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Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956) is an American actress and writer. She is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy (1977–83) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). Fisher is also known for her semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge, and the screenplay for the film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play, and its nonfiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the show. Her other film roles include Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The 'Burbs (1989), and When Harry Met Sally... (1989).Contents
Carrie Frances 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 raised a Nazarene, and is of Scots-Irish and English ancestry. Her younger brother is producer and actor Todd Fisher, and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, whose mother is singer and actress Connie Stevens.
When Fisher was two, her parents divorced after her father left Reynolds for her mother's close friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, the widow of her father's best friend Mike Todd. The following year, her mother married Harry Karl, owner of a shoe-store chain, who secretly spent Reynolds' life savings.
Fisher "hid in books" as a child, becoming known in her family as "the bookworm." She spent her earliest years reading classic literature, and writing poetry. She attended Beverly Hills High School until, at age 15, she appeared as a debutante and singer in the hit Broadway revival Irene (1973), which starred her mother. This activity interfered with her education, and she never graduated from high school.
In 1973, Fisher enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, which she attended for eighteen months, and in 1978, Fisher was accepted to Sarah Lawrence College, where she planned to study the arts. However, she left before graduating due to conflicts with the filming of Star Wars.Career 1970s Fisher with Wim Wenders in 1978
Fisher 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 character's parents. In 1977, Fisher starred as Princess Leia in George Lucas's science-fiction film Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. 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. The huge success of Star Wars made her internationally famous.
In April 1978, she appeared as the love interest in Ringo Starr's 1978 TV special Ringo. The next month, she appeared alongside John Ritter (who had also appeared 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 TV production Star Wars Holiday Special, and sang in the last scene.1980s
Fisher later appeared in The Blues Brothers film as Jake's vengeful ex-lover; she is listed in the credits as "Mystery Woman". While in Chicago filming the movie, her life was saved by Dan Aykroyd when she was choking on a Brussels sprout and he performed the Heimlich maneuver on her. She appeared on Broadway in Censored Scenes from King Kong in 1980. That year, she reprised her role as Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back, and appeared as herself with her Star Wars costars on the cover of the July 12, 1980 issue of Rolling Stone to promote the film. She also appeared in the Broadway production of Agnes of God in 1982.
In 1983, Fisher returned to the role of Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi, and posed in the Princess Leia metal bikini on the cover of the Summer 1983 issue of Rolling Stone to promote the film. The iconic costume would later achieve a cult following of its own.
Fisher 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 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 with Tom Hanks as his wife in The 'Burbs.1990s
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 (1990) and Delusions of Grandma (1993). Fisher also did uncredited script work for movies such as Lethal Weapon 3 (where she wrote some of Rene Russo's dialogue), Outbreak and The Wedding Singer.2000s
In the film Scream 3 (2000), Fisher played an actress mistaken for Carrie Fisher. In 2001, Fisher played a nun in the Kevin Smith comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. 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. She did uncredited polishes on movies in a 15-year stretch from 1991 to 2005, and was hired by the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, to polish scripts for his 1992 TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as well as the dialogue for the Star Wars prequel scripts. 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. In an interview in 2004, Fisher said that she no longer did much script doctoring, but during the height of her career as a script doctor and rewriter, she worked on Hook (1991), Lethal Weapon 3 and Sister Act (1992), Made in America, Last Action Hero and So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), My Girl 2, Milk Money, The River Wild and Love Affair (1994), Outbreak (1995), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), The Wedding Singer (1998), The Out-of-Towners and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Coyote Ugly and Scream 3 (2000), Kate & Leopold (2001), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Intolerable Cruelty (2003), which she did a rewrite of back in 1994 (although it's not known if any of her work remained after the Coen Brothers rewrote it years later.) Fisher also worked on Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).
In 2005, Women in Film & Video - DC recognized Fisher with the Women of Vision Award.
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. Her show played at the Berkeley Repertory Theater through April 2008, followed by performances in San Jose, California, in July 2008, Hartford Stage in August 2008 before moving on to the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., in September 2008 and Boston 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. 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. In December 2009, Fisher's audiobook recording of her best-selling memoir, Wishful Drinking, earned her a nomination for a 2009 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album category.
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 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
In 2010, HBO aired a feature-length documentary based on a special live performance of Fisher's Wishful Drinking stage production. Fisher also appeared on the seventh season of Entourage in the summer of 2010.
In August 2013, she was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.
In June 2014, she filmed an appearance on the UK comedy panel show QI. It was broadcast on December 25, 2014. In 2015 she starred alongside Sharon Horgan and American comedian Rob Delaney in Catastrophe, a six-part comedy series for the British Channel 4 that aired in the UK from 19 January 2015.
