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US and World News

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    A Maryland mother on the brink of eviction and unable to buy her children Christmas gifts got a $10,000 check from Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder after her appeal for help on Craigslist went viral.

    Money has been tight this year for Tyshika Britten's family since she decided to go back to school to become a licensed cosmetologist, the full-time student told NBC News.

    After missing the pick-up date for Toys for Tots, the 35-year-old Oxon Hill resident turned to Craigslist in the hope of being able to provide a Christmas for her six children — five boys between the ages of 15 and 3, and a 1-year-old baby girl. Britten said she has used the classifieds website to find rentals as well as clients for her hair-styling business.

    "I'm hurt. I'm trying my best. I pray everyday and now I'm begging for help. I know it's not about the gifts, but they are kids! I'm such a failure right now . . . please help me," the dispirited mother wrote in her post.

    Britten's children didn't ask for anything this year or draw up a Christmas list, a sign, she said, that even they recognized how tough things were for the family.

    On Dec. 19, The Washington Post published an article about the family's plight and "next thing you know, 'Oh my gosh,' it was email after email after email. Everyone of them was saying 'do you have a GoFundMe?'"

    Britten didn't. But the feedback prompted her to create one.

    Donations starting pouring in — $10 here, $25 there. But then, a "Better Man" contributed $10,000 to the cause.

    "We received a check in the mail and it was $10,000, and I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was fake,” Britten said, adding that she didn't take it seriously until a reporter from The Post reached out to her and asked if she had received the check from Eddie Vedder.

    Britten confessed that she didn't know who Eddie Vedder was at first. But a Google search revealed the donor was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-bound super star. The Washington Post notes that the family has since been watching the band's concerts online.

    Vedder told The Post that he saw some of his own childhood in their story and wanted to provide the family with "a tourniquet."

    “I was just so moved by the story and what this mother did for her children,” Vedder said. “I thought those kids must be so proud of their mother for reaching out. That takes a lot of courage.”

    In an update on her GoFundMe page, Britten thanked her supporters.

    “We love you, we love you, we love you, God is able!!” the post reads in part. “We are ready for 2017! I am truly humbled.”



    Photo Credit: Britten Family/Getty Images

    (LEFT) Tyshika Britten and five of her children sit inside a car. (RIGHT) Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performing at Western Springs Stadium during the 2014 Big Day Out Festival on January 17, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.(LEFT) Tyshika Britten and five of her children sit inside a car. (RIGHT) Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam performing at Western Springs Stadium during the 2014 Big Day Out Festival on January 17, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.

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    The Japanese prime minister laid flowers at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific and Makiki Cemetery during his visit to Hawaii on Monday.

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    Conservationists are sounding alarm bells for the cheetah, the fastest animal on land, amid population declines for many wildlife species in Africa, NBC News reported. 

    An estimated 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild across the continent and in a small area of Iran, and human encroachment has pushed the wide-ranging predator out of 91 percent of its historic habitat, according to a study published on Monday. 

    Its authors argued that the cheetah should be defined as "endangered" instead of the less serious "vulnerable" on an official watch list of threatened species worldwide.

    "This period is really crunch time for species like cheetah that need these big areas," said Sarah Durant, a cheetah specialist at the Zoological Society of London and the lead author of the report published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ben Curtis

    In this photo taken Monday, July 6, 2015, a cheetah yawns as others lie down in the late afternoon in the savannah of the Maasai Mara, south-western Kenya.In this photo taken Monday, July 6, 2015, a cheetah yawns as others lie down in the late afternoon in the savannah of the Maasai Mara, south-western Kenya.

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    View daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

    Photo Credit: AP

    Hindu holy men or Sadhus pray at the Sangam, confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, during the start of preparations and safe and successful completion of Ardh Kumbh mela, in Allahabad, Dec. 26, 2016. Ardh Kumbh mela, where millions of Hindu devotees take part and falls after every six years will be held at Allahabad in 2019.Hindu holy men or Sadhus pray at the Sangam, confluence of rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati, during the start of preparations and safe and successful completion of Ardh Kumbh mela, in Allahabad, Dec. 26, 2016. Ardh Kumbh mela, where millions of Hindu devotees take part and falls after every six years will be held at Allahabad in 2019.

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    It was not a very happy beginning to Hanukkah for the Jews of San Francisco's Chabad and those who celebrate with them.

    A 6-foot-tall brass menorah was reported stolen from Washington Square Park on Christmas Day, which also was the first day of the Jewish festival of lights this year. The menorah was the property of the North Beach Chabad, run by Rabbi Peretz Mochkin and his wife, Miryum.

