Carrie Fisher was as witty as ever during her final months filming the TV series Catastrophe — but “seemed to have a little less spring in her step,” the show’s star and co-creator Sharon Horgan writes.
Fisher, who died Dec. 27 at age 60, earned a posthumous Emmy nomination for her guest role. In a tribute in The Hollywood Reporter, Horgan opened up about what it was like to work with the legendary star.
“Her brain whirred constantly, every sentence had a punchline, every story a potted Hollywood cautionary tale — but I’m not sure her kindness and generosity are as well known. She was just a really nice lady, warm and fun,” Horgan wrote. “She would distribute presents to cast and crew with little notes, written in her gorgeous, elaborate handwriting, that were part poetry, part filthy prose.”
Horgan — who said that Fisher’s death “knocked us all” — revealed that the actress seemed “a bit more delicate” during her final season of filming in the fall of 2016, shortly before her death.
“She’d definitely been a bit more delicate this time. She had seemed to have a little less spring in her step, but nothing that gave a hint that she was struggling. Maybe our eyes just weren’t open enough,” wrote Horgan.
Fisher on Catastrophe.
Horgan says she realized that Fisher would be perfect for the role of Rob Delaney’s mother, Mia, in the Amazon series back in 2014 at the Attitude Awards in London. When she was presenting an award to Graham Norton at the awards ceremony, she delivered a speech that was “rude and irreverent and funny.” She managed “to at once charm and insult everyone present,” wrote Horgan.
“We’d written the part of Rob’s dreadful mother and my character’s mother-in-law, Mia, and were mid-brainstorm for who could play her. We watched Carrie onstage, and I turned to Rob and said, “That’s Mia. That’s your mother.’ ”
Fisher with Debbie Reynolds in 2007.
Fisher’s death, after her collapse on a flight from London to L.A. was ruled to be a result of sleep apnea and other undetermined factors, and drugs including heroin and cocaine were found in her system. One day later, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, died at age 84 from an apparent stroke.
Horgan told PEOPLE back in April that she went to Fisher’s hotel room just hours before her tragic final flight and Fisher gave her a parting gift for the holidays.
“The last time I saw her was in her hotel room before she took that flight back to L.A.,” Horgan, 46, said. “She brought me up to her room because she’d been in a little antiques market that day and she’d gotten me a beautiful little cocktail stick holder.”
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The 25-year-old actress said that she’s “always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own.”
“I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie,” she said.“It’s a lot of pressure, because she had such an incredible legacy, and now I have to uphold that and make it evolve in my own way.