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 Organa in the original Star Wars trilogy, and will reprise the character in Star Wars Episode VII. 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 and the non-fiction book Wishful Drinking she based it on.
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 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. 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.
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 (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 Organa 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 and the character of Princess Leia became a merchandising triumph; small plastic action figures of the Princess were in toy stores across the United States.
Fisher was briefly engaged to Canadian 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". Simon's song "Hearts and Bones" is about their relationship.
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 another 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.