    Chabad is a worldwide Orthodox Jewish organization in the Hasidic tradition.

    The Mochkins are calling the theft a hate crime, although police think whoever took it might just want to sell the brass pieces for cash. There were no visible signs of anti-Semitism at the site of the theft. In fact, someone had also cut the power cord of lights on the Christmas tree at the same park.

    "It was devastating," said Miryum Mochkin, who was notified by friends that the menorah was missing. "I was like, 'You know what, the park's big, and you just didn’t see it.' I couldn’t believe it at first."

    Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak said the thief hauled the 100-pound menorah off sometime in the past several days. He also asked metal recyclers to be on the lookout for anyone trying to sell large pieces of brass.

    Despite the theft, neighbors of multiple faiths came together in the park Monday night to light their own menorahs, rededicating the space as "a safe place where everyone can practice their religion freely and enjoy the holidays with light." Dozens of people brought their own menorahs and lit them on a picnic table covered in foil to catch the wax drippings. They sang Hanukkah songs and lit up the dark night sky.

    "For somebody to take a symbol that means light and joy, they must be in a dark space in their life," Mochkin said.

    A Chabad in Southern California was also targeted this Hanukkah season. In Santa Monica, the Living Torah Center Chabad was vandalized with smeared feces on the window over the weekend. It was not immediately clear what the reason was. No anti-Semitic message was left there.

    "It's an awful thing, I don't know what's behind it," said Chabad of San Francisco Rabbi Yosef Langer, who is famous for lighting a gigantic menorah in Union Square every year during the holiday. His event will continue every day of Hanukkah at 4:30 p.m.

    It is his daughter's Chabad that suffered the stolen menorah.

    The Mochkins still held their Hanukkah event at the site of the theft, and asked anyone who wants to join to bring a small menorah of their own. They said that they won't let the light of the holiday be quashed by menorah thieves.

    "In the face of this evil and whoever is trying to take this light away, we need to add light," Miryum Mochkin said.

    Bill Pruzan of San Francisco agreed. "It’s necessary that we be able to have celebrations that are based on being free from this vitriol and hatred," he said.

    Anyone with information about the theft should call police on the anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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    People gather Monday night at San Francisco's Washington Square Park, lighting several menorahs in the absence of a 6-foot menorah that was stolen. (Dec. 26, 2016)People gather Monday night at San Francisco's Washington Square Park, lighting several menorahs in the absence of a 6-foot menorah that was stolen. (Dec. 26, 2016)

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    Members of Congress would be fined up to $2,500 for taking photos, audio or video on the House floor under new rules proposed by Republicans Monday, NBC News reported.

    The proposition comes six months after a dramatic sit-in in the chamber, where Democratic lawmakers, including iconic Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., took part in an hourslong protest for a vote on gun control legislation and live streamed it because it was not being broadcast publicly.

    "These changes will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people's work," a spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement Monday.

    California Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat who was a leading figure in the June sit-in, tweeted in response, "Bring.It.On."



    Photo Credit: AP, File

    This photo provided by Rep. Chillie Pingree, D-Maine, shows Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, during a sit-in on the House floor in June 2016.This photo provided by Rep. Chillie Pingree, D-Maine, shows Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, during a sit-in on the House floor in June 2016.

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    Kids will want to spend as much time as possible with their new video games and other devices after the holidays, but experts say maintaining a healthy balance is important.

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    Israel reacted to a recent United Nations Security Council resolution condemning settlements in Palestinian-claimed territory by curtailing relations Tuesday with 10 countries that voted for it, NBC News reported.

    The resolution called the settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem a "flagrant violation" of international law, but plans for thousands of new homes were nevertheless advanced by Israel.

    Israel is limiting work contacts with Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay and Spain, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.

    The United States wasn't included on the list, despite breaking with past practice to allow the Security Council vote, a move that prompted Israel's leader to lash out at the White House. The U.S. abstained from the vote, but has veto power on the council.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Center for American Progress, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Washington.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Center for American Progress, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Washington.

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    It's a terrifying scene: A reliable county official and father of three disappears. Blood is discovered in his office and SUV.

    And now 10 days have passed, but Bryon Macron remains missing, NBC News reported.

    "Somebody knows something," Darren Macron, Bryon's younger brother, told "Dateline." "There is this gut feeling that we have that something is wrong."

    Bryon Macron, 45, was last seen the morning of Friday, Dec. 16, at his family's home in Medina County, Ohio.  

    Macron, a former Marine, is a married father of three daughters. He is a national sales manager for a jewelry manufacturing and wholesale company.  



