featured performers at the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne, which aired in August 2012. In her monologue, Fisher poked fun at her own mental illness, and her fellow roasters' reliance on weight and menopause jokes. Fisher joked that she had no idea why she was asked to roast Roseanne, until "they explained that we were actually good friends, and that apparently we have worked together." Host Jane Lynch joked that Fisher was there to add perspective to Roseanne's struggles with weight and drugs. Fellow roaster Wayne Brady poked fun at Fisher's career, saying she was the only celebrity "whose action figure is worth more than you are."
She was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. She filmed an appearance on the UK comedy panel show QI that was broadcast on December 25, 2014. Fisher starred alongside Sharon Horgan and American comedian Rob Delaney in Catastrophe, in two six-part comedy series for the British Channel 4 that aired in the UK from January 19, 2015.
Fisher confirmed in March 2013 that she would reprise her role as Princess Leia in Episode VII of the Star Wars series, in an interview following the announcement that a new trilogy of films would be produced. Fisher claimed that Leia was "Elderly. She's in an intergalactic old folks' home [laughs]. I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle." After other media outlets reported this on March 6, 2013, her representative said the same day that Fisher was joking and that nothing was announced.
In a January 2014 interview, Fisher confirmed her involvement and the involvement of the original cast in the upcoming sequels by saying "as for the next Star Wars film, myself, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are expected to report to work in March or April. I'd like to wear my old cinnamon buns hairstyle again but with white hair. I think that would be funny."
In March, Fisher stated that she was moving to London for six months because that was where the filming would take place. On April 29, 2014, the cast for Star Wars Episode VII was officially announced, and Fisher, along with Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker, were all cast in their original roles for the film. Star Wars Episode VII, subtitled The Force Awakens, was released worldwide on December 18, 2015. Fisher was nominated for a 2016 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal.
In Rogue One (2016), which predates the original trilogy, a young version of Leia and the character Grand Moff Tarkin appear, both through computer animation. Fisher had completed filming her role as Leia in Star Wars: Episode VIII (2017) shortly before her death. Variety reported following her death that Fisher was slated to appear in Episode IX and that now Lucasfilm, Disney, and others involved with the film will need to find a way to address her death and what will become of her character. At the time of her death, Fisher had been preparing a sequel to her one-woman play Wishful Drinking.
Fisher and her mother appear in Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, a 2016 documentary about their close relationship featuring interviews, photographs and home movies. The documentary premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was set for broadcast on January 7, 2017.
Fisher dated musician Paul Simon from 1977 until 1983 after meeting him on the set of Star Wars. In 1980, she was briefly engaged to Canadian actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd, who proposed on the set of their film The Blues Brothers. She said: "We had rings, we got blood tests, the whole shot. But then I got back together with Paul Simon." Fisher was married to Simon from August 1983 to July 1984, and they dated again for a time after their divorce. During their marriage, she appeared in Simon's music video for the song "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War". Simon's song "Hearts and Bones" is about their romance.
She subsequently had a relationship with Creative Artists Agency principal and talent agent Bryan Lourd. They had one child together, Billie Catherine Lourd (born July 17, 1992). Eddie Fisher stated in his autobiography (Been There Done That) that his granddaughter's name is Catherine Fisher Lourd and her nickname is "Billy". The couple's relationship ended when Lourd left to be in a relationship with a man. Though Fisher described Lourd as her second husband in interviews, according to a 2004 profile of the actress and writer, she and Lourd were never legally married.
Fisher also had a close relationship with singer James Blunt. While working on his album Back to Bedlam in 2003, Blunt spent much of his time at Fisher's residence. When Vanity Fair's George Wayne asked Fisher if their relationship was sexual, she replied: "Absolutely not, but I did become his therapist. He was a soldier. This boy has seen awful stuff. Every time James hears fireworks or anything like that, his heart beats faster, and he gets 'fight or flight.' You know, he comes from a long line of soldiers dating back to the 10th century. He would tell me these horrible stories. He was a captain, a reconnaissance soldier. I became James' therapist. So it would have been unethical to sleep with my patient."
On February 26, 2005, R. Gregory "Greg" Stevens, a lobbyist, was found dead in Fisher's California home. The final autopsy report lists the cause of death as "cocaine and oxycodone use" but adds chronic, and apparently previously undiagnosed, heart disease as contributing factors. Media coverage of an initial autopsy report used the word "overdose," but that wording is not in the final report. In an interview, Fisher claimed that Stevens' ghost haunted her mansion, which unsettled her: "I was a nut for a year", she explained, "and in that year I took drugs again."
Fisher described herself as an "enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God". She was raised Protestant, but often attended Jewish services, the faith of her father, with Orthodox friends.
