Though she is a best-selling author and screenwriter, many fans will always associate Carrie Fisher with the role of Princess Leia from George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy. She is the daughter of movie stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher and grew up wanting to follow in their footsteps. When Fisher was quite young, her father left the family to marry Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds raised Fisher and her younger brother, Todd Fisher, alone, but then remarried. As a performer, she started appearing with her mother on Vegas nightclub stages at age 12. When she was 15, Fisher left high school to focus on her show business career. The following year, she was a dancer in the Broadway revival of Irene, which starred her mother. Soon after that, Fisher enrolled at London's Central School of Speech and Drama where she studied for 18 months.
Fisher made her film debut playing a sexy young thing who succumbs to womanizing Warren Beatty's seduction in Shampoo (1975). Next came the Star Wars films. Her feisty portrayal of the courageous young princess made Fisher a star. But with sudden stardom came a price. In November 1978, she hosted the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. There she met and became friends with John Belushi, and with him got heavily involved with illegal drugs. Fisher became romantically involved with singer/songwriter Paul Simon and married him in the early '80s. Due in part to her drug problems, the marriage lasted less than a year. A near overdose led Fisher to drug and alcohol rehabilitation. She details her experiences with drugs and recovery in her witty first novel, Postcards From the Edge (1987). Two years later, Fisher adapted the tale for Mike Nichols' charming and moving screen version which starred Meryl Streep as a drug-addicted daughter trying to make a comeback and compete with a glamorous movie star mother (Shirley MacLaine) who always outshines her.