Fisher's memoir, The Princess Diarist, is set for release in October 2016. The book is based on diaries she kept while filming the original Star Wars trilogy in the late 70s and early 80s.Return to Star Wars
In an interview posted March 2013, confirming she would reprise her role as Princess Leia in Episode VII of the series, she claimed Leia was "Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home . I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle." After other media outlets reported this on March 6, 2013, her representative said the same day Fisher was joking and nothing has been announced.
On January 21, 2014, in an interview with TV Guide, Carrie Fisher confirmed her involvement and the involvement of the original cast in the upcoming sequels by saying "as for the next Star Wars film, myself, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are expected to report to work in March or April. I'd like to wear my old cinnamon buns hairstyle again but with white hair. I think that would be funny."
In March 2014, Fisher stated that she was moving to London for six months because that was where filming would take place.
On April 29, 2014, the cast for Star Wars Episode VII was officially announced, and Fisher, along with original trilogy castmates Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker, were all cast in their original roles for the film. New castmates include Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Max von Sydow. Star Wars Episode VII, subtitled The Force Awakens, was released worldwide on December 18, 2015. Fisher was nominated for a 2016 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal.Personal life
Fisher dated musician Paul Simon from 1977 until 1983. In 1980 she was briefly engaged to Canadian actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd, who proposed on the set of their film The Blues Brothers. She said: "We had rings, we got blood tests, the whole shot. But then I got back together with Paul Simon." Fisher was married to Simon from August 1983 to July 1984, and 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" is about their relationship.
Subsequently, she had a relationship with Creative Artists Agency principal and talent 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.
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. When Vanity Fair's George Wayne asked Fisher if their relationship was sexual, she replied: "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’ therapist. So it would have been unethical to sleep with my patient."
On February 26, 2005, R. Gregory "Greg" Stevens, a lobbyist, was found dead in Fisher's California home. The final autopsy report lists the cause of death as "cocaine and oxycodone use" but adds chronic, and apparently previously undiagnosed, heart disease as contributing factors. Media coverage of an initial autopsy report used the word "overdose," but that wording is not in the final report. 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."
Fisher has described herself as an "enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God". She was raised Protestant, but often attends Jewish services, the faith of her father, with Orthodox friends. She was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Inc. weight loss television ads that aired in January 2011.Mental health
Fisher has publicly discussed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and her addictions to cocaine and prescription medication, most notably on ABC's 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry for the BBC. She has said that her drug use was a form of self-medication, using pain medication such as Percodan to "dial down" the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. "Drugs made me feel normal," she explained to Psychology Today in 2001. "They contained me." She discussed her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking and various topics in it with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today that same year, and also revealed that she would have turned down the role of Princess Leia had she realized it would give her the celebrity status that made her parents' lives difficult. 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. At one point, she received ECT every six weeks to "blow apart the cement" in her brain. In 2014, she told The Telegraph that she was no longer receiving the treatment.
Fisher revealed in another interview that she took cocaine during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. "Slowly, I realized I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter," she noted. In 1985, after months of sobriety, she accidentally overdosed on a combination of prescription medication and sleeping pills. She was rushed to the hospital, creating the turn of events that led to much of the material in her novel and screenplay, Postcards from the Edge. Asked why she didn't take on the role of her story's protagonist, named Suzanne, in the film version, Fisher remarked, "I've already played Suzanne."
