Carrie Fisher

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Carrie Fisher
Fisher at WonderCon in 2009
Fisher at WonderCon in 2009
BornCarrie Frances Fisher
(1956-10-21) October 21, 1956 (age 57)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, novelist, screenwriter, performance artist
Years active1975-present
Spouse(s)Paul Simon (1983–1984; divorced)
Partner(s)Bryan Lourd (1991–1994)
Children1
ParentsEddie Fisher
Debbie Reynolds
 
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Carrie Fisher
Fisher at WonderCon in 2009
Fisher at WonderCon in 2009
BornCarrie Frances Fisher
(1956-10-21) October 21, 1956 (age 57)
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, novelist, screenwriter, performance artist
Years active1975-present
Spouse(s)Paul Simon (1983–1984; divorced)
Partner(s)Bryan Lourd (1991–1994)
Children1
ParentsEddie Fisher
Debbie Reynolds

Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956) is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and performance artist. She is best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the original Star Wars trilogy. She is also known for her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and screenplay for a film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play, Wishful Drinking, and the non-fiction book she based on it.

Early life[edit]

Fisher was born in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Russia, and her mother was Protestant, of Scots-Irish and English ancestry.[1][2][3][4] Her younger brother is producer and actor Todd Fisher, and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, whose mother is the singer and actress Connie Stevens.

When Fisher was two, her parents divorced after her father left Reynolds for her best friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, the widow of her father's best friend Mike Todd. The following year, her mother married shoe store chain owner Harry Karl, who secretly spent Reynolds's life savings. She attended Beverly Hills High School, but she left to join her mother on the road.[5] She appeared as a debutante and singer in the hit Broadway revival Irene (1973), which starred her mother.

Career[edit]

1970s[edit]

Fisher with Wim Wenders in 1978

In 1973, Fisher enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, which she attended for 18 months. She made her film debut in the Columbia comedy Shampoo (1975) starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn, with Lee Grant and Jack Warden as her parents. In 1977, Fisher starred as Princess Leia Organa in George Lucas's science fiction film Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, a part she sarcastically claims to have obtained by sleeping "with some nerd."[6] At the time, she believed the script for Star Wars was fantastic, but did not expect many people to agree with her, and though her fellow actors were not close at the time, they bonded after the commercial success of the film.[7] The huge success of Star Wars made her internationally famous and the character of Princess Leia became a merchandising triumph; there were small plastic action figures of the Princess in toy stores across the United States.

In April 1978, she appeared as the love interest in Ringo Starr's 1978 TV special Ringo.[8][9] the next month, she appeared alongside John Ritter (who had also played in Ringo) in the ABC-TV film Leave Yesterday Behind, as a horse trainer who helps Ritter's character after an accident leaves him a paraplegic. At this time, Fisher appeared with Laurence Olivier and Joanne Woodward in the anthology series Laurence Olivier Presents in a television version of the William Inge play Come Back, Little Sheba. That November, she appeared as Princess Leia in the 1978 made-for-TV film, Star Wars Holiday Special, and showed off her singing talent in the last scene.

1980s[edit]

Fisher later appeared in The Blues Brothers film as Jake's vengeful ex-lover – listed in the credits as "Mystery Woman." She appeared on Broadway in Censored Scenes from King Kong in 1980. That year, she reprised her role as Leia Organa in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. She made her final appearance as Leia Organa in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, for which she became a sex symbol due to her appearance wearing a golden metal bikini (the outfit Leia was forced to wear as a slave girl of Jabba the Hutt), which almost immediately rose to pop culture icon status. She is one of the few actors or actresses to star in films with both John and James Belushi, later appearing with the latter in the film The Man with One Red Shoe. She also was a replacement in the Broadway production of Agnes of God (1982). She appeared in the Woody Allen film Hannah and her Sisters in 1986.

In 1987, Fisher published her first novel, Postcards from the Edge. The book was semi-autobiographical in the sense that she fictionalized and satirized real-life events such as her drug addiction of the late 1970s and her relationship with her mother. It became a bestseller, and she received the Los Angeles Pen Award for Best First Novel. Also during 1987, she was in the Australian film The Time Guardian. In 1989, Fisher played a major supporting role in When Harry Met Sally, and in the same year, she appeared alongside Tom Hanks, as his wife, in The 'Burbs.

1990s[edit]

In 1990, Columbia Pictures released a film version of Postcards from the Edge, adapted for the screen by Fisher and starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid. Fisher appeared in the fantasy comedy film Drop Dead Fred in 1991, and played a therapist in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). During the 1990s, Fisher also published the novels Surrender the Pink (1991) and Delusions of Grandma (1993).

2000s[edit]

Fisher at Star Wars Celebration IV, 2007

In the film Scream 3 (2000), Fisher played an actress mistaken for Carrie Fisher. Director Wes Craven's commentary on the Scream 3 DVD suggests that the sequence had, in fact, been written by Fisher herself.

In 2001, Fisher played a nun in the Kevin Smith comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The title spoofs The Empire Strikes Back and the film, which includes her Star Wars series cast-mate Mark Hamill, satirizes many Hollywood movies, including the Star Wars series.

She also co-wrote the TV comedy film These Old Broads (2001), of which she was also co-executive producer. It starred her mother, Debbie Reynolds, as well as Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins and Shirley MacLaine. In this, Taylor's character, an agent, explains to Reynolds's character, an actress, that she was in an alcoholic blackout when she married the actress's husband, "Freddy."

Besides acting and writing original works, Fisher was one of the top script doctors in Hollywood, working on the screenplays of other writers.[10][11] She did uncredited polishes on movies starting with The Wedding Singer and Sister Act,[10] and was hired by the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, to polish scripts for his 1992 TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.[10] Her expertise in this area was the reason she was chosen as one of the interviewers for the screenwriting documentary Dreams on Spec in 2007. However, during an interview in 2004, she said that she no longer did much script doctoring.[11]

Fisher also voices Peter Griffin's boss, Angela, on the animated sitcom Family Guy and appeared in a book of photographs titled Hollywood Moms (2001) for which she wrote the introduction. Fisher published a sequel to Postcards, The Best Awful There Is, in 2004. In August 2006, Fisher appeared prominently in the audience of the Comedy Central's Roast of William Shatner. In 2007, she was a full-time judge on FOX's filmmaking-competition reality television series On the Lot.

Fisher wrote and performed in her one-woman play Wishful Drinking at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles from November 7, 2006, to January 14, 2007.[12] Her show played at the Berkeley Repertory Theater through April 2008,[13] followed by performances in San Jose, California in July 2008, Hartford Stage in August 2008[14] before moving on to the Arena Stage in Washington, DC in September 2008[15] and Boston[16] in October 2008. Fisher published her autobiographical book, also titled Wishful Drinking, based on her successful play in December 2008 and embarked on a media tour. On April 2, 2009, Fisher returned to the stage with her play at the Seattle Repertory Theatre with performances through May 9, 2009.[17] On October 4, 2009, Wishful Drinking then opened on Broadway in New York at Studio 54 and played an extended run until January 17, 2010.[18][19] In December 2009, Fisher's audio-book recording of her best-selling memoir, Wishful Drinking, earned her a nomination for a 2009 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album category.[20]

Fisher joined Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne on Saturday evenings for The Essentials with informative and entertaining conversation on Hollywood's best films. She guest-starred in the episode titled "Sex and Another City" from season 3 of Sex and the City with Sarah Jessica Parker. This episode also featured Vince Vaughn, Hugh Hefner and Sam Seder in guest roles. On October 25, 2007, Fisher guest-starred as Rosemary Howard on the second season episode of 30 Rock called "Rosemary's Baby," for which she received an Emmy Award[21] nomination. Her last line in the show was a spoof from Star Wars: "Help me Liz Lemon, You're my only hope!" On April 28, 2008, she was a guest on Deal or No Deal. In 2008, she also had a cameo as a doctor in the Star Wars-related comedy Fanboys.

2010s[edit]

In 2010, HBO aired a feature-length documentary based on a special live performance of Fisher's Wishful Drinking stage production.[22] Fisher also appeared on the seventh season of Entourage in the summer of 2010.[22]

In an interview posted March 2013, Fisher said she would reprise her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode VII, "Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home [laughs]. I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.[23] After other media outlets reported this on March 6, her representative said the same day Fisher was joking and nothing has been announced.[24]

In August 2013, she was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.

