Carrie Fisher had a diverse acting career across four decades, from her breakthrough as Princess Leia to comedies and dramas. Here are some of our favorite of her performances.
The original 1977 film put Carrie Fisher on the map. In the first episode of Star Wars, Princess Leia is captured by The Imperial Forces, led by Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo must rescue Leia and save the galaxy. A New Hope marked the start of an iconic franchise that continues to be a cultural phenomenon. Leia appears to be waiting to be rescued but becomes proactive once an escape is underway. Defying the damsel in distress stereotype, she emerges as one of cinema’s most formidable characters, captivating audiences with her strength, resilience, and attitude.
‘The ‘Burbs’: Carrie Fisher’s Domestic Turn
In the 1980s dark comedy by Director Joe Dante, Carrie Fisher and Tom Hanks portray Ray and Carol Peterson. They’re a married couple on the brink of uncovering a malevolent conspiracy within their quaint suburban community. Carol Peterson is a content wife, often deferring to Ray’s decisions (with a bit of sardonic humor thrown in).
‘When Harry Met Sally’
This hallmark rom-com attempts to answer the question of if a man and woman can just be friends. We see the titular characters (played by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) navigate this seemingly platonic friendship over the years. In the movie, Sally explores the complexities of relationships and friendships, ultimately bonding with Marie. Marie, played by Fisher, has a practical outlook on life, except when it comes to her own romantic struggles. She questions the nature of love while having an affair with a married man. However, she unexpectedly falls in love with Jess, Harry’s best friend, and they quickly get married. Marie has to be one of Fisher’s most vibrant performances.
‘Hannah and Her Sisters’: Carrie Fisher Steals the Spotlight in an Ensemble Cast
This 1986 comedy-drama explores the lives of a dysfunctional family. It takes place during Thanksgiving, with Hannah’s journey coming full circle two years later. Fisher shines as April, an aspiring actress turned business partner of Holly. However, their friendship takes an unexpected turn as they vie for the same Broadway role and the affection of a shared love interest. Fisher’s portrayal of April is commanding and ambitious, stealing the spotlight whenever she appears on screen.
‘The Blues Brothers’
Talk about a scene-stealer! In 1980’s The Blues Brothers, Carrie Fisher managed to get bigger laughs than Saturday Night Live alums Dan Akroyd and John Belushi. Inspired by the SNL sketch, this story follows the main characters on a mission to save a Catholic orphanage from closure. They hope to do this by reuniting their band to raise funds. However, they face challenges with the police in hot pursuit.
Carrie Fisher portrays the enigmatic character known as the Mystery Woman. She was engaged to one of the brothers, but the wedding was abruptly called off. She’s a scorned woman out for revenge, which includes attacking the Blues Brothers with a rifle. Fisher’s unhinged, hilarious performance is a highlight of the comedy classic.
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