Carrie Fisher and her kid brother Todd had every right to loathe their parents. Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher were self-involved entertainers, and the needs of their children ran a very distant second to Debbie’s relationship with her career and Eddie’s relationship with drugs.
From their “shared history of weirdness,” the kids managed to emerge quite a bit more kind, wise, and devoted to their star-crossed parents than Debbie and Eddie had any right to expect.
The Fisher children have been tabloid fodder since toddlerhood but survived to take ownership of their own stories and tell them with wit and a rare degree of honesty.
Carrie, in particular, was a one-woman Algonquin Round Table. Over decades, she aimed her powerful and sometimes poisonous pen mainly at herself, and shared ever-deepening insights into her bi-polar disorder and the self-destructive methods she used to self-medicate. We’ll never know how many people she helped, but judging from the outpouring of grief at her death last month, it’s a big number.
Except for the bi-polar disorder, Carrie grew up to be a carbon copy of her mother. No matter what else was going on in Debbie and Carrie’s lives, their work ethic was unflagging. They wanted to be loved by everybody and they pretty much were.
Long before Carrie’s untimely and utterly unexpected death at age way-too-young, fans were counting the days to her December 15 reprise of Princess Leia in Star Wars VIII. And long before Debbie “left to be with Carrie,” Turner Classic Movies had announced a 65th anniversary big-screen showing of Singin’ in the Rain, the film that made Debbie a star and is, by general agreement, the best musical of all time.
It seems Debbie & Carrie are not done with us, and, it’ll be a long time ’til we’re done with them.