Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016, after suffering a massive heart attack on December 23, 2016. She left behind a legacy that friends and fans alike will never forget.
She is survived by daughter Billie Lourd (whose father is Fisher’s ex-husband Bryan Lourd), who reflected on her late mother’s legacy in May 2023 when Fisher received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“I wanted to hate [Star Wars] so I could tell her how lame she was,” the Scream Queens alum admitted while accepting the honor on her mother’s behalf at the Los Angeles ceremony. “Like any kid, I didn’t want my mom to be hot or cool — she was my mom. But that day, staring at the screen, I realized no one is, or will ever be, as hot or as cool as Princess Leia.”
In addition to watching the films that made her mother a household name, attending fan conventions changed Billie’s perspective.
“People of all ages from all over the world were dressed up like my mom, the lady who sang me to sleep at night and held me when I was scared. Watching the amount of joy it brought to people when she hugged them or threw glitter at them — sorry about that — was incredible to witness,” Billie recalled. “People waited in line for hours just to meet her. People had tattoos of her, people named their children after her. People had stories of how she saved their lives. It was a side of my mom I had never seen before, and it was magical.”
The actress — who went on to star alongside her mother in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi — continued: “I realized then that Leia is more than just a character. She is a feeling. She is strength. She is grace. She is wit. She is femininity at its finest. She knows what she wants and she gets it. She doesn’t need anyone to rescue her because she rescues herself and even rescues the rescuers. And no one could have played her like my mother.”
Beyond Fisher’s legacy as Leia, her daughter is proud of her impact on those struggling with addiction and mental health. In addition to her acting work, Fisher was a prolific writer. She opened up about her personal struggles in her memoirs, including Wishful Drinking and The Princess Diarist.
“One of my favorite quotes of hers is, ‘Take your broken heart and make it into art.’ And she did just that,” Billie shared at the Walk of Fame ceremony. “And I hope to pass that torch — or in this case, lightsaber — of wisdom on to the next generation of fans. Take your broken heart and make it into art.”
Scroll down for more of Fisher’s iconic photos and quotes: