While Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died of heart failure on December 27, 2016, members of a Care2 petition hopes that another health concern be brought to light: Bipolar Disorder. The petition is asking for both Disney and Lucasfilm to consider donating a portion of the profits from the upcoming Star Wars film toward a “reputable mental health organization.”
“Carrie Fisher was more than just a Princess. For many, she was an outspoken advocate for those suffering from mental illness and fought tirelessly to de-stigmatize it by speaking openly and honestly about her own struggles,” says Sarah Rose who wrote the petition.
“Like her character, Carrie was fearless, witty, and not afraid to show courage in the face of ridicule and scorn. She stared down addiction, bi-polar disorder, and depression and used her experiences to help the lives of others.”
— Wendy Mueller (@ToggleArtist) January 2, 2017
Rose was personally touched by Fisher’s mental battle for wholeness. “Carrie Fisher’s story and words gave me strength through my darkest times,” says Rose.
“As a kid, Princess Leia was my hero. As an adult, Carrie Fisher became one of mine.”
It is reported that Fisher had finished filming her part for the Star Wars film recently. It will be her last film appearance. She also appears briefly in the current release of Star Was: Rogue One.
Fisher’s struggle with mental illness is hardly a secret as the actress was quite vocal sharing her personal struggles with bipolar disorder, depression, and addiction.
“I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that,” Fisher once said.
“I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on.”
In 2011, Debbie Reynolds told Oprah Winfrey in a joint interview with Carrie that her “lowest point in Carrie and my relationship was probably when we discovered that she was ill, or that she had this mental health problem, and that it was going to be with her forever,” says the Daily News. “There have been a few times when I thought I was going to lose Carrie,” she added.
“I’ve had to walk through a lot of my tears, but she’s worth it.”
There was a time when Carrie barely spoke to her mother for nearly 10 years.
“We had a fairly volatile relationship earlier on in my 20s. I didn’t want to be around her. I did not want to be Debbie Reynolds’ daughter.”
The two were able to patch things up and spent their later years as next-door neighbors as recorded by the HBO documentary special, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Originally planned to air at a later date, the special has been moved up to premiere this Saturday, January 7, at 8:00 p.m. Directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, the documentary shares old family film footage along with newer footage of the mother/daughter duo. HBO also aired an “encore presentation” of Fisher’s Wishful Drinking special on January 1 which combined footage from the actresses’ life stage show with interviews from Carrie’s family members and friends.
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Carrie Fisher died at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016 after suffering from a heart attack while aboard a plane. While planning her daughter’s funeral with her son Todd Fisher, Reynolds suffered a “medical emergency” herself the day after.
“My mom is with my sister,” Todd Fisher told the Daily News.
“She wanted to be with her. She always took care of her.”
[Featured Image by George Brich/AP Images]