Best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, Prolific American actress, screenwriter, author, producer, and speaker Carrie Frances Fisher was born October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, California. She was the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. As a child, Fisher read voraciously becoming known in her family as “the bookworm”. She spent her earliest years reading classic literature, and writing poetry. She attended Beverly Hills High School until, at the age of 15, she appeared as a debutante and singer in the hit Broadway revival Irene (1973), which starred her mother. This activity interfered with her education, and she never graduated from high school. In 1973, Fisher enrolled at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, which she attended for 18 months, and in 1978, Fisher was accepted into Sarah Lawrence College, where she planned to study the arts. However, she left before graduating due to conflicts filming Star Wars.
Fisher made her film debut in the Columbia Pictures comedy Shampoo (1975) starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn, with Lee Grant and Jack Warden as her character’s parents. Then In 1977, Fisher starred as Princess Leia in George Lucas’ science-fiction film Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) opposite Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford. In April 1978, she appeared as the love interest in Ringo Starr’s 1978 TV special Ringo. she also appeared alongside John Ritter (who had also appeared in Ringo) in the ABC-TV film Leave Yesterday Behind, as a horse trainer who helps Ritter’s character after an accident leaves him a paraplegic. Fisher then 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. She also portrayed Princess Leia in the 1978 TV production Star Wars Holiday Special, and sang in the last scene.
Fisher later appeared in The Blues Brothers film as Jake’s vengeful ex-lover and also appeared on Broadway in Censored Scenes from King Kong in 1980 Fisher also reprised her role as Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back. In 1982 appeared in the Broadway production of Agnes of God and In 1983, Fisher returned to the role of Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi. Fisher is one of the few actors or actresses to star in films with both John and Jim Belushi, later appearing with the latter in the film The Man with One Red Shoe. 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 and her relationship with her mother. 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 with Tom Hanks as his wife in The ‘Burbs. In 1990, the film adaptation of Postcards from the Edge, was released starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid. Fisher appeared in the fantasy comedy film Drop Dead Fred in 1991, and played a therapist in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). During the 1990s, Fisher also published the novels Surrender the Pink (1990) and Delusions of Grandma. Fisher also did uncredited script work for movies such as Lethal Weapon 3 (where she wrote some of Rene Russo’s dialogue), Outbreak and The Wedding Singer. In the film Scream 3 Fisher played an actress mistaken for Carrie Fisher. In 2001, Fisher played a nun in the Kevin Smith comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. She also co-wrote the TV comedy film These Old Broads, starring her mother, Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Collins, and Shirley MacLaine.
Besides acting and writing original works, Fisher was one of the top script doctors in Hollywood, working on the screenplays of other writers. Shewas hired by the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, to polish scripts for his 1992 TV series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, as well as the dialogue for the Star Wars prequel scripts. She also worked as a script doctor and rewriter, on Hook (1991), Lethal Weapon 3 and Sister Act (1992), Made in America, Last Action Hero and So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), My Girl 2, Milk Money, The River Wild and Love Affair (1994), Outbreak (1995), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), The Wedding Singer (1998), The Out-of-Towners and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Coyote Ugly and Scream 3 (2000), Kate & Leopold (2001), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Intolerable Cruelty (2003), which she had done a rewrite of in 1994 although it’s not known if any of her work remained after the Coen brothers rewrote it. Fisher also worked on Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). In 2005, Women in Film & Video – DC recognized Fisher with the Women of Vision Award. Fisher wrote and performed in her one-woman play Wishful Drinking at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles from 2006, to 2007
Fisher also voices Peter Griffin’s boss, Angela, on the animated sitcom Family Guy and appeared in a book of photographs titled Hollywood Moms. Fisher published a sequel to Postcards, The Best Awful There Is, in 2004 and appeared prominently in the audience of the Comedy Central’s Roast of William Shatner. In 2007, she was a full-time judge on FOX’s filmmaking-competition reality television series On the Lot. Fisher wrote and performed in her one-woman play Wishful Drinking and In 2008 Fisher published her autobiographical book, also titled Wishful Drinking, based on her successful play and in 2009, Fisher returned to the stage with her play. Fisher’s audiobook recording of her best-selling memoir, Wishful Drinking, earned her a nomination for a 2009 Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word Album category. 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 alongside Sarah Jessica Parker, Vince Vaughn, Hugh Hefner, and Sam Seder. In 2007, Fisher guest-starred as Rosemary Howard on the second-season episode of 30 Rock called “Rosemary’s Baby”, and received an Emmy Award nomination. In 2008, she was a guest on Deal or No Deal and had a cameo as a doctor in the Star Wars-related comedy Fanboys.
In 2010, Fisher appeared in a live performance of The Wishful Drinking stage production and the seventh season of Entourage. In August 2013, she was selected as a member of the main competition jury at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. In 2014 She appeared on the UK comedy panel show QI and also starred alongside Sharon Horgan and American comedian Rob Delaney in Catastrophe, a six-part comedy series for Channel 4. Fisher’s latest memoir, The Princess Diarist, was released in November 2016. The book is based on diaries she kept while filming the original Star Wars trilogy in the late 70s and early 80s. Carrie Fisher also reprised her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode VII the Force Awakens for which Fisher was nominated for a 2016 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal.
Carrie Fisher Sadly died December 27, 2016 although she did complete filming her role as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: Episode VIII shortly before her death.