    Photo Credit: Medina County Sheriff's Office

    Medina County sheriffs in Ohio are searching for Bryon Macron, who was last seen Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, at his family home in Medina County.Medina County sheriffs in Ohio are searching for Bryon Macron, who was last seen Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, at his family home in Medina County.

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    The lobby of Trump Tower was briefly evacuated late Tuesday afternoon as police investigated a suspicious package, the NYPD tells NBC 4 New York. 

    Visitors in the lobby of the building at 56th Street and Fifth Avenue were seen being ushered out, video posted to Twitter shows. 

    A senior NYPD official tells NBC News that a suspicious knapsack located near Niketown nearby led officials to clear the area in the Trump Tower atrium, which is open to the public. 

    The official said a bomb squad was called as a precaution to investigate.

    The bag was deemed safe shortly afterward, and the senior NYPD official said the bag was deemed safe and the NYPD was standing down. 

    Trump Tower has been the transition headquarters for President-elect Donald Trump, but he is still in Mar-a-Lago in Florida, according to pool reports for the Trump transition team. 



    Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY
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    The 7-year-old Syrian girl whose tweets gave a harrowing look at the crisis in Aleppo over the last few months took questions with her mother on Facebook Monday, one week after the family was evacuated from the war-wracked city, NBC News reported. 

    In the session, Bana al-Abed and her mother, Fatemah, said it was their hope to return to their city after the war was over and help other Syrians affected by the violence.

    "I will be back to help my people," Fatemah said in one response, and said what she wanted to be when she grows up in an another.

    The pair took questions exactly one week after their family had been bused out of eastern Aleppo and taken to Ankara, Turkey. They said they were all safe following their evacuation and that Bana was hoping to go back to school.



    Photo Credit: Presidency Press Service/AP

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan embraces Bana Al-Abed, 7, from Aleppo, Syria, at his Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Al-Abed became the face of civilian life in Aleppo when her tweets of life under siege went viral.Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan embraces Bana Al-Abed, 7, from Aleppo, Syria, at his Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Al-Abed became the face of civilian life in Aleppo when her tweets of life under siege went viral.

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    Actress and writer Carrie Fisher, best known for her iconic role as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" movies, has died at the age of 60, her daughter announced Tuesday.

    "It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning," Lourd's representative said in a statement. "She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly."

    She suffered a medical emergency on a flight last week and was in a Los Angeles hospital. Well-wishers have been sending tributes and support since her episode on Friday.

    Fisher starred in the wildly successful "Star Wars Epsiode IV: A New Hope," "The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return of the Jedi" alongside Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. The trio returned to the big screen for last year's "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens," and she had a CGI-enhanced cameo in this month's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."


    Fisher's mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, thanked "everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter" in a Facebook post Tuesday, after Fisher's death was announced. "I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop." 

    Fisher's death prompted an outpouring of grief on social media, from co-stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams to other celebrities and legions of devoted fans. 

    Fisher spent most of her life in the spotlight. The daughter of Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, she made her acting debut at just 15 in the Broadway revival of the play "Irene."

    Fisher was also an accomplished author, publishing her first novel, "Postcards from the Edge," in 1987. It was made made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. She later published the autobiographical "Wishful Drinking" and the non-fiction follow-up "Shockaholic," among others.

    Her memoir "The Princess Diarist," was published this year, and was based on diaries she kept while filming the original "Star Wars" trilogy in the late 70s and early 80s.

    Her other film roles include "Shampoo," "The Blues Brothers" and "When Harry Met Sally...."

    Fisher was married to musician Paul Simon from 1983 until the following year, although the pair had been dating since 1977 and dated again for a time after their divorce. During a break in the relationship in 1980, she was briefly engaged to Dan Aykroyd.

    Simon's song "Hearts and Bones" is reportedly about their relationship.

    She and talent agent Bryan Lourd later dated and had one child, "Scream Queens" actress Billie Lourd.

    Fisher publicly disclosed her bipolar disorder diagnosis and her battles with addiction, and often incorporated her struggles and experiences into her literary and stage work.



    Photo Credit: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Actress Carrie Fisher signs copies of her new book Actress Carrie Fisher signs copies of her new book "The Princess Diarist" at Barnes & Noble at The Grove on Nov. 28, 2016, in Los Angeles.

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    Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined President Barack Obama on a visit to Pearl Harbor on Dec. 27, 2016, seventy-five years after a surprise Japanese attack there drew the United States into World War II.

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    The United States won't waver in its commitment to NATO and Baltic security, Sen. John McCain said Tuesday in Estonia, where he's seeking to soothe anxiety over President-elect Donald Trump's rhetoric, NBC News reported. 

