Fans are sharing their shock and grief as they learn of Carrie Fisher’s fatal heart attack and George Michael’s death over the Christmas weekend. The outpouring of best wishes for Fisher indicates how much we loved the actress and her Star Wars princess. Michael’s music provided the sound track to our lives in the late 1980s, and the memories glow with his light-hearted sexiness.
Fisher died earlier today at the age of 60. She rose to stardom as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Fisher recently published The Princess Diarist, her eighth book, about playing the role that teamed her with Harrison Ford. The pair were reunited on screen in last year’s The Force Awakens.
The actress had recently finished filming on the eighth film in the Star Wars series, which is due to be released next year. She was returning to Los Angeles after a visit to the United Kingdom to film the third season of the British television comedy Catastrophe and to promote her recent book.
Fisher was the daughter of Hollywood royalty Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Her death was unexpected as fans hoped for word of her recovery. On Christmas Day, Fisher’s mother promised to provide updates on her daughter’s health.
“Carrie is in stable condition. If there is a change, we will share it. For all her fans & friends. I thank you for your prayers & good wishes,” Debbie Reynolds tweeted on Sunday.
Michael was one of pop’s reigning stars in the 1980s and ’90s. The handsome, teen pop idol came on the scene as a member of Wham! and had us dancing to infectious singles such as “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. He emerged as a grown-up pop sex symbol with his 1987 album “Faith.”
“I never minded being thought of as a pop star,” Michael told GQ in 2004. “People have always thought I wanted to be seen as a serious musician, but I didn’t, I just wanted people to know that I was absolutely serious about pop music.”
The need for both intimacy and freedom are recurring themes in Michael’s music. So are the urge to let go or be released. One of his later autobiographical works, “Freedom ’90”, showed his independence from the pop machine. Supermodels lip-synched the lyrics, and he did not appear in the video clip. The album included a No. 1 single, the ballad “Praying for Time”, which sold 2 million copies in the United States.
Mr. Michael had been planning a 2017 documentary, “Freedom,” that would explore his musical, personal and legal struggles. The documentary would accompany an expanded reissue of “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1”.