In 2016, Harvard College awarded Fisher with their Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, noting that "her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy."Filmography Film Film Year Title Role Notes 1975 Shampoo Lorna Karpf 1977 Star Wars Princess Leia Organa 1980 The Empire Strikes Back Princess Leia Organa 1980 Blues Brothers, TheThe Blues Brothers Mystery Woman 1981 Under the Rainbow Annie Clark 1983 Return of the Jedi Princess Leia Organa 1984 Garbo Talks Lisa Rolfe 1985 Man with One Red Shoe, TheThe Man with One Red Shoe Paula 1986 Hannah and Her Sisters April 1986 Hollywood Vice Squad Betty Melton 1987 Amazon Women on the Moon Mary Brown Segment: "Reckless Youth" 1987 Time Guardian, TheThe Time Guardian Petra 1988 Appointment with Death Nadine Boynton 1989 The 'Burbs Carol Peterson 1989 Loverboy Monica Delancy 1989 She's Back Beatrice 1989 When Harry Met Sally... Marie 1990 Sweet Revenge Linda 1990 Sibling Rivalry Iris Turner-Hunter 1991 Drop Dead Fred Janie 1991 Soapdish Betsy Faye Sharon 1991 Hook Woman kissing on bridge Uncredited role 1992 This Is My Life Claudia Curtis 1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Therapist Uncredited role 1999 Return of the Ewok Herself Short subject, filmed in 1983 2000 Scream 3 Bianca Cameo 2000 Lisa Picard Is Famous Herself 2001 Heartbreakers Ms. Surpin 2001 Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Nun 2002 Midsummer Night's Rave, AA Midsummer Night's Rave 2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Mother Superior 2003 Wonderland Sally Hansen 2004 Stateside Mrs. Dubois 2005 Undiscovered Carrie 2007 Suffering Man's Charity Reporter 2007 Cougar Club Glady Goodbey 2008 Women, TheThe Women Bailey Smith 2009 Fanboys Doctor Cameo appearance 2009 White Lightnin' Cilla 2009 Sorority Row Mrs. Crenshaw 2010 Wishful Drinking Herself HBO documentary of the stage show 2014 Maps to the Stars Herself 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens General Leia Organa 2016 Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Herself Documentary 2017 Star Wars: Episode VIII General Leia Organa Post-production Television Television Year Title Role Notes 1969 Debbie Reynolds and the Sound of Children Girl Scout TV movie 1977 Come Back, Little Sheba Marie Videotaped TV drama 1978 Ringo Marquine TV movie 1978 Leave Yesterday Behind Marnie Clarkson TV movie 1978 Saturday Night Live Herself/Host TV series, episode: Carrie Fisher 1978 The Star Wars Holiday Special Princess Leia TV movie 1982 Laverne & Shirley Cathy TV series, episode: "The Playboy Show" 1984 Faerie Tale Theatre Thumbelina TV series, episode: "Thumbelina" 1984 Frankenstein Elizabeth TV movie 1985 From Here to Maternity Veronica TV short 1985 George Burns Comedy Week TV series, episode: "The Couch" 1985 Happily Ever After Alice Conway Voice only, TV movie 1986 Liberty Emma Lazarus TV movie 1986 Sunday Drive Franny Jessup TV movie 1987 Amazing Stories Laurie McNamara TV series, episode: "Gershwin's Trunk" 1989 Two Daddies Alice Conway Voice only, TV movie 1989 Trying Times Enid TV series, episode: "Hunger Chic" 1995 Present Tense, Past Perfect TV short 1995 Frasier Phyllis TV series, episode "Phyllis", voice only 1995 Ellen Herself TV series, episode: "The Movie Show" 1997 Gun Nancy TV series, episode: "The Hole" 1998 Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Roz Katz TV series, episode: "Thanksgiving" 2000 Sex and the City Herself TV series, episode: "Sex and Another City" 2001 These Old Broads Hooker TV movie 2002 Nero Wolfe Mystery, AA Nero Wolfe Mystery Ellen Tenzer TV series, two-part episode: "Motherhunt" 2003 Good Morning, Miami Judy Silver TV series, episode: "A Kiss Before Lying" 2004 Jack & Bobby Madison Skutcher TV series, episode: "The First Lady" 2005 Smallville Pauline Kahn TV series, episode: "Thirst" 2005 Romancing the Bride Edwina TV movie 2005–present Family Guy Angela TV series, 26 episodes 2007 Odd Job Jack Dr. Finch TV series, episode: "The Beauty Beast" 2007 Weeds Celia's attorney TV series, episode: "The Brick Dance" 2007 Side Order of Life Dr. Gilbert TV series, episode:" Funeral for a Phone" 2007 30 Rock Rosemary Howard TV series, episode: "Rosemary's Baby" 2008 Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II Princess Leia, Mon Mothma, Krayt Dragon's Mother TV movie, voice only 2008 Bring Back... Star Wars Herself One-off TV episode 2010 Wright vs. Wrong Joan Harrington TV movie 2010 Entourage Anna Fowler TV series, episode "Tequila and Coke" 2010 Family Guy Mon Mothma TV series, episode: "It's a Trap", voice only 2010 A Quiet Word With ... Herself Australian TV conversation series, season 1, episode 2 2011 The Talk Herself TV series, November 15 2012 It's Christmas, Carol! Eve Hallmark TV movie 2012 Comedy Central Roast Herself Episode: "The Roast of Roseanne Barr" 2014 The Big Bang Theory Herself "The Convention Conundrum" 2014 Legit Angela McKinnon TV series, episode: "Licked" 2014 QI Herself 2014-2016 Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce Cat 2 episodes 2015 Catastrophe Mia 4 episodes 2015 The Keith Lemon Sketch Show Princess Leia TV series Video games Video game Year Title Role Notes 1994 Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Princess Leia 2012 Dishonored Female Broadcaster 2016 Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Princess Leia Bibliography