Personal life[edit]

Fisher was briefly engaged to the actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd, who proposed on the set of their film The Blues Brothers in 1980. She has stated: "We had rings, we got blood tests, the whole shot. But then I got back together with Paul Simon."[25]

Fisher dated musician Paul Simon from 1977 until 1983 and was then married to him from August 1983 to July 1984. They dated again for a time after their divorce. During their marriage, she appeared in Simon's music video for the song "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War". Simon's song Hearts and Bones was written about their relationship.[26]

Subsequently, she had a relationship with Creative Artists Agency principal and casting agent Bryan Lourd. They had one child together, Billie Catherine Lourd (born July 17, 1992). Eddie Fisher states in his autobiography (Been There Done That) his granddaughter's name is Catherine Fisher Lourd and her nickname is "Billy". The couple's relationship ended when Lourd left to be in a relationship with a man. Though Fisher has described Lourd as her second husband in interviews, according to a 2004 profile of the actress and writer, she and Lourd were never legally married.[27]

Fisher also had a close relationship with James Blunt. While working on his album Back to Bedlam in 2003, Blunt spent much of his time at Fisher's residence. Vanity Fair's George Wayne wanted Fisher to explain if their relationship was sexual. Fisher dismissed the suggestion: "Absolutely not, but I did become his therapist. He was a soldier. This boy has seen awful stuff. Every time James hears fireworks or anything like that, his heart beats faster, and he gets 'fight or flight.' You know, he comes from a long line of soldiers dating back to the 10th century. He would tell me these horrible stories. He was a captain, a reconnaissance soldier. I became James’s therapist. So it would have been unethical to sleep with my patient."[28]

On February 26, 2005, R. Gregory "Greg" Stevens, a lobbyist and advisor for the Republican Party, was found dead in Fisher's California home due to an overdose of OxyContin compounded by obstructive sleep apnea.[29] In an interview, Fisher claimed that Stevens's ghost haunted her mansion, which unsettled her: "I was a nut for a year," she explained, "and in that year I took drugs again."[30]

Fisher has described herself as an "enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God."[31] She was raised Protestant,[2] but often attends Jewish services, the faith of her father, with Orthodox friends.[32] She was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Inc. Television ads airing in late January 2011.[33]

Bipolar disorder and drug problems[edit]

Fisher has publicly discussed her problems with drugs, her struggle with bipolar disorder, and her overcoming an addiction to prescription medication, most notably on ABC's 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry for the BBC. She discussed her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking and various topics in it with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today on December 10, 2008 and also revealed that she would have turned down the role of Leia Organa had she realized it would give her the celebrity status that made her parents' lives difficult.[34] This interview was followed by a similar appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on December 12, 2008, where she discussed her electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments.[35] She has said that she receives ECT every six weeks to "blow apart the cement" in her brain.[36]

While in Sydney, Australia, Fisher revealed in another interview that she had a cocaine addiction during filming of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and also survived an overdose. "Slowly, I realized I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter", she said in an interview.[37][38]

During an interview with AMC Fisher said that she actually has no regrets doing the Star Wars series.[39]

Filmography[edit]

