Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Answer to the Question "Who Is That Girl?"

Carrie Fisher died yesterday in a California hospital, one week after suffering a heart attack while aboard a flight that originated in London, England and landed in Los Angeles, California.  She was sixty years old.  While she is forever etched in cinema history and in the mind's eye of the movie-going public as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movie series, the first film-related thought I had of her yesterday when I heard the news of her death was not this one.  It was this one: 

Her "Mystery Woman" is in "The Blues Brothers Movie" for not very long at all but she is, nevertheless, an integral part of the film.  The daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, the latter of whom she wrote (describing the way in which he left his wife and then-young daughter for Elizabeth Taylor), "My father was best friends with a man named Michael Todd. Mike Todd was married to Elizabeth Taylor.  Mike Todd died in a plane crash, and my father consoled Elizabeth Taylor with his penis,"  was not a woman who suffered fools lightly, on screen or off.  

She could write, she could act, and - being a great deal braver than a lot of us (regardless of our birthright or our gender), she could talk about her own mental health struggles and her drug-and-alcohol-dependency-related demons in a way that liberated her and helped countless others.  

Her death leaves a void, not because of the roles she played but because of the life she lived.  If you went to sleep last night, feeling as if you had sensed a disturbance in the Force, then take solace in the fact that you were not alone. 

And if you think that she and Bruno Kirby were off-the-charts good together in "When Harry Met Sally", you are not alone. 

Here is to hoping that the two of them, wherever they are tonight, find a place to grab dinner together and renew an old, wonderful acquaintance. 


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