4 surprising facts that show Carrie Fisher was more than just Princess Leia

AP

Carrie Fisher was known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, but the actress — who died Tuesday at age 60 after suffering a heart attack last week — was not just beloved for her work in front of the camera. She was also a writer, activist and all-around bad-ass. 

Fisher was an in-demand Hollywood script doctor.

She was never credited by name for her work, but Fisher was one of Hollywood's most sought-after punch-up writers, according to a 1992 story in Entertainment Weekly. Some of the scripts she improved included Hook, Sister Act, The Wedding Singer and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Fisher was an acclaimed screenwriter and author.

Carrie Fisher signs a copy of _Postcards from the Edge_.Source: Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Carrie Fisher signs a copy of _Postcards from the Edge_.  Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Carrie Fisher didn't just improve other people's screenplays, she also wrote a few of her own, including the critically acclaimed 1990 adaptation of her debut novel, Postcards from the Edge.

Fisher wrote more novels and nonfiction books after Postcards. Her most recent, The Princess Diarist, was published this year. Additionally, she wrote and starred in the Broadway show Wishful Drinking, which was later broadcast by HBO

She also occasionally contributed an advice column for The Guardian. In her last piece, published in late November 2016, she drew upon her own experience with bipolar disorder to offer advice to a young person trying to balance the mental illness with work, school and life demands.

"You're doing more than I did at your age, and that's courageous," Fisher wrote.

"Now build on that," Fisher continued. "Move through those feelings and meet me on the other side. As your bipolar sister, I'll be watching. Now get out there and show me and you what you can do."

Fisher was an activist.

Carrie Fisher, who was outspoken about her struggles with drug abuse and bipolar disorder, worked to destigmatize mental illness.

On Tuesday, after news of Fisher's death was announced, the mental health advocacy initiative Stamp Out Stigma tweeted, "May the force be with you," in tribute to the actress and activist.

Fisher, who once described Princess Leia as the "beginning [of] girl power," was also a prominent feminist — perhaps most notably regarding issues of ageism and body shaming. 

"Please stop debating about whether or not I aged well," she tweeted in response to body-shaming critics. "Unfortunately, it hurts all three of my feelings. My body hasn't aged as well as I have. Blow us."

Fisher was a legendary, outsized personality.

Carrie Fisher died Dec. 27 after suffering a heart attack the week before.Source: Barry Brecheisen/AP
Carrie Fisher died Dec. 27 after suffering a heart attack the week before.  Barry Brecheisen/AP

"Maybe I shouldn't have given the guy who pumped my stomach my phone number, but who cares? My life is over anyway." So begins her 1987 semi-autobiographical novel, Postcards from the Edge

The ever-quotable Fisher was an unfailingly interesting interview subject whose larger-than-life personality made her a prized cameo in a number of television shows, including Ellen and Sex in the City.

Source: Sex and the City/YouTube

In Wishful Drinking, Fisher wittily joked about how she would like her obituary to read: "I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go," Fisher wrote, "I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra."