"I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding," Carrie Fisher wrote in her 2008 autobiography "Wishful Drinking." "When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result."
Her father Eddie Fisher died Wednesday at 82 due to complications from hip surgery. In the 1950s, he was a pre-Elvis, teen-beloved crooner who sold millions of records, but was eventually better known for divorcing Fisher's mother, "Singin' In The Rain" actress Debbie Reynolds to marry Elizabeth Taylor.
"Her dad and Elizabeth Taylor were the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt of their day," said E! Online's Marc Malkin. "But while Pitt's career hasn't suffered, Fisher lost jobs because of the divorce. At that time people were having affairs and leaving their wives, but not in such a public way. Debbie Reynolds was America's sweetheart. At the time you just didn't talk about these things. That was scandalous."
Although Fisher had no relationship with her father for many years after the divorce, which happened when she was one and a half, they reconciled in 2006. On Thursday morning, Fisher tweeted, "My Puff Daddy…was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch." (She called him Puff Daddy because of his four-joints-a-day cannabis habit, she told The New York Times in 2008.)
The DivorceIn "Wishful Drinking," Fisher described the split, writing that her mom and dad had been great friends with Taylor and her husband Mike Todd. In 1958, when Todd died in a plane crash, her dad "flew to Elizabeth's side, making his way slowly to her front."
"He first dried her eyes with his handkerchief, then he consoled her with flowers, and he ultimately consoled her with his penis," Fisher wrote. "This made marriage to my mother awkward." He'd left the family within the week.
Early MemoriesDuring her childhood, Fisher wrote, "I saw more of Dad on television than in real life."
One notable episode was her dad asking the actor Cary Grant to give Fisher a call about a drug problem he thought she had. He approached Grant at Princess Grace's funeral in Monaco.
"He was at the funeral of one of the few beautiful women of his generation he hadn't slept with when he spied Mr. Grant," Fisher wrote. "He walked up to my hero and said the first thing that popped into his head, something along the lines of: 'My daughter Carrie is addicted to acid, and I'm very worried. Would you mind maybe having a talk with her?'"
When Grant called Fisher she was "humiliated." "I explained to Mr Grant, after thanking him, that my mother would probably be in a much better position to determine whether or not I was tripping my brain out on a daily basis than my father, with whom I'd spent, on average, one day a year," she wrote.
Taylor As StepmomFisher has only faint memories of her father's relationship with Taylor. "I remember my father taking me over to the Beverly Hills Hotel and Elizabeth was in a baby-doll negligee," she told the Los Angeles Times in 2001. "We went in the back and her sons were in the pool, and I remember thinking, 'Oh, they get him as a father now.' "
The Marrying Man"My parents have about eight marriages and divorces between them," Fisher told the Houston Chronicle in 1995. "My father does everything to excess. He's now on his fourth -- or sixth.''
In total, Fisher was married five times. His union with Taylor lasted only five years, ending when Taylor fell in love with co-star Richard Burton while the two were filming "Cleopatra" in Rome.
Fisher then married actress Connie Stevens in 1967, and they had two daughters, one of whom is the actress Joely Fisher.
After they divorced, he married twice more. His marriage to a 21-year-old beauty queen, Terry Richard, at age 47, ended after 10 months, while his fifth marriage to Betty Lin, a Chinese-born businesswoman, ended in 2001.
In March, Reynolds told The Daily Telegraph that Frank Sinatra told her not to marry Fisher. "When we worked together on 'The Tender Trap,' I was engaged to Eddie, and Frank took me to lunch and said, 'Sweetie, don't get married. Don't marry a singer. We're nice guys, but we're not good husbands,'" she said. "But Eddie was a darling boy, and at the time I loved him very much. Of course, Frank was right."
Dad's Influence on Her Love LifeFisher has blamed her dad for her own romantic trials. In 1995, she told The Independent, "When my father left, my heart was broken and that has forever stuck."
Still, she wrote in "Wishful Drinking" that her first marriage, to singer Paul Simon, was an attempt to marry a guy just like him. "Let's recap: Eddie and Debbie have me," she wrote. "I grow up, sort of, and I marry Paul Simon. Now Paul is a short, Jewish singer. Eddie Fisher is a short, Jewish singer. My mother makes a blueprint, and I follow it to the letter."
Horrified by Dad's Tell-AllFisher was furious after reading her dad's 1999 autobiography "Been There, Done That" in which he wrote explicitly about his sex lives with Reynolds and Taylor.
"He called it an autobiography, but I thought of it more as a novel," his daughter wrote in her own book. "I like to call it 'Been There, Done Them' because it really was just about the women he'd slept with and how the sex was and what their bodies were like (so it is a feelgood read). But after I read it, I wanted to get my DNA fumigated."
E! Online's Malkin said, "She really was thinking of changing her name to Reynolds."
Taylor was also incensed. "I think Eddie Fisher must have been in another world when he wrote his book," she said in a statement at the time. "Have you ever noticed he is the only ex-husband I don't talk about?"
The Book Begats a FriendshipStill, the book made her better friends with her mom—and, surprisingly, with her former step-mom, Taylor.
"My father's book was very upsetting for all of us, and it made all of us better friends," she told the Los Angeles Times in 2001. "I understand on a certain level that he really felt like he lost his career because he left my mother for Elizabeth Taylor, but what he did in writing the book was something you don't do. He was incredibly unkind."