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BIOGRAPHY

 

Do you know that feeling on a day that everything goes wrong? You think to yourself: "I wish I stayed in bed this morning." That sounds familiar, doesn´t it? Well, Carrie Fisher probably has this feeling almost every day, because she seems to attract bad luck like a magnet. You´ll know what I mean after you´ve read what her life has been like up to now.

On October 21, 1956 actress Debbie Reynolds´ and singer Eddie Fisher´s first child was born: Carrie Francis Fisher. A year and a half later their second child was born: Todd. When Carrie was two years old her parents divorced. After Liz Taylor´s husband died in a plane crash in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Eddie Fisher ran off with her. Ironically, Debbie and Eddie Fisher had always been good friends with Elizabeth and her husband.

After the divorce Eddie Fisher didn´t care for his children anymore and never came to visit them or send them a card or present at their birthdays. Debbie Reynolds stayed alone for a while and took care of her children. Until she met Harry Karl, whom she married. Harry Karl was very fond of Carrie and gave her everything she wanted. All she needed to do was ask.

When Carrie got older she made appearances with her mother and she became to be known as "the daughter of Debbie Reynolds", like it mostly goes with children of famous people. When Carrie was in her early teens Harry Karl started drinking, gambling and hiring prostitutes to come over to the house regularly. He lost his interest in his wife and family and Debbie Reynolds suffered from it. She denied the truth because at that time she didn´t want to divorce for the second time.

During her teen years Carrie and Todd helped their mother in her Vegas nightclub acts. They played in the Broadway musical "Irene" with her in New York, leaving Harry Karl at home in Los Angeles. Carrie was 17 years old at that time. During her stay in New York Carrie was admitted to the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, which was quite a priviledge. Although she didn´t want to go, her mother persuaded her to seize this unique opportunity and she went to England.

After Carrie finished her education in England she played in "Shampoo" with Warren Beaty. Two years later Brian DePalma and George Lucas had at mass interview for "Star Wars" and "Carrie," and actors were trying out for both movies simultaneously. Carrie participated and got the part of Princess Leia in George Lucas' "Star Wars". The Star Wars  movie became a huge success and in America it grew into a cultural phenomenon. Carrie´s career went into hyperdrive. From one day to the other she had become a famous person all over the world at the age of 21, totally unprepared. She was really dazzled by her sudden stardom. That´s when things started to go wrong.

She hosted Saturday Night Live on November 18, 1978 and started to hang out with the wrong people. She met John Belushi and started taking drugs. In 1980 she had a part in The Blues Brothers, in which John Belushi starred together with his good friend Dan Aykroyd. The director almost got crazy of their drug abuse - which of course affected their acting - and kept pleading them to behave themselves. Rumours go that Carrie was so drunk one night that she made John Belushi to punch her in the stomach so that she could sleep.


In 1982 her friend John Belushi died of an overdose of cocaine, which was a great shock to Carrie. A year later the third Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi came out. That same year Carrie married the singer Paul Simon, with whom she had a relationship for a while. The marriage didn't work out and after one year they divorced. In 1985 Carrie had a drug overdose. It opened her eyes and she finally accepted the fact that she had a drug problem. She decided to go into rehab to deal with her drug problem.

After that experience Carrie decided that she wanted to start a second career as a writer. She had been writing since she was a child.  In 1987 her first novel came out, Postcards from the Edge, an autobiographical story about an actress struggeling with her drug problem in a rehab and with her career after she got out. Carrie wrote the script for the movie which came out in 1989 under the same title herself and her good friend Meryl Streep portrayed the main character, Suzanne Vale. Mike Nichols, the director, chose Shirley MacLaine to play the part of Suzanne´s mother, although it is said that Debbie Reynolds was very interested in the part as well.

Because both the book and the movie were very successful (Meryl Streep got an Oscar nomination), Carrie continued to write. In 1990 her second novel is published, titled Surrender the Pink. This is an autobiographical story as well, in which Carrie writes about her marriage with Paul Simon and the divorce of him. Gradually her writing career took over her acting career and Carrie became a much sought-after script doctor. 

In the early nineties Carrie started seeing Bryan Lourd, an ex-CAA agent. Carrie got pregnant. Carrie gave birth to a daugther on July 12, 1992. She was called Billie Catherine. In 1993 Bryan confessed to Carrie that he is gay. Soon after that he went off with a man. 

Carrie decided to raise her child alone. She prefereed to stay home as much as she could in order to be a good mother for her child, so she focussed more on (script)writing.  She played in This Is My Life in 1992 and after that she didn´t have accept any big parts anymore. According to Carrie she didn´t really choose to become an actress, so just sort of rolled into it. It just happened. Chosing for a career in writing instead of acting proved to be a good choice. In 1993 her third novel is published: Delusions of Grandma. This is a story about a screenwriter who writes letters to her unborn child. There are many personal elements in this book as well.

After the publication of her third book Carrie  had a small part as a therapist in the movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery in 1997. This was her first appearance on the big screen since This Is My Life in 1992.
In 2000 she did a hilarious spoof in Scream 3 as a frustrated actress-turned-librarian in the Hollywood archives,  saying bitterly that she didn´t get the part in Star Wars because she refused to sleep with the director.  Since then  she pops up with a small part in several movies, among others  Heartbreakers and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. In April 2002 her fourth novel entitled "The Best Awful There Is" will be published.


Well, that´s quite a story, isn´t it? The fact that Carrie has been in therapy and under anti depressivia for most of her life suddenly doesn´t seem so strange anymore, if you consider everything she´s been through. Luckily Carrie developped a unique sense of humour, which no doubt kept her on her feet during the hard times in her life.  Hopefully happy times are ahead at last...