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Facts You Must Read to Believe About the Much-Missed Carrie Fisher

Photo Credit: Aaron Rapoport / Corbis / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Aaron Rapoport / Corbis / Getty Images

To millions of people, she’ll always be Princess Leia. But did you know there’s more to Carrie Fisher (1956 – 2016) than her classic Star Wars character? A lot more! Read on to discover surprising facts about the multi-talented and much-missed star.

Fisher and Leia

Carrie Fisher as Leia is held up by Darth Vader while on the beach
Carrie Fisher on the beach at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, USA (Photo Credit: Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images)

She nearly didn’t bag the role of a lifetime as Leia Organa. Star Wars creator George Lucas wanted to cast Jodie Foster. When that didn’t work out, Fisher donned those cosmic cinnamon buns. She wasn’t a fan of the hairstyle but the 1977 movie made her name.

Over the years she had some criticisms of Lucas’s mega-franchise. From public scrutiny to revealing gold bikinis, it wasn’t a smooth journey among the stars. In particular, the actress regretted giving away the rights to her likeness.

Still, she kept her sense of humor about it all. “Not that I don’t think I’m cute or anything,” she quipped to The Guardian in 2011, “when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t think I was signing away anything of value.”

She loved to read

Carrie reads a book on set
Carrie Fisher, who gained fame in the movie ‘Star Wars,’ gets in the mood for her upcoming Broadway show, ‘Censored Scenes from King Kong,’ by reading excerpts from the novel, ‘Girl in the Hairy Paw.’ (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty Images)

Carrie Fisher was reportedly branded a “bookworm,” such was her interest in a good read. Perhaps this was unexpected in someone from a showbiz family – her mother was Debbie Reynolds and her father Eddie Fisher.

She entered the spotlight as a glamorous performer out to razzle-dazzle ‘em. Yet Fisher wasn’t comfortable and eventually, she wrote a novel in 1987. From galactic royalty to acclaimed author… more on that later!

Engagement to Dan Aykroyd

John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd pose with Carrie Fisher on the set of 'The Blues Brothers'
‘The Blues Brothers’ promo shot (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures / MovieStillsDB)

Blues Brothers co-star and comedy legend Dan Aykroyd got down on one knee for Fisher following a dramatic incident. Well, dramatic and typically absurd. Fisher nearly choked on a Brussels sprout.

The marriage didn’t happen but Aykroyd remembers his ex fondly. “She and John Belushi became instant pals. I remember how much she made him laugh,” he told Empire. He added that she was one of “the most brilliant and hilarious minds of our eon” and that it was an honor to know her.

Fisher and Ford

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford eat at a diner in 1977
JUN 15 1977 – ‘Star Wars’ has Given three Performers that All-Important Break. Featured in the popular science fantasy movie are, from left, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. The three were in Denver for a press tour. (Photo Credit: Steve Larson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

A big revelation about Fisher’s personal life came relatively recently. In her 2016 memoir The Princess Diarist she dropped the news that she and Harrison Ford were romantically involved. In fact, they had an affair.

Commentary on the relationship hasn’t been complimentary to the Indiana Jones star. “Beyond sleeping with her, Ford rarely bestowed her any warmth or even talked to her,” writes Factinate.

They remained good friends, however, and Fisher talked about that period when publicizing the book. “He’s not the warmest person,” Fisher said on NPR. “He’s not accessible, let’s say that… It was sort of one-half of a conversation was happening.”

Paul Simon and spiritual journeys

Carrie Fisher smiles as she and Paul Simon make a public appearance
CIRCA 1983: Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon circa 1983 in New York City. (Photo Credit: Robin Platzer/Images Press/Getty Images)

The love of Fisher’s life was probably singer and musician Paul Simon. They were together on and off for a decade or so, though the resulting marriage lasted the best part of a year. As mentioned by Entertainment Weekly, Fisher’s bipolar disorder and drug addiction, plus Simon’s depression, made them a complex mix.

It all came to an end in the unlikely setting of the Amazon. A trip to a local healer closed the book on the creative couple. EW writes: “During that experience, Fisher had a revelation that she would never be able to escape “Paul’s ever-spinning, ever-controlling brain.”

The book that became a milestone for Fisher

Carrie Fisher posing with a stack of her book in 2004
Carrie Fisher Book Signing Of Her New Novel ‘The Best Awful’ at Beverly Hills Public Library in Beverly Hills, CA, United States. (Photo Credit: Victor Spinelli/WireImage)

When Fisher did write her first novel, it partly drew on her own life. Postcards From The Edge (1987) told a story about a Hollywood actress in the aftermath of an overdose. It arguably changed perceptions of her forever.

