It is with a heavy heart that we need to talk about the passing of Carrie Fisher. Best known for her iconic role as Princess Leia, Fisher inspired countless individuals throughout her life. While her life had many amazing moments, many of which are chronicled below, she also lived a life that was full of hardship, much of which is barely known by the general public.
We’ve tracked down 20 of the most influential photos of Fisher that were taken through the years; ranging from her first ever photo in 1957, to what is being reported was her last known photo taken on December 21st, 2016.
Rest assured, we have plenty of Star Wars behind the scenes photos below, but we also have some rare photos from other famous movies (and moments) that help explain her journey as a person and actress.
There is even one photo shoot for Star Wars that Fisher did with Rolling Stone that had so many fantastic images we needed to include it twice.
As you read through the list and learn more about the life that Fisher led, we hope it helps make you smile as you reflect on what some of your favorite moments are. We hope you also enjoy the quotes pulled from Fisher and friends, including some comments on her passing that give personal insight on the tremendous impact she had.
Goodbye, Princess, may the Force be with you.
20. Her Baby Photo and Older Photo With Her Mom (1957 and 2015)
This list is going to be all about Carrie Fisher as an adult, but we’d be doing a disservice to her if we didn’t include this adorable baby photo. Especially because it allows us to talk about Carrie’s mother, actress Debbie Reynolds.
While it was no Star Wars, Reynolds rose to fame with prominent roles in Singin’ in the Rain and Three Little Words and she earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
The above photo was shared by Debbie back in 2015 on Carrie’s 59th birthday. Great job, mom, nothing to make a woman feel old like realizing her baby photo is from way back in 1957! At least as you’ll see throughout this list, there is no shortage of amazing accomplishments that Carrie achieved throughout her life; even if in the above photo she was probably just thinking about taking a poop.
19. Looking Pretty Pre-Leia At 19 Years Old (1975)
When it comes to photos that help us really appreciate how beautiful Carrie Fisher is, there may be no better example than the above photo. Sure, it may have come pre-Leia (though we have plenty of the princess below), but it definitely helps explain why Carrie was able to help catch the eye of George Lucas!
When talking about her first impression of the script for A New Hope, Fisher was left impressed even if not confident in the movie’s money making potential, saying “Not this great film, it just seemed like it would be kinda cool you know, like there wouldn’t be other movies like it. Not that it would do what it did but just that it seemed, you know, certainly inventive and that there hadn’t been a science fiction movie, well period, for quite some time, but that didn’t mean it was going to make a lot of money. I thought it was a fantastic script so whatever that means.”
The above photo taken in 1975 was also taken the same year that Fisher made her big-screen debut in the movie Shampoo. The movie starred Warren Beatty and Julie Christie and was reasonably well-received by critics.
18. Early Photos Released Of Leia + Ford On Set (1976)
When Carrie Fisher decided to write about her life in her new book The Princess Diarist, it promised an intimate look at the making of one of the biggest film franchises of all time. One thing that people may not have been expecting was the passage in the book in which she talks about her affair with Harrison Ford. Ford at the time was married to Mary Marquardt and had two children, and Fisher was dating musician Paul Simon.
Fisher writes, “It was so intense. It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.”
While it was reported that the affair lasted three months, you can imagine it was still plenty memorable for the both of them. No wonder she is looking at him with such dreamy eyes! As fun food for thought, Ford was 33 years old and Fisher was only 19 when they started sleeping together.
17. Getting Close With Chewbacca (1977)
While Carrie Fisher is probably not going to be making any appearances in upcoming Star Wars adult film parodies, that doesn’t mean things didn’t get a little heated on set. While the chemistry was far more tangible between Ford and Leia, we’re sure that Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca also had a comfortable relationship with Fisher. At the very least if he didn’t we can imagine this photo ended with her then showing him some force!
When talking of her passing, Mayhew said “She was just brilliant, she really was. A sense of humor like nobody else. A true princess.”
