Childhood & Early Life
Carrie Fisher was born to Russian immigrant father Eddie Fisher and Scottish-Irish-English mother Debbie Reynolds in Beverly Hills, California. While her father was a Jewish by belief and a singer by profession, her mother belonged to the Protestant faith and worked as an actress. She has a younger brother and two half-sisters.
After her parents separated when she was two, she was raised by her mother and step-father Harry Karl. It was natural for young Carrie to walk into her mother’s footsteps and she eventually started to make appearances with her mother in Las Vegas at the age of twelve.
Academically, she attained her formal education from Beverly Hills High School but dropped out of the same to accompany her mother on a road trip. She made her debut as a singer in the hit Broadway revival ‘Irene’, starring her mother in 1973. Same year, she took up an 18 months course at the London’s Central School of Speech and Drama.
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In 1975, she made her official big screen debut with the Columbia comedy, ‘Shampoo’. She was starred alongwith Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn.
Two years later, she made her breakthrough with the science fiction tale, ‘Star Wars’, a George Lucas film. In it, she played the character of Princess Leia Organa. The movie, against much reservations and qualms, was a major commercial and critical phenomenon.
Post the success of the first of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, she attained superstardom and soon became a household name in the country. Small petite toy figures of Princess Leia were available for sale across the toy stores across the United States.
In 1978, she made a couple of appearances for television, starting with Ringo Starr’s TV special, ‘Ringo’, ABC-TV film, ‘Leave Yesterday Behind’ and made-for-TV film, ‘Star Wars Holiday Special’, for which she revived her role of Princess Leia.
The year of 1980 witnessed her reprise the role of Princess Leia for Star Wars franchise’s equally successful film, ‘The Empires Strike Back’. Additionally, she was seen in two Broadway productions ‘Censored Scenes from King Kong’ and ‘Agnes of God’ two years later.
In 1983, she made her final appearance as Princess Leia for the last of the Star Wars series, ‘Return of the Jedi’. Three years later, she starred in the Woody Allen film, ‘Hannah and her Sisters’.
The tumultuous string of events in her personal life affected her soaring career as she witnessed a major collapse in the same. Lack of roles and assignments led her to try her hand at writing. As such, in 1987, she released her debut novel, a semi-autobiographical, ‘Postcards from the Edge’ that became a best-seller.
From 1987 until 1989, she starred in the Australian film, ‘The Time Gaurdian’. Additionally she played supporting role in the film ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and as the wife of Tom Hanks in the film, ‘The Burbs’.
The decade of 1990 started with an adaptation of her debut novel into a film of the same name. In 1991, she took her writing expedition further by publishing her next novel, ‘Surrender the Pink’. Same year, she was part of the cast for the fantasy comedy film ‘Drop Dead Fred’.
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In 1993, she released her next novel, ‘Delusions of Grandma’. Four years later, she was cast for the character of a therapist for the Austin Powers film franchise, ‘International Man of Mystery’.
Her strong sense of knowledge and experience led her to don the hat of a script doctor for many screenplay writers. Working along with them, she revised the scripts for numerous films and television dramas including ‘Sister Act’, ‘Outbreak’, ‘The Wedding Singer’, ‘The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles’ and so on
The start of the new millennium witnessed her take up key roles in various movies, including playing the role of an actress for ‘Scream 3’, a nun in Kevin Smith’s comedy ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back’ and in the TV comedy film, ‘These Old Broads’ for which she also donned the hat of a co-executive producer. Additionally, she gave a voiceover for animated sitcom ‘Family Guy’
Taking her writing career forward, she came up with the sequel of her first novel, titled, ‘The Best Awful’. Additionally she was featured in the book of photographs, ‘Hollywood Moms’ and made a couple of appearance in TV series.
She wrote and performed in the one-woman play, ‘Wishful Drinking’ from 2007 until 2008 in various cities across the country. Later on, in 2008, she published her autobiographical book of the same name, ‘Wishful Drinking’. Following year, she released an audio book version of it, which earned her a Grammy Award nomination in the Best Spoken Word Album category.
Towards the end of the 2000 decade, she guest starred in several TV series including, ‘Sex and the City’, ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, ‘Deal or No Deal’ and Star Wars-related comedy ‘Fanboys’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Carrie Fisher's personal life was turbulent all through. She was briefly engaged to Dan Aykroyd in 1980 before she broke up with the same to tie the knot with Paul Simon in 1983. The marriage lasted for exactly eleven months after which they parted ways.
Post-divorce, she briefly dated Simon yet again before being romantically involved with Creative Artists Agency principal and casting agent Bryan Lourd. Together, they were blessed with a child, Billie Catherine Lourd. This relationship too did not last long. She shared a cordial relationship with James Blunt
Despite being raised as a Protestant by her mother, she is an enthusiastic agnostic who occasionally attends Jewish services.
An ardent drug addict, she publically discussed her struggle with bipolar disorder and addiction to prescription medication and drugs in a TV show. She also openly proclaimed of her receiving the electroconvulsive therapy treatment
Carrie Fisher had a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on 23 December 2016. She was hospitalized in Los Angeles and died four days later on 27 December 2016.