Mike Nichols (The Graduate) directed a movie adaptation three years later, which starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine as a mother and daughter with a turbulent relationship.

She produced four novels in total, the last published in 2004 – The Best Awful There Is was a follow-up to Postcards From The Edge. Fisher also penned several nonfiction books.

Her Austin Powers role is surprisingly true to life

Carrie Fisher in a scene from 'Austin Powers'
Carrie Fisher in the movie ‘Austin Powers’ (Photo Credit: New Line Cinema / Liaison via Getty Images)

Carrie Fisher made an uncredited cameo appearance as a therapist in Mike Myers’ Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). While this may seem like a throwaway role, it actually has some significance to Fisher’s life. At least in relation to a surprising source… James Blunt!

The singer-songwriter stayed with Fisher and Debbie Reynolds while putting together his 2004 debut album Back to Bedlam (this title was reportedly suggested by the actress). Blunt famously recorded “Goodbye My Lover’” in her bathroom. Fisher has stated that she acted as Blunt’s therapist during that time!

She wrote Indiana Jones…

Carrie Fisher and George Lucas embrace at a party
Actress Carrie Fisher and director George Lucas pose at the 33rd AFI Life Achievement Award after party at the Highlands on June 9, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo Credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Fisher’s working relationship with Harrison Ford/Han Solo lasted decades. Yet she also had input into another classic character of his, Indiana Jones. When George Lucas made The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992- 96), he hired the former Princess to write for the show.

On the big screen, she worked as an in-demand “script doctor” on diverse productions such as Hook (1991), Lethal Weapon 3 (‘92), The Wedding Singer (‘98), and even the infamous Sylvester Stallone flop Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (‘92). Things came full circle somewhat when Fisher rewrote dialogue for the Star Wars prequels.

And also Elizabeth Taylor’s final movie

Joan Collins, Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor dressed up and posing for a publicity shot
Publicity shot of Joan Collins, Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor (Photo Credit: Columbia TriStar Television)

Elizabeth Taylor’s last ever role was in the 2001 TV movie These Old Broads. The comedy, focusing on a tense reunion between a group of Hollywood veterans, co-starred Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine and Joan Collins. Fisher co-wrote the screenplay.

She made a movie with Ringo Starr

Carrie Fisher, John Ritter, and Ringo Starr at a party in LA, 1978
March 1978: American actors Carrie Fisher and John Ritter (R), flashing a peace sign, laugh while flanking British pop star Ringo Starr at a party, Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Did you know Carrie Fisher worked with Beatle Ringo Starr in a 1978 film? The world’s most famous drummer followed his own beat for a solo outing showcasing his comedic talents.

Starr’s former bandmate George Harrison appeared, alongside stars Angie Dickinson, Vincent Price, John Ritter, and others. Fisher would later feature in the Beatles spoof sequel The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch (2004). Former partner Paul Simon was in Eric Idle’s ‘78 original.

Fisher sent a cow tongue to a producer who assaulted her friend

Carrie Fisher posing for the camera in 1985
Actress and legend Carrie Fisher poses for a portrait circa 1985 in Los Angeles, California (Photo Credit: Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images)

Carrie Fisher was a loyal friend who had no problem standing up for those she cared about. One friend of the late actress, film industry professional Heather Ross, recently explained how Fisher went out of her way to go to bat for her after a producer assaulted her. During an appearance on the US radio station 94.9 MixFM, Ross explained how she had reached out to a producer she would not name to see if she could be a part of a new project of his.

The two met up, and when they were in a car together, she said the producer forced himself on top of her. Thankfully, Ross was able to push him off and flee the car. He then told her she would “never make a movie in my town.” When Ross told Fisher what happened, she did not take the news lightly. 

Ross explained, “About two weeks later, she sent me a message online and said, ‘I just saw [blank] at Sony Studios. I knew he would probably be there, so I went to his office and personally delivered a Tiffany box wrapped with a white bow.'” When Ross asked her what she had gifted to the producer, she said, “‘It was a cow tongue from Jerry’s Famous Deli in Westwood with a note that said, if you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box!'”

More from us: How Mike Myers and Dana Carvey Shwung From Friends to Foes and Back Again

This act left a lasting impression on Ross. “It felt validating to know, OK, first of all, this woman who I love as a friend was not just a fake Hollywood friend. That’s who Carrie Fisher was. She spoke out and she put things out there in your face,” she said.