    McCain told reporters that he and Estonia's leaders discussed the outcome of American election, which he conceded came as a surprise after Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton polled so well in the weeks leading up to the vote. 

    "But I am convinced and certain that our relationship and ... the American relationship with NATO, will remain the same," he said. 

    "I think the presence of the American troops here in Estonia is a signal that we believe in what Ronald Reagan believed, and that is peace through strength," McCain added from Tallinn, the Estonian capital. "And the best way to prevent Russian misbehavior by having a credible, strong military and a strong NATO alliance."



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this Feb. 9, 2016 file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.In this Feb. 9, 2016 file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

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    A look throughout the years at the royal family.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Prince George and Princess Charlotte eat sweets as they leave following the service at St Mark's Church on Christmas Day on Dec. 25, 2016, in Bucklebury, Berkshire.Prince George and Princess Charlotte eat sweets as they leave following the service at St Mark's Church on Christmas Day on Dec. 25, 2016, in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

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    With no official spot on Hollywood Boulevard to mourn Carrie Fisher, fans of the actor, author and activist crafted a pop-up tribute for the icon on the Walk of Fame Tuesday.

    Dedicated fans decorated a blank star in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre for the "Star Wars" actor. They surrounded it with candles and white roses and stuck on letters that formed "Carrie Fisher - May the force be with you always - Hope."

    "When I found Carrie Fisher didn't have a star I found that to be unacceptable," said Jason Thomas, who was dressed in a Jedi robe and carried a lightsaber. "Decided to take it upon myself to make one for her. She's touched my generation."

    The Walk stars are not actually awarded to recipients based solely on talent, hard work and dedication to the arts. Star recipients are selected by a committee that considers hundreds of applications each year.

    The stars are purchased for $30,000, rather than gifted. Half of that $30,000 fee pays for the ceremony and the other half goes toward maintenance and repairs.

    The iconic "Star Wars" actor died Tuesday at age 60 following a heart attack she suffered Friday on a flight to Los Angeles from London. Daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actor Debbie Reynolds, Fisher was also an accomplished author. Her memoir "The Princess Diarist" was published this year.

    Her portrayal of Princess Leia felt real to many.

    "She definitely had that female empowerment, being the ambassador," said Elise Savage, a fan from Washington. "Just, she grabbed the gun! Did everything the guys did!"

    Fisher's death sparked an outpouring of grief from her family, her "Star Wars" co-stars, other Hollywood actors and devoted fans on social media.

    "She brought the galaxy hope," Thomas said in a Facebook live video. "She deserves a star, now she lives amongst them. She was the flame that lit the fire that burned the empire to the ground.

    "Hope is embodied in this woman and she gave that to my generation and hopefully to others."



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Fans honored Carrie Fisher's legacy by crafting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.Fans honored Carrie Fisher's legacy by crafting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.

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    Korean Air Lines announced on Tuesday that it would be increasing stun gun training for crew members and hiring more male flight attendants in order to better handle violent passengers, NBC News reported.

    The change comes after singer Richard Marx helped crew members subdue an unruly passenger aboard his Dec. 20 flight to Seoul.

    "Korean Air has incredibly strong security measures but is beefing them up and reinforcing them by increasing Taser training, looking at putting male flight attendants on all flights and it's going to increase the overall training in the cabin," Korean Air spokesperson Penny Pfaelzer told NBC News Tuesday.

    While some industry experts and veterans expressed support for additional training for stun gun use, others decried the addition of specifically male flight attendants as misguided.



    Photo Credit: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for The Paley Center for Media

    Daisy Fuentes and Richard Marx attend the The Paley Center for Media's Hollywood Tribute to Hispanic Achievements in Television at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 24, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.Daisy Fuentes and Richard Marx attend the The Paley Center for Media's Hollywood Tribute to Hispanic Achievements in Television at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 24, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

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    Check out some of the best images from the 2016-2017 NFL season.

    Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals is brought down by the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle, Washington. The Cardinals won 34-31.Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals is brought down by the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle, Washington. The Cardinals won 34-31.

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    A bus driver in Shelton, Connecticut, has been arrested for allegedly falling asleep at the wheel while driving with children, and one concerned woman is speaking out about what her daughter went through on the bus before his arrest. 

    Shelton police received calls about a bus driver falling asleep at the wheel and swerving all over the road at approximately 3:40 p.m. on Dec. 16. 

    Officers did not see children on the bus when they pulled over Paul Pixley, of Derby, on Nicholas Avenue by Earl Street. An assistant manager of Landmark Transportation came to the scene to drive the bus back, police said.

