There was no one in the world like Carrie Fisher. The woman who would portray Princess Leia lived a hard life, one she opened up about later in her years. She’s inspired entire generations, and the world stood still momentarily with her passing.
Being one of the most recognizable people in one of the biggest franchises in history and having famous parents affected Carrie’s life, leading to many ups and downs. Still, it was a life well lived, one to admire. Here are five facts you might not know about Carrie Fisher.
1. Hollywood Royalty
Carrie Fisher’s parents were actor Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. Reynolds had an acclaimed career starring in films like Singin’ in the Rain with Gene Kelly, Charlotte’s Web, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Halloweentown, and more.
Fisher was a crooner throughout the 1950s, with multiple songs reaching the top 10 on the music charts. He acted in a few movies, including Bundle of Joy when he was married to Debbie Reynolds and Butterfly 8 when he married his second wife, Elizabeth Taylor. Note Elizabeth Taylor because this will come back to her in a moment.
It's not just Carrie Fisher’s parents who were famous as her siblings also work in Hollywood. Her brother Todd Fisher worked more on the technical side of things as a producer and a cinematographer, and her half-sisters, Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, are both actors. Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, is also an actress who worked with her mother during the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.
2. Helping Her Moms
It’s been well-documented that Debbie Reynolds was best friends with Elizabeth Taylor. That friendship was rocked when Elizabeth’s husband died suddenly in a plane crash, and Reynolds’ husband, Eddie, went to comfort Taylor. Due to shock and grief, Taylor and Fisher began an affair, causing a scandal that quaked all of Hollywood and ending Fisher and Reynolds’ marriage when Carrie was two years old. Taylor would later state that she only married Eddie out of grief.
After 12 years of Reynolds and Taylor hating each other, Carrie Fisher took it upon herself to fix her mom and short-lived stepmother’s friendship. Carrie orchestrated for both women to be on the same cruise, making them talk during the trip. Reynolds and Taylor reconciled and would be friends for the rest of their lives.
Both women got the last laugh on Eddie Fisher, starring in a TV movie written by Carrie titled These Old Broads, where their characters made fun of a shared ex-husband named Eddie.
3. No Skeletons in This Closet
Carrie Fisher was always open about her experiences with drug use and her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Her candidness in interviews and autobiographies made her an inspiration to many around the world who also experienced hardships with mental health.
The celebrity life affected her deeply. She even said in an interview with The Today Show that if she had known how fame would impact her and her family, she would have never taken on Star Wars, which was only the second movie of her career.
Still, she used her celebrity status to raise awareness for mental health. Her outspokenness about these issues as well as her donations to charitable causes gained Carrie Harvard’s Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism. She avidly supported women, animals, and LGBTQIA+ rights, even hosting a charity benefit for The Foundation for AIDS Research after caring for friends who had HIV and AIDS. Carrie’s courage over these experiences helped many fans worldwide, and it also led to the fame of a particular pup.
4. Gary Fisher
Gary Fisher was Carrie’s adorable French Bulldog with a floppy tongue sticking out of his mouth. He was her emotional support animal later in her life and was a constant presence throughout those final years. He dazzled in interviews and red carpets. Gary shared the couch with his mom at Star Wars Celebration and posed for fan photos. He even got a cameo in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi during the Canto Bight scene.
After Carrie’s passing, many fans worried about Gary's fate. The lovable pooch ended up retiring with Carrie’s daughter Billie, also spending time with Carrie’s former assistant, Corby McCain. According to Gary’s Instagram account, the French bulldog settled in Florida after trying to live in New York City and Los Angeles.
5. Hollywood’s Script Doctor
When she wasn’t acting or creating her own work, Carrie worked as one of Hollywood's most renowned script doctors. It was a job that she initially did uncredited for 15 years, and it was a job that wasn’t revealed until later.
This career started during her time filming Star Wars. As Harrison Ford often changed his lines between filming scenes, it became frustrating for Fisher. So, she began working on her lines as well.
Thanks to her work, she got into this side of the business. According to an interview with Phoenix New Times, Carrie shared that Steven Spielberg was impressed with her book Postcards from the Edge and asked her to work on his movie Hook, a retelling of Peter Pan starring Robin Williams.
She added: “They told me they wanted me to rewrite Tinkerbell’s part, but if Tinkerbell interacts, you’re writing scenes.”
From there, Carrie would become one of the best script doctors in the business, working on the Star Wars Prequels, Sister Act, Lethal Weapon 3, The Wedding Singer, and many more.
Being the script doctor is how Carrie Fisher got a secret cameo in Hook. In an early scene, as Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) carries an adult Peter Pan (Robin Williams) through the London sky, her fairy dust is sprinkled on a couple on a bridge. The couple embracing begins to float in the air. The woman in the scene is Carrie Fisher.
And the man she is with? That would be none other than George Lucas.