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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 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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    A warm front will trigger light precipitation across Connecticut this evening.

    While most spots will be above freezing, some valleys in Hartford and Litchfield Counties could be below freezing as the spotty rain arrives.

    The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory for parts of northern Connecticut on Monday.

    Drivers should use extreme caution and be aware of the temperature and weather conditions this afternoon and evening.

    It only takes a couple of minutes of freezing rain to create dangerous patches of ice on untreated surfaces.

    Freezing rain is simply liquid rain that freezes on contact with a frozen surface.

    Temperatures will rise throughout the night, ending the threat of freezing rain.

    Spotty showers continue Tuesday morning with temperatures in the 40s and even reaching into the 50s. The rain will begin to clear out Tuesday afternoon.

    The next threat for wintry weather will be on Thursday.


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    Several hundred teenagers were involved in multiple fights at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills in Manchester.

    State police said they are helping assist Manchester police with large fight or disturbance at the mall on Buckland Hills Drive at 5:30 p.m. 

    On Monday, Manchester police said up to 10 teenagers were involved in a disturbance at the mall when a fight broke out. Police estimated that several hundred teenagers were in the mall at the time of the original disturbance and other fights started to happen simultaneously. 

    Videos posted on social media purportedly shows hundreds of people leaving the mall or standing in the parking lot. Police said the mall closed after the fights broke out. 

    One Manchester police officer was assaulted while attempting to break up the first fight but did not seek any medical attention, police said in a release. 

    Manchester Police Captain said that several arrests were made but names and charges have not been released. 

    There were no weapons reported and no indication that the fights were gang related, Manchester police said. 

    South Windsor, East Hartford, Vernon and Glastonbury police are also assisting Manchester police at the scene. 

    Police continue to investigate. 

    Mutliple news outlets reported mall fights breaking out across the nation, including in New Jersey and Chicago



    Photo Credit: Christine Badeau
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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    Is there a Christmas decoration you've been eyeing? Maybe you want a new tree?

    Shoppers tell NBC Connecticut stores significantly discount holiday decorations after Christmas, and the day after the holiday is the best day to buy.

    Luz Riley, of East Lyme, stocked her car with a new Christmas tree, tree skirt and wrapping paper from Target on Monday.

    "There was 50 percent, all the ornaments, Christmas trees, and then you had 30 percent on all the candy," Riley said.

    She was using the day after the holiday to shop the sales.

    "These are mugs and they're 50 percent off and I thought they looked so cute,” said Diane DeMain of Stamford, about Christmas mugs.

    DeMain said Monday’s sales are hard to beat. She got discounted Christmas lights and gifts for her grandkids.

    Mother-daughter duo, Alison and Olivia Tolley, of Salem, shopping the day after Christmas has become a family tradition.

    "I think it's more like a yearly thing that we go out every year and use our gift cards the after Christmas,” Olivia Tolley said.

    "Often times the prices are better the day after Christmas than they are the day before Christmas, so we always take advantage of that every year,” said Richard Cook of Ledyard.

    Cousins Angela Molloy and Barbara Adams will tell you it's a fun way to get out of the house. But before pulling out a credit card, the price must be right.

    "At least 80 percent off,” Adams said.

    “She's a shopper,” Molloy laughed.

    The day after Christmas is arguably the biggest day for returns of the year.

    "Basically things that don't fit my children. Sneakers, all clothes. Obviously they chose the toys to keep,” Rose Stavens, of Waterford, said.

    In the Stavens household, Santa’s biggest faux paus came down to fashion. She’s returning all the items that don’t fit or her children don’t like.

    And she's not alone. It was a miss for Saint Nick when it came to Amanda Vincent's wardrobe.

    "You can't just put them in any outfit that they get, so they have to exchange and get stuff that they like," said Carrie Vincent, her mom.

    In Groton and Waterford, there are packed parking lot in front of the big box stores. But looks can be deceiving. People making returns said the lines moved smoothly.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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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.

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

    A 6-foot-tall brass menorah was reported stolen from San Francisco’s 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."

    "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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    A West Haven man is accused of driving while intoxicated with three young children in the car, according to Orange police.

    Police said they arrested Antonio Bazar, 33, on Dec. 18 after they responded to an accident at the intersection of Route 121 and Route 34. He was reportedly involved in an accident in Derby earlier and fled the scene.

