Back to Top

c. 1950s - 1960s

Baby Leia

Carrie Fisher, the product of two stars, was a photographic hit even as a baby

From the mouths of babes...Actress Debbie Reynolds smiles while being interviewed in her hotel room while her daughter, Carrie, 2-1/2, sits on a scooter

Depending on your point of view, Carrie Fisher was either destined for stardom, or doomed to suffering, right from birth. And the truth is both futures lay ahead, like the twin suns of the Star Wars planet Tatooine.

Carrie was herself the product of two stars – Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

In the early 50s, Eddie Fisher was incredibly popular as a singing and TV star. Debbie Reynolds, a former beauty queen, had rocketed to fame alongside Gene Kelly in 1952’s’ Singin’ in the Rain.

The pair married in 1955, and the following year Carrie was born – she was immediately a photographic hit, as these pictures demonstrate.

But before Carrie was three-years-old, her parents’ marriage exploded in scandal when Fisher had an affair with Debbie’s best friend, one Elizabeth Taylor. 

Arguably Eddie Fisher’s career never really recovered.

The gilded home into which Carrie had been born was gone, and her environment became increasingly fractured, as Eddie Fisher would go on to marry four more times.

Carrie took refuge where she could find it – as a child, in the pages of books, and as an adult, in cocaine. The effects of her drug use were exacerbated by a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Her life changed forever in 1976 when, aged 19, she was cast as Princess Leia in Star Wars, becoming not only a star, but an icon.  Yet she would battle against drugs and depression for the remainder of her life. 

On December 27, 2016, Carrie died, aged 60 – her mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed away the next day.

Getty Images
George Rinhart / Corbis via Getty Images
George Rinhart / Corbis via Getty Images
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Getty Images
Earl Leaf / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

Watch this

How to care for loved ones from a distance

see more from