Film, television and video games
YearTitleRoleNotes
1975ShampooLorna Carp
1977Star Wars Episode IV: A New HopePrincess Leia Organa
1977Come Back, Little ShebaMarieVideotaped TV drama
1978RingoMarquineTV movie
1978Leave Yesterday BehindMarnie ClarksonTV movie
1978Star Wars Holiday SpecialPrincess Leia OrganaTV movie
1980Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes BackPrincess Leia Organa
1980Blues Brothers, TheThe Blues BrothersMystery Woman
1981Under the RainbowAnnie Clark
1982Laverne & ShirleyCathyTV series, episode: "The Playboy Show"
1983Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the JediPrincess Leia Organa
1984Faerie Tale TheatreThumbelinaTV series, episode: "Thumbelina"
1984Garbo TalksLisa Rolfe
1984FrankensteinElizabethTV movie
1985From Here to MaternityVeronicaTV short
1985Man with One Red Shoe, TheThe Man with One Red ShoePaula
1985George Burns Comedy WeekTV series, episode: "The Couch"
1985Happily Ever AfterAlice ConwayVoice only, TV movie
1986Hannah and Her SistersApril
1986Hollywood Vice SquadBetty Melton
1986LibertyEmma LazarusTV movie
1986Sunday DriveFranny JessupTV movie
1987Amazing StoriesLaurie McNamaraTV series, episode: "Gershwin's Trunk"
1987Amazon Women on the MoonMary Brownsegment "Reckless Youth"
1987Time Guardian, TheThe Time GuardianPetra
1988Appointment with DeathNadine Boynton
1989The 'burbsCarol Peterson
1989LoverboyMonica Delancy
1989Two DaddiesAlice ConwayVoice only, TV movie
1989She's BackBeatrice
1989When Harry Met Sally...Marie
1989Trying TimesEnidTV series, episode: "Hunger Chic"
1990Sweet RevengeLinda
1990Sibling RivalryIris Turner-Hunter
1991Drop Dead FredJanie
1991SoapdishBetsy Faye Sharon
1991HookWoman kissing on bridgeUncredited role
1992This Is My LifeClaudia Curtis
1994Super Star Wars: Return of the JediPrincess LeiaVideo game
1995Present Tense, Past PerfectTV short
1995FrasierPhyllisTV series, episode "Phyllis", voice only
1997Austin Powers: International Man of MysteryTherapistUncredited role
1997GunNancyTV series, episode: "The Hole"
1998Dr. Katz, Professional TherapistRoz KatzTV series, episode: "Thanksgiving"
1999Return of the Ewokshort subject, filmed in 1983
2000Scream 3Bianca
2000Sex and the CityHerselfTV series, episode: "Sex and Another City"
2001These Old BroadsHookerTV movie
2001HeartbreakersMs. Surpin
2001Jay and Silent Bob Strike BackNun
2002Midsummer Night's Rave, AA Midsummer Night's Rave
2002Nero Wolfe Mystery, AA Nero Wolfe MysteryEllen TenzerTV series, two-part episode: "Motherhunt"
2003Charlie's Angels: Full ThrottleMother Superior
2003WonderlandSally Hansen
2003Good Morning, MiamiJudy SilverTV series, episode: "A Kiss Before Lying"
2004StatesideMrs. Dubois
2004Jack & BobbyMadison SkutcherTV series, episode: "The First Lady"
2005UndiscoveredCarrie
2005SmallvillePauline KahnTV series, episode: "Thirst"
2005Romancing the BrideEdwinaTV movie
2005–2013Family GuyAngelaTV series, episodes: "Jungle Love",
"The Courtship of Stewie's Father",
"Hell Comes to Quahog",
"Whistle While Your Wife Works",
"It Takes a Village Idiot, and I Married One",
"Tales of a Third Grade Nothing",
"Peter-assment",
"Baby, You Knock Me Out",
"Road to the North Pole",
"Friends of Peter G.",
"It's a Trap!"
"Into Harmony's Way"
2007Suffering Man's CharityReporter
2007Cougar ClubGlady Goodbey
2007Odd Job JackDr. FinchTV series, episode: "The Beauty Beast"
2007WeedsCelia's attorneyTV series, episode: "The Brick Dance"
2007Side Order of LifeDr. GilbertTV series, episode:" Funeral for a Phone"
200730 RockRosemary HowardTV series, episode: "Rosemary's Baby"
2008Women, TheThe WomenBailey Smith
2009FanboysCameo appearance
2008Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode IIPrincess Leia, Mon Mothma, Krayt Dragon's MotherTV movie, voice only
2008Bring Back... Star WarsHerselfOne-off TV episode
2009White Lightnin'Cilla
2009Sorority RowMrs. Crenshaw
2010Wright vs. WrongJoan HarringtonTV movie
2010EntourageAnna FowlerTV series, episode "Tequila and Coke"
2010Family GuyMon MothmaTV series, episode: "It's a Trap", voice only
2010A Quiet Word With ...HerselfAustralian TV conversation series, season 1, episode 2[40]
2011The TalkHerselfTV series, November 15
2012It's Christmas, Carol!EveHallmark TV movie
2012DishonoredLoudspeakerVideo game
2012Comedy Central RoastHerselfThe Roast of Roseanne Barr
2014Maps to the StarsHerselfPost-Production

Bibliography[edit]

Novels
Non-fiction
Screenplays
Plays

References[edit]