Bipolar disorder and drug use
In appearances on 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry, Fisher publicly discussed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and her addictions to cocaine and prescription medication. She said her drug use was a form of self-medication; she used pain medication such as Percodan to "dial down" the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. She gave nicknames to her bipolar moods: Roy ("the wild ride of a mood") and Pam ("who stands on the shore and sobs"). "Drugs made me feel more normal", she explained to Psychology Today in 2001. "They contained me." She discussed her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking and various topics in it with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today that same year, and also revealed that she would have turned down the role of Princess Leia had she realized it would give her the celebrity status that made her parents' lives difficult. This interview was followed by a similar appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on December 12, 2008, where she discussed her electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments. At one point, she received ECT every six weeks to "blow apart the cement" in her brain. In 2014, she said she was no longer receiving the treatment.
Fisher revealed in another interview that she used cocaine during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. "Slowly, I realized I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter", she noted. In 1985, after months of sobriety, she accidentally overdosed on a combination of prescription medication and sleeping pills. She was rushed to the hospital, creating the turn of events that led to much of the material in her novel and screenplay, Postcards from the Edge. Asked why she did not take on the role of her story's protagonist, named Suzanne, in the film version, Fisher remarked, "I've already played Suzanne."
In 2016, Harvard College gave Fisher its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, noting that "her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy."
In her later years, Fisher had an emotional support animal, a French Bulldog named Gary, whom she brought to numerous appearances and interviews. Following her death, reports indicated that Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd would take care of Gary.
Death and tributes
|Wikinews has related news: Actress and writer Carrie Fisher dies at 60|
On December 23, 2016, after finishing the European leg of her book tour, Fisher was on a flight from London to Los Angeles. She suffered a medical emergency around fifteen minutes before the plane landed.[a] A passenger seated near Fisher reported that she had stopped breathing; another passenger performed CPR on Fisher until paramedics arrived at the scene. Emergency services in Los Angeles were contacted when the flight crew reported a passenger in distress prior to landing. After Fisher was taken by ambulance to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, she was placed on a ventilator.
Following four days in intensive care at UCLA Medical Center, Fisher died on December 27, 2016, at 8:55 a.m. (PST); she was 60 years old. Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, confirmed her mother's death in a statement to the press. News of Fisher's death spread quickly online where fans from around the world responded with tributes and condolences. Many of her costars and directors from Star Wars and other works also shared their thoughts on Fisher's death.
On December 28, 2016, while at the home of Fisher's brother Todd, their mother Debbie Reynolds experienced a medical emergency and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Reynolds and her son had been planning Fisher's funeral before 9-1-1 had to be called. The actress subsequently died at the hospital. It was reported later that Fisher's mother had suffered a stroke, and that Reynolds said, "I want to be with Carrie" shortly before she died.[b] On January 5, 2017, a joint private memorial was held for Fisher and Reynolds. A portion of her remains were laid to rest beside Reynolds in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills. The remainder of Fisher's ashes are held in a giant, novelty Prozac pill.
In her 2008 book, Wishful Drinking, Fisher wrote about what she hoped would eventually be her obituary: "I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra." Several obituaries and retrospectives featured the quote. In the absence of a star for Fisher on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, fans created their own memorial using a blank star. Along with flowers and candles, words put on the blank star read, "Carrie Fisher May the Force Be With You Always...". In the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic, thousands of fans paid tribute to Fisher by gathering at House Organa on the planet Alderaan where Fisher's character in Star Wars resided. Lightsaber vigils and similar events in Fisher's honor were held at various Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas theaters and other sites. On January 6, 2017, the lights on Broadway in New York City were darkened for one minute in honor of Fisher and her mother.
On January 9, 2017, the Los Angeles county Department of Public Health issued a death certificate listing "cardiac arrest/deferred" as the cause. More tests were expected.
|1977||Star Wars||Princess Leia Organa|||
|1980||The Empire Strikes Back||Princess Leia Organa|||
|1980||Blues Brothers, TheThe Blues Brothers||Mystery Woman|||
|1981||Under the Rainbow||Annie Clark|||
|1983||Return of the Jedi||Princess Leia Organa|||
|1984||Garbo Talks||Lisa Rolfe|||
|1985||Man with One Red Shoe, TheThe Man with One Red Shoe||Paula|||
|1986||Hannah and Her Sisters||April|||
|1986||Hollywood Vice Squad||Betty Melton|||
