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Carrie Frances Fisher (born October 21, 1956) is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and lecturer.
She is most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa 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.
Fisher was born in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. 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. She attended Beverly Hills High School, but she left to join her mother on the road.
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 comedy ‘Shampoo’ (1975) starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn. In 1977, Fisher starred as Princess Leia in George Lucas’ science fiction film ‘Star Wars’ (later retitled ‘Star Wars IV: A New Hope’) opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, a part she sarcastically claims to have obtained by sleeping “with some nerd.” 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’, a show that Lucas has tried to erase from everyone’s memory.
Fisher later appeared in ‘The Blues Brothers’ film in an unforgettable cameo role 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: The Empire Strikes Back’ (which was also later changed to Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back). She made her third and final appearance as Leia in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ (1983), also later changed… for which she became a sex symbol due to her appearance wearing a golden metal bikini (the slave girl outfit which almost immediately rose to pop culture icon status).
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’.
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’ (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 (1991) and Delusions of Grandma (1993).
Fisher has publicly discussed her problems with drugs, her struggle with bipolar disorder, and her overcoming an addiction to prescription medication, most notably on ‘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. 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” .
October 21, 2011 | Categories: Biography, Biography: ACTORS | Tags: Biography, Hollywood, Icons, Postcards from the Edge, Princess Leia, Shampoo, Star Wars, The Blues Brothers, The Burbs, The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, When Harry Met Sally | 2 Comments
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