    According to police, Bazar failed field sobriety tests and had three young children in his car at the time of the Orange accident.

    Bazar was charged with DUI, following too close, and three counts of risk of injury to a minor. He was held on a $50,000 bond, which was later reduced by the court. He is next scheduled in court on Jan. 10.



    Photo Credit: Orange Police Department

    Antonio BazarAntonio Bazar

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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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    Traffic cameras captured dramatic images of a New Haven police cruiser in flames Tuesday morning.

    The cruiser caught fire on Kimberly Avenue, off Interstate 95 at exit 44 around 7:30 a.m. State police said no one was injured and firefighters have extinguished the blaze.

    The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

    A New Haven police cruiser caught fire on Kimberly Avenue Tuesday morning.A New Haven police cruiser caught fire on Kimberly Avenue Tuesday morning.

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    Clinton police are trying to identify the suspect pictured above after he allegedly used stolen credit cards at the Pac Sun Store at Clinton Crossings Monday.

    Police said the suspect identified himself as Christopher Guevera and presented a possible Virginia ID. According to police, he also used stolen credit cards on Dec. 10 and Dec. 24.

    The suspect is described as 5-foot-7, with a stocky build. He was wearing a letterman-style jacket and blue and red ball cap at the time of the incident.

    Anyone with information or who recognizes the suspect above should contact Clinton police at 860-669-0451.



    Photo Credit: Clinton Police Department

    Clinton police say the suspect pictured above used stolen credit cards at the Clinton Crossings on Dec. 26.Clinton police say the suspect pictured above used stolen credit cards at the Clinton Crossings on Dec. 26.

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    Crews are battling what dispatchers called a “significant” house fire on Route 171 in Woodstock Tuesday morning.

    The fire is in the 600 block of Route 171 and residents are advised to avoid the area. Quinebaug Valley Emergency Dispatch tweeted that all occupants were accounted for as fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

    State police and Eversource were also called to the scene.

    Route 171 is closed at Rocky Hill Road while crews work.

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Route 171 in Woodstock is closed while crews battle a house fire on Tuesday, Dec. 27.Route 171 in Woodstock is closed while crews battle a house fire on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

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    Police are investigating after the pursuit of home invasion suspects ended in a car crash off Route 2 Tuesday morning.

    Hartford police said the incident began as a home invasion on Henry Street in their city. Two suspects fled in an SUV toward East Hartford and eventually crashed just off Route 2 at the corner of Sutton Avenue and Main Street.

    The SUV crashed into a police and took down utility lines, causing a power outage. The suspects then fled the scene on foot.

    It is unclear if the suspects have been taken into custody.

    This is a developing story. NBC Connecticut will provide updates as they come into the newsroom.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Police are investigating after two home invasion suspects fled the scene in Hartford and crashed into a pole in East Hartford.Police are investigating after two home invasion suspects fled the scene in Hartford and crashed into a pole in East Hartford.

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    Connecticut State police have responded to four fatal accidents and issued thousands of violations over the Christmas holiday period so far this year.

    State police holiday enforcement began at midnight on Dec. 22. Troopers conduct increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints are set up throughout the state during this period.

    As of 11:59 p.m. Monday, police had arrested 47 people on DUI charges, issued 579 speeding tickets, 50 seat belt violations, and issued citations for 1596 other moving violations. They also assisted 436 disabled motorists.

    State police have responded to a total of 528 accidents so far, up from 461 this time last year. Of those, four were fatal, one involved a serious injury, and 58 others involved some kind of minor injury.

    Holiday enforcement runs through 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 2.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Flanders Road in Southington is closed after a car struck a utility police Tuesday morning.

    Police said around 2:48 a.m. a 2013 Audi left the roadway and hit a pole in the area of 922 Flanders Road. The driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

    The impact caused the pole to snap and knocked out power to just under 400 customers. Eversource crews responded to repair the damage. Eversource expects to have power restored to all customers by 11 a.m.

    Traffic is being detoured around the scene using Malcein Drive and Mine Hollow Road. Drivers should seek alternate routes if possible. The closure is expected to last several hours.

    The crash is under investigation and no charges have been filed. Anyone with information on the incident should contact Southington police at 860-621-0101.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Flanders Road in Southington was closed after a car struck a pole early Tuesday morning.Flanders Road in Southington was closed after a car struck a pole early Tuesday morning.