Mayhew also spoke about the photo in the middle, saying that on the day, Fisher was unable to open the bottle of champagne. Mayhew stepped in to help, getting the attention of the crew until someone shouted “The wookie and the princess!” leading Mayhew to pick her up.
16. At The First Premiere With Hamill and Ford (1977)
You can’t look at the above photo and not think that at least one of the actors is saying “I told you that this might end up being pretty cool!” but how could you ever expect the success that they were about to find? Especially when you consider there is an incredibly similar photo below taken in 2015. Talk about characters with a long shelf life! The above photo also helps prove that while you may always picture Fisher in a bikini (which you’ll see below), she also looks mighty fine in a dress.
As evidenced by our title, the above photos were taken during the premiere of Star Wars: A New Hope. It’s a good thing the actors were all smiles, especially when you consider how long they’d be fielding questions about their characters.
15. On Saturday Night Live with Bill Murray (1978)
You have to go all the way back to Season 4 of Saturday Night Live to check out the appearance of Princess Leia on set. When you consider that Bill Murray was also a regular cast member at the time, you can imagine there must have been some absolutely hilarious stories from that day of work.
Fisher was not afraid to show off her funny side, as she also delivered the opening monologue all while donning her classic white dress outfit. About the experience Fisher said “I felt a little awkward coming out in my Princess Leia costume because I felt it might be exploiting Star Wars, but you know I went along with it because if I came out as myself, who would recognize me?”
14. Loving Stormtroopers for The Empire Strikes Back (1979)
There is no denying that Darth Vader is one of the scariest villains of all time, but would he really be so scary if he didn’t have a fleet of Stormtroopers at his disposal (..honestly? Yeah, probably still pretty scary!). But in the above photo we aren’t seeing the scary side, but instead, the lighter side of working on a movie set as Fisher cannot contain her love of working alongside these lumbering white soldiers.
We can imagine that having her laugh during the actual filming of the movie would have gone a pretty long way towards dramatically altering the overall theme of the film. But photos like this help remind us that it really must have been an absolute blast filming these, even if you were one of the guys crammed in the hot suit.
13. On Set Of Blues Brothers (1979/1980)
Wait, we aren’t going to be talking about Star Wars for the next 125 words? We hope you are going to be able to forgive us, especially because the movie is far from done being talked about and we just had to include these two photos from the set of The Blues Brothers.
Carrie Fisher, Dan Aykroyd and most prominently John Belushi were all incredibly open about their love of the nose powder (with Belushi eventually dying from it), so you can imagine there were some pretty crazy nights. In fact, there was literally a “powder budget” for the movie!
Fisher’s love of powder wasn’t just related to this movie, as she also reportedly did the substance while actively filming Star Wars (see, we didn’t go long without mentioning it again).
When talking about it, Fisher said “Oh god, that will be fun for Disney! It’s a billion years ago, and if I could tell you the truth, you would laugh so hard. And… I can’t. But it was location. Location means everything is permitted. I went without being needed to Norway [on Empire]—that’s how much fun I was having. I was upset that I didn’t get to go to Tunisia for the first one. But I had a good time on the movies.”
12. Putting Her Feet On Hamill During Empire Strikes Back (1980)
You can’t think of the classic Star Wars movies for long and not think about the fantastic chemistry that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher clearly shared with one another. As you also know, that steamy chemistry even led to that iconic kiss, but at the time the two had no idea the sibling angle was going to play out.
When Fisher was asked about how much insight she had, she replied “For us, we weren’t told until far along. I think maybe that kiss wouldn’t have happened—but there’s no tongue! I think the chemistry with Mark does have a more sibling quality to it, though.”
11. Wearing Harrison Ford’s Glasses (1980)
Do you know that feeling when you have a partner that makes you feel loved and supported, so you start borrowing their clothes? That was clearly the case for Carrie Fisher who is actually sporting Harrison Ford’s glasses in the above photo on the right. You can imagine that starstruck look in her eye is definitely still something that makes Ford’s ex-wife, who he cheated on with Fisher, none too happy.