|1987||Amazon Women on the Moon||Mary Brown||Segment: "Reckless Youth"|||
|1987||Time Guardian, TheThe Time Guardian||Petra|||
|1988||Appointment with Death||Nadine Boynton|||
|1989||The 'Burbs||Carol Peterson|||
|1989||When Harry Met Sally...||Marie|||
|1990||Sibling Rivalry||Iris Turner-Hunter|||
|1991||Drop Dead Fred||Janie|||
|1991||Soapdish||Betsy Faye Sharon|||
|1991||Hook||Woman kissing on bridge||Uncredited|||
|1992||This Is My Life||Claudia Curtis|||
|1997||Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery||Therapist||Uncredited|||
|2000||Lisa Picard Is Famous||Herself|||
|2001||Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back||Nun|||
|2002||Midsummer Night's Rave, AA Midsummer Night's Rave||Mia's Mom|
|2003||Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||Mother Superior|||
|2007||Suffering Man's Charity||Cameo role|||
|2007||Cougar Club||Glady Goodbey|||
|2008||Women, TheThe Women||Bailey Smith|||
|2009||Sorority Row||Mrs. Crenshaw|||
|2014||Maps to the Stars||Herself|||
|2015||Star Wars: The Force Awakens||General Leia Organa|||
|2016||Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds||Herself||Documentary|
|2016||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||Princess Leia Organa||Voice and likeness used digitally|
|2017||Star Wars: Episode VIII||General Leia Organa||Post-production|
|1969||Debbie Reynolds and the Sound of Children||Girl Scout||Television film|||
|1977||Come Back, Little Sheba||Marie||Television film|
|1978||Leave Yesterday Behind||Marnie Clarkson||Television film|||
|1978||Saturday Night Live||Herself (host)||Episode: "Carrie Fisher/The Blues Brothers"|||
|1978||Star Wars Holiday Special||Princess Leia Organa||Television special|||
|1982||Laverne & Shirley||Cathy||Episode: "The Playboy Show"|||
|1984||Faerie Tale Theatre||Thumbelina||Episode: "Thumbelina"|||
|1985||From Here to Maternity||Veronica||Television short|||
|1985||George Burns Comedy Week||Mitzi||Episode: "The Couch"; pilot for the series Leo & Liz in Beverly Hills|||
|1985||Happily Ever After||Alice Conway (voice)||Television film|
|1986||Liberty||Emma Lazarus||Television film|||
|1986||Sunday Drive||Franny Jessup||Television film|
|1987||Amazing Stories||Laurie McNamara||Episode: "Gershwin's Trunk"|||
|1989||Two Daddies||Alice Conway (voice)||Television film|||
|1989||Trying Times||Enid||Episode: "Hunger Chic"|||
|1993||The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles||N/A||Co-wrote episode: "Paris, October 1916"|
|1995||Present Tense, Past Perfect||Television short|||
|1995||Frasier||Phyllis (voice)||Episode: "She's the Boss"|||
|1995||Ellen||Herself||Episode: "The Movie Show"|||
|1997||Gun||Nancy||Episode: "The Hole"|
|1997||Roseanne||N/A||Wrote episode: "Arsenic and Old Mom"|
|1998||Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist||Roz Katz (voice)||Episode: "Thanksgiving"|||
|2000||Sex and the City||Herself||Episode: "Sex and Another City"|||
|2001||These Old Broads||Hooker||Television film; also writer and co-executive producer|||
|2002||Nero Wolfe Mystery, AA Nero Wolfe Mystery||Ellen Tenzer||Episode: "Motherhunt"|
|2003||Good Morning, Miami||Judy Silver||Episode: "A Kiss Before Lying"|||
|2004||Jack & Bobby||Madison Skutcher||Episode: "The First Lady"|||
|2005||Smallville||Pauline Kahn||Episode: "Thirst"|||
|2005||Romancing the Bride||Edwina||Television film|
|2005–2017||Family Guy||Angela (voice)||20 episodes|||
|2007||Odd Job Jack||Dr. Finch||Episode: "The Beauty Beast"|||
|2007||Weeds||Celia's attorney||Episode: "The Brick Dance"|||
|2007||On the Lot||Herself||Judge|||
|2007||Side Order of Life||Dr. Gilbert||Episode: "Funeral for a Phone"|||
|2007||30 Rock||Rosemary Howard||Episode: "Rosemary's Baby"|||
|2008||Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II||Princess Leia Organa / Additional voices||Television special|||
|2008||Bring Back ... Star Wars||Herself||Television documentary|
|2009||Celebrity Ghost Stories||Herself|||
|2010||Wright vs. Wrong||Joan Harrington||Television film|||
|2010||Entourage||Anna Fowler||Episode: "Tequila and Coke"|||
|2012||Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne||Herself (roaster)||Comedy special|
|2012||It's Christmas, Carol!||Eve||Television film|||
|2014||The Big Bang Theory||Herself||Episode: "The Convention Conundrum"|||
|2014||Legit||Angela McKinnon||Episode: "Licked"|||
|2014–2016||Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce||Cat||2 episodes|
|2016||8 Out of 10 Cats||Herself||Episode 20x07|||
|1994||Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi||Princess Leia|
|2016||Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens||Princess Leia|||
- Postcards from the Edge, 1987, ISBN 0-7434-6651-9
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The couple's first child, a daughter, Carrie Frances...Abstract; full article requires subscription.
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BURBANK, Calif., Oct. 21 — ...became parents of a daughter today after a hectic dash by car from Palm Springs. The couple left there at midnight for the 120-mile drive to St. Joseph's Hospital here. The baby was born almost three weeks ahead of time.Abstract; full article requires subscription.
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I was raised Protestant but I'm half-Jewish—the wrong half.
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She is survived by ... and beloved French bulldog, Gary.
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(Todd Fisher:) Carrie’s favorite possession was a giant Prozac pill that she bought many years ago. A big pill. She loved it, and it was in her house and [her daughter] Billie and I felt it was where she’d want to be.
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Now I think that this would make for a fantastic obit—so I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.
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