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Carrie Fisher (1956)

Carrie Frances Fisher

Type :  

  Summary  

Carrie Frances Fisher is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and lecturer. She is most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, her bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge, for which she wrote the screenplay to the film of the same name, and her autobiography Wishful Drinking.

  Biography  

 early life
Fisher was born in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. She was raised Protestant, though her paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Her younger brother is Todd Fisher and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher. Joely and Tricia's mother is the singer/actress Connie Stevens.

When Carrie Fisher was two, her parents divorced after her father left Debbie for her best friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, the widow of Eddie's best friend Mike Todd. The following year, her mother married shoe store chain owner Harry Karl, who secretly spent her life savings. It was assumed from an early age that Carrie would go into the family show business, and she began appearing with her mother in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 12. She attended Beverly Hills High School, but she left to join her mother on the road. She appeared as a debutante and singer in the hit Broadway revival Irene , starring her mother.

 career
 1970s

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 starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn, with Lee Grant and Jack Warden. In 1977, Fisher starred as Princess Leia in George Lucas' science fiction film Star Wars opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, a part she sarcastically claims to have obtained by sleeping "with some nerd."

In May 1978, she appeared alongside John Ritter in the ABC-TV film Leave Yesterday Behind as a horse trainer who helps Ritter's character after an accident leaves him a paraplegic.

The huge success of Star Wars made her internationally famous. 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. She appeared as Princess Leia in the 1978 made-for-TV film, The Star Wars Holiday Special. 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.

In November 1978, Fisher was the guest host for Saturday Night Live with musical guests The Blues Brothers and special guest Don Novello as Father Guido Sarducci. Dressed in a gold bikini, she reprised her Princess Leia character from Star Wars in "Beach Blanket Bimbo from Outer Space", a parody sketch of 1960s beach party films. Bill Murray and Gilda Radner imitated the Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello characters. John Belushi played biker Eric Von Zipper, and Dan Aykroyd, with whom Fisher was romantically involved, portrayed Vincent Price.

Fisher appeared in the music video for Ringo Starr's cover of "You're Sixteen" as the love interest in 1978 on his TV special of that year.

 1980s
Fisher later appeared in The Blues Brothers film as Joliet 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 appeared again as Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. She made her third and final appearance as Leia 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 . 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 . 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. 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 opposite 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. She also appeared in the fantasy comedy film Drop Dead Fred in 1991. In 1997, Fisher appeared as a therapist in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. During the 1990s, Fisher also published the novels Surrender the Pink and Delusions of Grandma .

 2000s

In the film Scream 3 , Fisher played an actress mistaken for Carrie Fisher. Director's commentary on the Scream 3 DVD suggests that the sequence was in fact penned 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 Mark Hamill, satirizes many Hollywood movies, including the Star Wars series.

She also co-wrote the TV comedy film These Old Broads , 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' 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 has done uncredited polishes on movies starting with The Wedding Singer and Sister Act, and was hired by the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, to polish scripts for his 1992 TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Her expertise in this area was why 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 does much script doctoring.

Fisher also voices Peter Griffin's boss Angela on the animated sitcom Family Guy and appeared in a book of photographs titled Hollywood Moms 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.

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, DC in September 2008 and Boston in October 2008. Fisher published her autobiographical book, called 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 bestselling memoir Wishful Drinking earned her a nomination for a 2009 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album category.

In 2007, she was a full-time judge on FOX's filmmaking-competition reality television series On the Lot.

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.


Fisher's Wishful Drinking aired as a feature-length documentary on HBO.

Fisher appeared on the seventh season of Entourage in the summer of 2010.

Fisher appeared at Dragon*Con in September 2011 in Atlanta, sitting in on various panels, most having to do with Star Wars and her writings. She is again struggling with weight and appeared to be smoking and disoriented during several of her talks.

 personal life
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."

Fisher dated musician Paul Simon from 1977 until 1983, then was married to him 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". She is referenced in many of Simon's songs, including "Hearts and Bones", "Graceland", "She Moves On" and "Allergies".

Subsequently, she had a relationship with Creative Artists Agency principal and casting agent Bryan Lourd. They had one child together, Billie Catherine Lourd . The couple's relationship ended when Lourd left to be in a homosexual relationship. 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. 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."

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. In an interview, Fisher claimed that Stevens' ghost haunted her mansion. Fisher was unsettled by this: "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.

 Bipolar disorder and drug problems
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 new memoir Wishful Drinking and various topics in it with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today on December 10, 2008. 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 treatments. She has said that she receives ECT every six weeks to "blow apart the cement" in her brain. Fisher spoke about Wishful Drinking on NPR's Talk of the Nation on December 16, 2008. She also spoke about her life and troubles on the NPR quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! on January 31, 2009.

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.

 Weight problems
In recent years, she has been battling weight gain since touring with her one-woman show, topping out at 180 pounds. She's currently the new spokesperson for Jenny Craig, Inc.. Television ads began airing in late January 2011.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Carrie Fisher", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.