Carrie Fisher's death came in the middle of a busy, creative period

Part of the shock of Carrie Fisher’s death Tuesday at age 60 was that she had recently been so productive and present in the public eye. If Carrie Fisher’s greatest role truly was as Carrie Fisher, actress, author, raconteur and chronicler of Hollywood’s generational transitions, she was in the midst of a creatively flourishing time.

The revival of the “Star Wars” franchise had brought Fisher back to her best-known screen role of Leia Organa, the wry, fearless rebel leader. After her on-screen reprisal of the part in last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” she had been confirmed as appearing in 2017’s “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” Principal photography on the film concluded in the summer, but plot details, including what part Gen. Organa plays in the story and how the character might evolve or move forward in the already announced “Star Wars: Episode IX,” are currently unknown.

In November, Fisher had published her eighth book, “The Princess Diarist,” based in part on her journals from the production of the first “Star Wars” film. The book features the headline-grabbing admission that she had an affair with costar Harrison Ford while shooting the film. Fisher had made an appearance in Los Angeles at a signing for the book on Nov. 28.

In her review for The Times, Meredith Woerner called the book “an unflinching, sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious look inside the mind of a 19-year-old actress in the throes of a Hollywood locationship.”

Fisher was born to Hollywood, the daughter of entertainers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. A documentary portrait of the relationship between Fisher and her mother, “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival and has since appeared at high-profile festivals in Telluride, New York and Los Angeles. It will play the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January before being broadcast on HBO early next year.

Directed by Fisher Stevens and Alexis Bloom, “Bright Lights” is a candid look at the relationship between Fisher and Reynolds. In an interview with The Times in the fall, Bloom remarked on Fisher’s disarming emotional candor in front of the camera when she said, “I feel incredibly tender toward Carrie… She is incredibly honest and kind of vulnerable at the same time.”

Among other recent work, Fisher appeared in the television show “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.” She had also just wrapped shooting on the third season of the British television comedy “Catastrophe.” On Tuesday, series cocreator, cowriter and costar Sharon Horgan posted a photo of herself with Fisher on Instagram, with a caption that stated, “She was the most generous, fun, gifted, smart, kind, funny funny funny person I’ve ever met.”

A representative of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, where Fisher first staged her popular autobiographical “Wishful Drinking” show, confirmed that a new piece from Fisher and “Wishful” collaborator Josh Ravetch had recently been commissioned.  

In her online post, “Catastrophe’s” Horgan echoed what many fans must also be feeling, that with Fisher’s recent rush of work, “She certainly wasn’t ready to go."

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Mark.Olsen@latimes.com

Follow on Twitter: @IndieFocus

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