All the celebrity deaths this year, and two made me cry: David Bowie, and Carrie Fisher.
I said this on the Book of Faces: Of all the princesses of my childhood, she was the bravest, the cleverest, the strongest, the most beautiful.
That was about Leia, of course. But Ms. Fisher was never anything but wittily gracious about her inadvertent and unexpected icon status. She dealt with addiction and mental illness for most of her life, and was the first person I ever knew of to meet mental illness head-on, with humor and grit and determination, instead of treating it like a dirty secret. That alone makes her a hero.
[Her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died today as well. The blows keep coming.]
She was funny. Oh lord was she funny. Here are 37 examples.
And as a kid, I idolized her. I was a major, major Leia fangirl, but I fangirled Carrie too. I'd get all excited over every mention of her I saw in newspapers or magazines or anything I'd see on TV. In the first grade, my mother made me a beautiful Leia costume for Halloween, boots and belt and all. My hair was down to my butt, long enough to do the cinnamon buns. My brothers loaned me a laser pistol. I was the bomb. I happily played Leia in the neighborhood Star Wars games with my friends Mark and Jeff [in costume, of course, until the thing didn't fit any more]. You can diss George Lucas for a lot of things, but Leia was no shrinking flower - she was a fantastic role model for little girls.
And Carrie Fisher was every bit as strong and brave and clever and beautiful as the princess she embodied, and I am so glad I was privileged to share the planet with her for a time.
Goodbye, bright star, you luminous being. I'll miss you.