Especially when you also have photos like the one on the left where they clearly look so comfortable hanging out. Despite the two engaging in the three-month affair, when Fisher was asked about her relationship with her co-stars at the start of the franchise, she said
“Tight? Not tight. You know, Harrison was fifteen years older than I was and we were all shooting on different planets at a certain point. We hung out, you know, but everyone was at different points in their lives, I was a teenager. But we did definitely hang out and when it came out and sort of ambushed us like that, suddenly we had quite a lot in common.”
10. Posing With Chewie and Her Stunt Double On Return Of The Jedi (1982)
I am really sorry if your favorite Star Wars movie is Return of the Jedi and you love Fisher’s performance in it. It’s not that she didn’t do a great job, but do you have any idea the constant verbal abuse she received during the making of the movie? When talking about working with director Richard Marquand, Fisher said
“I hated him. He fell all over Harrison, but he would yell at me constantly. He yelled at me one day, and I burst into tears, and it felt great because it f-cked up the makeup. I thought, ‘Oh, I f-cked up your shot? Now you see who really f-cked up.’ It took an hour for them to do my makeup again.”
9. Going To The Beach For Rolling Stone (1983)
When you think of different locations that Star Wars could have gone to help promote the movie, I suppose space was not exactly a viable option. Especially when, you know, it was 1983, so doing any cool space CGI was also out of the question. Thankfully for you, that just means that they went with their backup plan, which was to throw Fisher in her iconic bikini and take her to a local beach.
The photoshoot was done in conjunction with Rolling Stone magazine, who Fisher also did an interview with.
“In Return of the Jedi, she gets to be more feminine, more supportive, more affectionate. But let’s not forget that these movies are basically boys’ fantasies. So the other way they made her more female in this one was to have her take off her clothes,” she said about her character in the (at the time) upcoming movie.
While it is clear from this quote that she doesn’t seem overly thrilled about the amount of skin her character shows, at least she seems to be having a nice time at the beach.
8. With Partner Paul Simon (1983)
You may have enjoyed reading about Carrie’s steamy relationship with Harrison Ford, but that is far from the only man she was able to woo. Carrie met singer-songwriter Paul Simon in 1977 and dated him until 1983. The relationship was definitely marred by issues, including a separation in 1980 that led to Fisher falling in love with Dan Aykroyd and getting engaged.
Sadly for Aykroyd, Fisher ended up leaving him to return to Simon. Fisher ended up tying the knot with Simon in August of 1983, but by July of 1984, they were divorced. That didn’t stop them from sleeping together on and off for up to a decade after.
Peter Ames Carlin wrote a biography based on Paul Simon’s life where he writes, “Carrie added velocity to [Paul’s] life, a kind of wild energy that often set him alight and sometimes made him scream. [Paul] didn’t want to have to deal with Carrie when she came pin balling home with Christ only knew what powders and pills sizzling inside her feverish skull.”
Perhaps fittingly, they officially separated in the ’90s after taking a trip to the Amazon where they visited a spiritual doctor who created a psychedelic tea that gave Fisher a vision that led to her realizing she needed to leave him, with her once writing “[I was feeling] pinned beneath Paul’s ever-spinning, ever-controlling brain; about the way he, like so many powerful men she knew, assumed his expertise and control over every situation.”
7. When Carrie Met Sally (1989)
When Harry Met Sally was definitely not expected to be a massive success, let alone one of the best romantic comedies of all time. With a budget of $16 million and only opening in 41 theaters (before later going nationwide), the movie went on to earn over $92 million and also spawned one of the most iconic movie lines of all time with “I’ll have what she’s having,” a line that was actually improvised!
While Fisher may not have had as much to do with the success of the movie as say some of the leads like Billy Crystal or Meg Ryan, that doesn’t mean you can completely discredit the positive impact she had on the film. After all, you can’t convince me there wasn’t at least one Star Wars diehard fan out there that promised to see everything Fisher appears in!
6. Appearing in Austin Powers (1997)
As we continue our descent lower into our list, it should hopefully start to become clearer that at the very least Fisher did a few roles in which she left the bikini in the closet. One of the most successful movies that she attached her name to is definitely the original Austin Powers movie that came out in 1997.
While the movie franchise was widely successful, we are sure Mike Myers was left kicking himself at least a little bit for not trying to write a bigger part for Fisher beyond just “Therapist,” even if she looks far different from her Leia days in the above photo.
Ready for a fun fact about the movie franchise? Myers originally wrote the role of Dr.Evil with Jim Carrey, but he had to pass on it because of Liar Liar. Considering it’s Myers himself who takes on both Evil and Austin Powers, you can imagine that casting Carrey would have had a monumental impact on the overall look of the movie.
5. Making An Animated Appearance On Family Guy (2005-2016)
One of the most fun things for an actor to do must be lending their voice to an animated project. While Fisher has had her chance to voice Leia – including in the video games Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (in 1994), you can imagine she must have the most fun whenever she gets to work on the comedy Family Guy.
Seth Macfarlane is a well-known super geek, so you understand he must have been ecstatic to get to cast Carrie Fisher as a reoccurring character in the franchise. Playing Peter’s boss Angela, Fisher has brought her talent to 20 episodes.
4. Showing Off Her Shotgun In Sorority Row (2009)
When Carrie Fisher was interviewed for her role in Sorority Row, she joked that her character was an incredibly floozy, exhausted house mother, which is definitely a far cry from Princess Leia! The movie came out in 2009 and is also of the horror genre, something that is outside of Fisher’s comfort zone.
“I can’t see horror films. I really get scared…If I know there is all that gore. It just makes me pass out,” she said in an interview before the movie’s premiere. Fisher also joked that she was there with her daughter and boyfriend, so perhaps they can show her some of that support!
Fisher was also quick to complement her beautiful co-stars (including Briana Evigan, Audrina Patridge, and Rumer Willis), saying “All really nice girls. Had a nice time making it. They made Pittsburgh fun!”
3. The Gang Back Together Again (2015)
Can you imagine the incredible difference in technology that Hamill, Ford, and Fisher saw get employed during the making of the original Star Wars, and how incredibly far film-making has come since? We’re sure they are all just ecstatic that they made it long enough in their lives to get to return to what must be some of their favorite characters.
The above photo was taken during the premiere of The Force Awakens, and while I hate to drop the 1+-year-old spoiler bomb, it should mark the last appearance of Ford on a red carpet event in this particular fashion; though you can imagine they’ll be quick to invite him to future events.
2. Her Final Image (2016)
The world truly lost an incredible person when Carrie Fisher passed away on December 28th, 2016. The above photo is the last known one taken of her and was shared on her Twitter on December 21st.
Above we mentioned that Carrie Fisher wrote an autobiography The Princess Diaries in which she talks more about her personal life and the relationship she had with Star Wars, but that is not the only time she has opened up about her life. Fisher also penned a memoir, entitled Wishful Drinking where she makes a joke that Lucas ruined her life by casting her as Princess Leia.
It was obviously made tongue-in-cheek, but that didn’t mean she didn’t have to later defend those comments to TheDailyBeast, saying “People want me to say that I’m sick of playing Leia and that it ruined my life. If my life was that easy to ruin, it deserved to be ruined.”
1. Rolling Stone Not Done Yet (1983)
We told you that we were going to circle back to this photoshoot and the last thing we want to do is have you think that we are a bunch of liars! If we’re being honest, that beach ball definitely looks like it is way too deflated to have any actual beach fun, but that could also be because Fisher is using her…womanly assets, to help push it down!
And while you may have loved seeing her wade in the water above, you may not be alone in thinking it is more fun to see her clearly shocked reaction as the waves came up and completely covered her lower half.
Everyone knows that feeling at the beach, but not everyone has seen Carrie Fisher’s sexy (and adorable) reaction to it, though now that you have, don’t you think everyone should?
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