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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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    A 61-year-old Hartland man was killed when his car crashed into a tree Monday evening.

    Police said Gary Delaney was driving on Peck Orchard Road in Hartland around 6:45 p.m. when his truck went off the road and crashed into a tree. Delaney died of his injuries.

    State police are investigating the crash. Anyone with information should contact Trooper Veras at 860-626-1820.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The Connecticut State Police Eastern District Major Crimes Unit has arrested a woman in connection with an investigation into a fatal overdose in Ashford.

    On Sept. 8, EDMC was assigned to investigate the apparent overdose death of an Ashford resident. According to an arrest warrant application the accused, Jessica Hill, 46, of Ashford conspired with the victim to steal morphine and use it.

    According to investigators, the deceased victim and Hill were friends. Investigators allege that on Sept. 7, Hill and the victim made plans to hang out. The victim worked as a surgical assistant at CT Oral Surgery in Mansfield. Hill and the victim decided to go to the CT Oral Surgery offices after hours to steal morphine, investigators said.

    The arrest warrant application states that Hill told police after the pair stole the morphine, they went back to the deceased’s home and injected each other with the morphine. Hill said she then went to sleep in the living room, then left when she woke up.

    The deceased’s sons found her dead in the bathroom the next day, investigators said.

    The victim had a history of narcotic use, according to police.

    On Monday Hill was arrested and charged with accessory to burglary third-degree, conspiracy to commit burglary third-degree, accessory to larceny, accessory to illegal possession of narcotics and conspiracy to illegal possession of narcotics. She was released on a $10,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 9.

    The untimely death investigation remains active.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Jessica HillJessica Hill

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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.

    [[408418575, C]]

    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." 

    [[408423265,C]]

    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.

    [[50894717, C]]

    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.

    [[238430011, C]]

    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
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    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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    Carrie Fisher will always be known for one role: Princess Leia, the fierce woman at the center of the rebellion in the "Star Wars" opus that has captivated generations. But as a big screen star for nearly four decades, she's made an impact beyond the Star Wars galaxy.

    Here are some of her most memorable roles outside of "Star Wars":

    Mystery Woman, "Blues Brothers"
    Fisher plays a gun-toting, missile-launching bride who remained celibate for Jake Blues (John Belushi) — only to be abandoned at the altar. She spends the entire movie hunting the Blues Brothers, looking for revenge.

    She finally catches up to them, and delivers this message: 

    "So for me, for my mother, my grandmother, my father, my uncle and the common good," Fisher says, "I must now kill you. And your brother."

    Of course, she doesn't kill Jake Blues. Instead, she swoons over his puppy dog eyes, lets him kiss her, and then watches as he abandons her again. 

    Marie, "When Harry Met Sally"
    Sure, when you think of "When Harry Met Sally," the first thing to come to mind is the diner scene with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. But Carrie Fisher shines as Marie, Sally's best friend.

    She dispenses some pearls of wisdom: "Everybody thinks they have good taste and a sense of humor, but they couldn't possibly all have good taste," Fisher (as Marie) says. 

    Lorna, "Shampoo"
    Carrie Fisher was a relative unknown when she was cast as Princess Leia, but she had appeared in one movie: "Shampoo." Playing Lorna, she was in two scenes for a total of about four minutes.

    In her brief appearance, she plays tennis-playing teenager seducing Warren Beatty.

    Mia, "Catastrophe"

    In the past 15 years, Carrie Fisher had a somewhat prolific career as a television guest star, recently in the Amazon show "Catastrophe," the Asssociated Press reported.

    On the show, written by and starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, Fisher played the mother of Delaney's character.

    Therapist, "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery"

    After Dr. Evil is thawed, he meets his teenage son, Scott, for the first time, and tries to build a relationship. To this end, they try group therapy - and Carrie Fisher plays the therapist.

    Scott (Seth Green): "I just think, like, he hates me. I really think he wants to kill me."

    Therapist (Carrie Fisher): "Now, Scott, we don't want to kill each other. We might say that we might want to, but we really don't."

    Dr. Evil (Mike Myers): "Actually, the boy is quite astute. I really am trying to kill him. But so far, unsuccessfully. He's quite wily like his old man."

    It's a short uncredited cameo, but Fisher nails it. 



    Photo Credit: Universal Pictures
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