LIFE IN THE WARS; Author and Former Actress Carrie Fisher Tells HANNAH STEPHENSON about Her Battle to Become Daddy's Little Princess, Her Manic Depression and Why She Relies on Electric Shock Therapy

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), November 26, 2011 | Go to article overview

LIFE IN THE WARS; Author and Former Actress Carrie Fisher Tells HANNAH STEPHENSON about Her Battle to Become Daddy's Little Princess, Her Manic Depression and Why She Relies on Electric Shock Therapy


Byline: HANNAH STEPHENSON

STAR WARS actress Carrie Fisher's world has sometimes seemed as fraught with drama as the fictional galactic battles in which she made her name.

Her dysfunctional life as the child of Hollywood stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, drug and alcohol addiction and periods of depression have all been well documented.

Dark times indeed, yet the woman best known for her role as Princess Leia - which must surely be frustrating nearly 35 years on - remains upbeat, witty and selfdeprecating.

Her acting awards pale into insignificance against the clutch of gongs she's received for the state of her mind, she notes, recalling a mental health event she recently attended.

When she left the event she was followed by several Star Wars fans. "There were two crazed fans outside the place with Star Wars pictures, which I signed for them.

"Then they followed my car back to the hotel and said they wanted more. One of the guys said I owed it to them because he was from France.

"Of course that makes a difference," she says d r yly.

Today, people stop her in the street, not just because of her Star Wars fame but because they might suffer from manic depression or have read something she's written they can relate to, she says.

Indeed, the daughter of singing star Fisher and Oscar-nominated actress Reynolds has spent years focusing on her colourful life and times, whether through therapy, rehab or writing.

Her four novels, including Postcards From The Edge, have all been New York Times bestsellers, while her one-woman confessional stage show, Wishful Drinking, was published in book form in 2008, to great acclaim.

In the show she talks about her failed marriages to Paul Simon and the Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd (who fathered her daughter, Billie, but then left her for a man), her friendship with Greg Stevens, a gay Republican lobbyist who was found dead in her California mansion in 2005 from an overdose of painkillers, and her battle with drugs, alcohol and depression.

But plenty more weird episode s are packed into her latest memoir Shockaholic - spending Michael Jackson's last Christmas with him, snorting cocaine with her errant father, making peace with her one-time stepmother Elizabeth Taylor, undergoing electric shock treatment to suppress her depression, her recent dramatic weight loss.

The list goes on. Some of the stories are heartbreakingly sad, yet Fisher, 55, makes them laugh-out-loud funny on the page.

"But being able to make light of situations doesn't mean they're ligh she observes soberly. ht," hne d ne She continues to live in Hollywoo in a house whose previous occupan include Bette Davis, next door to he 79-year-old mother. d, nts er he "She still treats me like I'm four, which my daughter tells her that sh has to stop doing. We don't see each other every day. I'm not that crazy. being properly medicated."

hh I I'm i u But it's her relationship with her father, who died last year, which wi tug at the heartstrings and no amou of humour can mask the traumatic effect of his earlier desertion and recent death. ill unt h She was just two when Eddie Fish left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor, her whom he married before she dumpe him for Richard Burton. ed Fisher saw very little of her father while she was growing up and was left longing in vain for him to visit. …

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LIFE IN THE WARS; Author and Former Actress Carrie Fisher Tells HANNAH STEPHENSON about Her Battle to Become Daddy's Little Princess, Her Manic Depression and Why She Relies on Electric Shock Therapy
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