The relentless monster that is the year 2016 will not stop claiming celebrity lives. Even in its final week, the year has taken two more icons. Pop star George Michael passed away on Christmas day, and now ‘Star Wars’ actress Carrie Fisher has succumbed to the heart attack she suffered last week.
George Michael was just 53. A cause of death has not been revealed yet, but it’s known that the musician died alone at home and was discovered later by his boyfriend. His death caps a year that also saw the passing of other 1980s music icons including David Bowie and Prince.
Carrie Fisher was 60. On Friday, December 23rd, the actress was hospitalized following a heart attack she experienced on board a flight as it arrived in Los Angeles from London. Her medical condition was the subject of much media coverage for several uncertain days until her daughter, ‘Scream Queens’ actress Billie Lourd, announced today that Fisher has died.
Both stars led turbulent lives and had publicly battled drug addiction issues in the past. George Michael’s career survived a couple of sex scandals and the outing of his homosexuality. This past spring, his stardom was the subject of a prominent (and very flattering to the singer) running gag in the Key & Peele comedy ‘Keanu’, though he did not appear in the film himself.
As the daughter of screen legend Debbie Reynolds and pop crooner Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher was born into Hollywood royalty, but like so many privileged children of celebrities, that fate did not sit well with her, even after she achieved her own fame in ‘Star Wars’. Fisher claims that she used recreational drugs as a form of self-medication for Bipolar Disorder until her addictions got the better of her. She finally cleaned up her act after an overdose from sleeping pills and prescription drugs in 1985, and later went on to a very successful career as a bestselling novelist and Hollywood script doctor. In 2015, she reprised her role as Princess Leia in the blockbuster ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’. Prior to her death, she had completed filming for the tentatively-titled ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’.