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 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.
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. 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. Her family assumed that Carrie would go into show business, and she began appearing with her mother in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of twelve. 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 (1973), which starred her mother.
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 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".
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.
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'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. Television ads airing in late January 2011.