Fisher will rightfully be remembered primarily for her work as Princess Leia in four Star Wars films, for her bracing and funny memoir of addiction and bipolar disorder Wishful Drinking, and for her work on behalf of raising awareness for addiction and bipolar disorder. But, while the role of Leia will always (and again, rightfully) overshadow her later work, Fisher turned in some sharp and hilarious performances and cameos on television in the last decade and a half. Those roles were nearly all in comedies—30 Rock, Catastrophe, Sex and the City, and others—showcasing Fisher’s simultaneously biting and disarming wit.
Fisher’s sense of humor was the key to her spunky, no-nonsense approach to Leia—it also helped her run circles around Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, among other things—and also was the key to many of other memorable roles, most notably in The Blues Brothers, where she stole every scene she had with John Belushi, who was then the funniest man in America. The best example of Fisher’s late-career arc as a sitcom scene-stealer was her appearance on 30 Rock opposite the Leia-obsessed Liz Lemon. The key to Fisher’s later work was her self-deprecating humor, which was in display in “Rosemary’s Baby,” one of 30 Rock’s best episodes, where she played a kind of cautionary tale for Lemon. That Fisher’s best jokes were references to Star Wars only made the appearance better.
In Catastrophe, Fisher dug even deeper, playing Rob Delaney’s emotionally detached, Ebay-obsessed mother. Fisher and Delaney didn’t even appear together in the show’s first season, but that didn’t stop Fisher from being one of the show’s highlights.
RIP, Carrie Fisher.