Carrie Fisher: 1956-2016
Carrie Fisher was born October 21, 1956 to singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her parents divorced when she was two and her father married Elizabeth Taylor and her mother married shoe-store chain owner Harry Karl. She attended Beverly Hills High School but never graduated because her acting career began to take off when she appeared in the Broadway revival of "Irene" in 1973 which starred her mother. Later that year, she enrolled in London's Central School of Speech and Drama but only attended for 18 months. She was accepted into Sarah Lawrence College in 1978 but did not graduate due to her filming schedule for "Star Wars."
Fisher made her silver screen debut in the 1975 film "Shampoo" starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn. A mere two years later, Fisher landed the role that would change her life forever in the 1977 film "Star Wars."
Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" series costarring Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. She reprised the role in three sequels including 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." She revealed in her 2016 memoir "The Princess Diarist" that she had an affair with Ford on the "Star Wars" set.
Fisher is also known for her roles in Woody Allen's 1986 film "Hannah and her Sisters," her supporting role in "When Harry Met Sally" and "The Blues Brothers."
Fisher has penned several books including her 2016 memoir "The Princess Diarist." Her first book, novel "Postcards from the Edge," was somewhat based on her life. It fictionalized real-life events from her life including her drug addiction and her relationship with her mother. It became a bestseller and was later adapted into a movie starring Meryl Streep, Dennis Quaid and Shirley MacLaine. She also wrote "surrender the Pink," "Delusions of Grandma" and several screenplays.
(Blue Rider Press via AP)
The actress is also known for her no-holds-barred accounts of her struggles with addiction and mental illness. She has publicly discussed her bipolar diagnosis and her substance abuse. While discussing her 2008 memoir "Wishful Drinking" with Matt Lauer, Fisher said if she had known how big of a hit "Star Wars" would become, she would have turned down the role of Princess Leia.
Fisher was briefly engaged to comedian Dan Aykroyd in 1980, who she worked with on "The Blues Brothers." They broke up and Fisher got back together with her ex-boyfriend Paul Simon. Simon and Fisher married in 1983 and divorced in 1984. They dated again after their divorce and Simon's song "Hearts and Bones" is about their relationship.
Fisher later had a relationship with Creative Artists Agency agent Bryan Lourd. They had one child together, a daughter Billie Catherine Lourd, born in 1992. The pair never married and the relationship ended when Lourd left Fisher for a man.