  1. ^ Byrne, James Patrick. Coleman, Philip. King, Jason Francis. Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History: A Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia. Volume 2. P. 804. ABC-CLIO, 2008. ISBN 978-1-85109-614-5.
  2. ^ a b de Vries, Hilary (April 24, 1994). "Q & A Hollywood Times Three Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher discuss Hollywood families, not-so-fictional novels—and baby Billie's there to chaperone". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 7, 2010. "I was raised Protestant but I'm half-Jewish—the wrong half." 
  3. ^ Carrie Fisher's Wild Ride[dead link], Baltimore Jewish Times
  4. ^ 'Jewish Sinatra' tells all, Jewish News of Greater Phoenix, October 15, 1999
  5. ^ Mike Douglas Show, Jul 20, 1977 - Carrie Fisher talks about quitting high school
  6. ^ Wayne, George (November 2006). "The Princess Diaries". Vanity Fair. "I would be remiss if I didn’t ask how you ended up in Star Wars. I slept with some nerd. I hope it was George. You weren’t sure? No … I took too many drugs to remember" 
  7. ^ Needles, Tim. "Carrie Fisher Dishes on Her Career, Her One-Woman Show Wishful Drinking, and More". Short and Sweet NYC. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  8. ^ "You're Sixteen – Ringo Starr". YouTube. February 28, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Official Ringo Starr Site". Ringostarr.com. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c Carrie Fisher Biography Yahoo Movies. Retrieved on December 12, 2008[dead link]
  11. ^ a b Interview with Josh Horowitz The Inner View – Carrie Fisher. MoviePoopShoot, February 27, 2004. Retrieved on December 12, 2008
  12. ^ Waxman, Sharon (November 15, 2006). "Comedic Postscripts From the Edge". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Berkeley Repertory Theatre". Berkeleyrep.org. April 12, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  14. ^ Carrie Fisher Stars in Wishful Drinking at Hartford Stage Hartford Stage : Media. Retrieved on December 12, 2008
  15. ^ Wishful Drinking listing arenastage.org. Retrieved July 12, 2009.
  16. ^ Tench, Megan (October 5, 2008). "Boston Globe". Boston Globe. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  17. ^ Wishful Drinking listing seattlerep.org
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben (October 5, 2009). "Just Me and My Celebrity Shadows". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2009. 
  19. ^ BroadwayWorld Newsdesk (December 17, 2009). "Debbie Reynolds Joins Daughter Carrie Fisher On Stage in WISHFUL DRINKING". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved December 29, 2009. 
  20. ^ Grammy (December 3, 2009). "52nd Grammy Awards Nominees". Grammy.com. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  21. ^ Carrie Fisher Emmy Award Winner
  22. ^ a b "Carrie Fisher to Team Up with HBO for Wishful Drinking Special; Appear on Entourage". TVGuide.com. 
  23. ^ Pfaff, Jennifer (Undated). "Q&A with Carrie Fisher". Palm Beach Illustrated (Florida). Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Carrie Fisher as an 'elderly' Princess Leia? Not so fast". CNN. March 6, 2013. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  25. ^ Knight Jr., Richard. "Celebrity Interview: Carrie Fisher's razorlike wit dissects her various realities". Chicago Tribune, December 19, 2008.
  26. ^ The open Paul Simon biography
  27. ^ Avins, Mimi (January 25, 2004). "Carrie Fisher takes reality for a spin". Los Angeles Times,. Retrieved December 12, 2008. 
  28. ^ "The Princess Diaries | Culture". Vanity Fair. October 20, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  29. ^ Halbfinger, David M.; McDougal, Dennis (April 26, 2005). "The Mystery of Hollywood's Dead Republican". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010. 
  30. ^ Q&A by George Wayne (October 20, 2009). "The Princess Diaries | Culture". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  31. ^ "spirituality: page 2". Talentdevelop.com. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  32. ^ "j. – Been there, drank that: Carrie Fisher’s solo play swills it all". Jewishsf.com. January 31, 2008. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Valerie Bertinelli: I Would Love to Flaunt Bikini Bod With Carrie Fisher". NBC. January 24, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Carrie Fisher: I wish I’d turned down ‘Star Wars’". MSNBC. December 10, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  35. ^ "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Carrie Fisher/Julie Benz". TV.com. Retrieved March 7, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Carrie Fisher: Electroshock Therapy Helps My Whacked Psyche" US Magazine, February 16, 2011.
  37. ^ "Carrie Fisher: I did so much cocaine on Star Wars set that even John Belushi told me I had a problem". Daily Mail (London). October 12, 2010. 
  38. ^ Purdie, Ross (October 12, 2010). "Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher did cocaine on set of The Empire Strikes Back". AAP. 
  39. ^ Carrie Fisher: Not an Icon Retrieved March 5, 2012
  40. ^ "A Quiet Word With Carrie Fisher". Official site. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved July 31, 2011. 
  41. ^ Carrie Fisher Biography Yahoo! Movies
  42. ^ Wishfull Drinking San Jose Repertory Theatre, archived on December 1, 2008 from the original

External links[edit]