    It was later determined that Pixley had driven the bus with 30 children on the same day he was pulled over, according to Shelton police. The 55-year-old appeared to fall asleep several times, which resulted in children getting off at earlier bus stops.

    Vienna DiPiave said her daughter was on the bus and called her during the ordeal.

    “She was terrified. She was absolutely hysterical. She was so scared, I couldn’t understand a word that she was saying to me when she called,” DiPiave said.

    Pixley was charged with 30 counts of risk of injury to a minor, breach of peace, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. His bond was set at $75,000. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney.

    While DiPiave was glad the driver was taken out from behind the wheel, she now has concerns there may be other drivers out there putting children in danger.

    “As a parent, you put your child in the safety of somebody every day that they get on that bus,” she said.

    Shelton Schools Superintendent Chris Clouet said in a statement:

    "The Shelton Police Department working closely with administration from the Shelton Public School System has arrested Landmark bus driver Paul Pixley on multiple counts of breach of peace, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, and risk of injury. The Board of Education is grateful to the Police Department for their focused investigation that is bringing a resolution to the incident that endangered our students' safety. The School System will insist that Landmark Transportation adhere to established security measures to ensure our transportation provider's procedures observe strict driver guidelines. Be assured that this driver will never drive for our school system ever again."



    Photo Credit: Snapchat

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    From her first big screen scene as Princess Leia – a grainy holographic plea for help – to her presumably final bow (spoiler alert) – a stirring message of hope delivered nearly 40 years later with a CGI-aided grin – Carrie Fisher provided a vision of beauty, brains and bravery.

    As the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, she arrived in the world as Hollywood royalty. But the “Star Wars” actress, who died Tuesday at 60, leaves us as a self-made princess from “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” who became a cinematic queen for the ages.

    Just 19 when she filmed the first “Star Wars” installment, Fisher proved she could deliver withering looks and lines to match like a seasoned pro more out of a 1930s screwball comedy than the 1970s epic sci-fi series that forever changed the movies.

    “I’d just as soon kiss a wookie,” Leia told swaggering “fly boy” Han Solo in the first film, released in 1977 and later rechristened “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.”

    She met her disguised savior – and secret brother – Luke Skywalker with a zinger in the same flick as he rescued her from imprisonment on the Death Star: “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”

    Leia could handle a gun when real stormtroopers attacked and could keep her cool during a crisis – even when she found herself clad in a metallic bikini, the chained slave of the odious, oozing blob, Jabba the Hutt, in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi.”

    Fisher turned rebel alliance leader Leia Organa into a movie rarity: a sex symbol and feminist icon. The actress, who spoke all but 63 seconds of the lines delivered by females in the first three “Star Wars” installments, paved the way for young women who kick butt in the movies. Leia’s spirit infuses not only Daisy Ridley’s breakout role as Rey in “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” and Felicity Jones’ performance as Jyn in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” but characters from Katniss Everdeen to Hermoine Granger.

    Fisher’s pivotal part in George Lucas’ pop-cultural phenomenon, though, overshadowed the rest of her career. While she gave strong supporting performances in “When Harry Met Sally” and “Hannah and Her Sisters,” Fisher never approached her “Star Wars” success.

    Still, her second calling as a writer fueled by piercing wit earned her notice – most prominently with “Postcards From the Edge.” The novel, based on her sometimes rocky relationship with her mother, got made into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine. Fisher also used the written word to give voice to her battles with substance abuse and mental illness, challenges she confronted with unflinching honesty.

    The actress, who died two days after she was stricken on a transatlantic flight, at least got to take a well-earned victory lap over the last year. Her role as the tough now-General Organa in “The Force Awakens” helped recapture the magic lost in the three “Star Wars” prequels and make the film 2015’s box office champ.

    Her recently published memoir, “The Princess Diarist,” which revealed her long- ago affair with Harrison Ford, grabbed headlines. Fisher’s semi-cameo (her head, circa 1977, atop actress Ingvild Delia’s body) in “Rogue One” offered a surprise, uplifting ending to the series’ latest installment, currently the universe’s No. 1 movie.

    It’s unclear how “Star Wars” will go on without Carrie Fisher. But her force lives on via celluloid, where she created an indelible vision of a princess who, in perhaps her last cinematic breath, left us the gift of hope.

    Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



    Photo Credit: Corbis via Getty Images

    Actress Carrie Fisher pose in costume as Princess Leia on the set of Actress Carrie Fisher pose in costume as Princess Leia on the set of "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back."

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