Eddie Fisher, the famed 1950s pop singer who sold millions of records in the time before Elvis Presley, died at age 82 from complications following hip surgery. Fisher became famous for his celebrity marriages and children. Fisher at one time in his life was married to Debbie Reynolds and has a daughter named Carrie Fisher. Then Fisher divorced Reynolds to become one of Elizabeth Taylor’s many husbands according to ABC News. In a four-year span from 1950 to 1954, Fisher had 19 top ten hits according to Time magazine. He married Reynolds in 1955 but then divorced her in 1958 for Taylor.
My fondest memories of Fisher’s family would center about Carrie Fisher. Her fame eclipsed her father’s when Fisher starred in George Lucas’ space opera Star Wars in 1977 at the age of 21. Fisher’s Princess Leia character was a strong female presence in the midst of male bravado with laser guns and lightsabers.
Fisher said of her father’s public divorce that her parents were good friends with Mike Todd and Liz Taylor. When Todd died in a plane crash, Eddie Fisher was there to pick up the pieces. In her book “Wishful Drinking”, Carrie Fisher said plainly that “eventually he consoled her with his penis” referring to Eddie Fisher’s relationship with Elizabeth Taylor.
Carrie Fisher went on to be raised more by her mother than her father. She also blames her father’s abandonment of her family for her own initial failures in love, including her first marriage to singer Paul Simon.
Luckily my family and I have enjoyed Carrie Fishers’s roles throughout her career. My wife and I both love the original “Star Wars” films in addition to “When Harry Met Sally” in which Fisher plays Meg Ryan’s best friend.
Eddie Fisher’s Music
Despite Eddie Fisher’s personal life, his music inspired some of the progenitors of the rock-n-roll era of the mid-1950s. Fisher’s songwriting took a hit when he got involved in drugs and broke the hearts of many ladies along the way. His song “Games that Lovers Play” perhaps was a bit too close to his real life. If any one song would be a biography on his life, “Games That Lovers Play” is it. With lyrics such as “Never caring/Who gets hurt/Along the way.”
Fisher tried a comeback tour but fizzled out. His inspirational songs basically kick started the entire music industry as his albums sold millions of copies in the 1950s. Despite Fisher’s antics behind the scenes and in his family, I certainly can thank his legacy for producing one of the greatest actresses and writers in our generation.
ABC News and Time magazine contributed information for this article.