Fisher dated singer-songwriter Paul Simon
(seen here in 1982), eventually marrying.
Fisher met musician Paul Simon while filming Star Wars, and the pair dated from 1977 until 1983. In 1980, she was briefly engaged to Canadian actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd, who proposed to her on the set of their film The Blues Brothers. She said: "We had rings, we got blood tests, the whole shot. But then I got back together with Paul Simon." Fisher was married to Simon from August 1983 to July 1984, and they dated again for a time after their divorce. During their marriage, she appeared in Simon's music video for the song "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War". Simon's song "Hearts and Bones" is about their romance.
She subsequently had a relationship with Creative Artists Agency principal and talent agent Bryan Lourd. They had one child together, Billie Lourd (b. 1992). Eddie Fisher stated in his autobiography (Been There Done That) that his granddaughter's name is Catherine Fisher Lourd and her nickname is "Billy". The couple's relationship ended when Lourd left to be in a homosexual relationship. In interviews, Fisher described Lourd as her second husband, but a 2004 profile of the actress and writer revealed that she and Lourd were never legally married.
In her 2016 autobiography The Princess Diarist, Fisher wrote that she and Harrison Ford had a three-month affair during the filming of Star Wars in 1976.
Fisher also had a close relationship with singer James Blunt. While working on his album Back to Bedlam in 2003, Blunt spent much of his time at Fisher's residence. When Vanity Fair's George Wayne asked Fisher if their relationship was sexual, she replied: "Absolutely not, but I did become his therapist. He was a soldier. This boy has seen awful stuff. Every time James hears fireworks or anything like that, his heart beats faster, and he gets 'fight or flight.' You know, he comes from a long line of soldiers dating back to the 10th century. He would tell me these horrible stories. He was a captain, a reconnaissance soldier. I became James' therapist. So it would have been unethical to sleep with my patient."
On February 26, 2005, R. Gregory "Greg" Stevens, a lobbyist, was found dead in Fisher's California home. The final autopsy report listed the cause of death as "cocaine and oxycodone use" but added chronic, and apparently previously undiagnosed, heart disease as contributing factors. Media coverage of an initial autopsy report used the word "overdose," but that wording is not in the final report. In an interview, Fisher claimed that Stevens' ghost haunted her mansion, which unsettled her: "I was a nut for a year", she explained, "and in that year I took drugs again."
Fisher described herself as an "enthusiastic agnostic who would be happy to be shown that there is a God". She was raised Protestant, but often attended Jewish services (her father's faith) with Orthodox friends.
In 2016, Harvard College gave Fisher its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, noting that "her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy."
Fisher was a supporter and advocate for several causes, including women's advocacy, animal rights, and LGBT causes. She was open about her experiences caring for friends who suffered from AIDS, contributing financially to various AIDS and HIV organizations, including hosting a benefit for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. She also served as an honorary board member for the International Bipolar Foundation, and, in 2014, received the Golden Heart Award for her work with The Midnight Mission.
She was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig weight loss television ads that aired in January 2011.
Bipolar disorder and drug use
During appearances on 20/20 and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry, Fisher publicly discussed her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and her addictions to cocaine and prescription medication. She said her drug use was a form of self-medication; she used pain medication such as Percodan to "dial down" the manic aspect of her bipolar disorder. She gave nicknames to her bipolar moods: Roy ("the wild ride of a mood") and Pam ("who stands on the shore and sobs"). "Drugs made me feel more normal", she explained to Psychology Today in 2001. "They contained me." She discussed her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking and various topics in it with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today that same year, and also revealed that she would have turned down the role of Princess Leia had she realized it would give her the celebrity status that made her parents' lives difficult. This interview was followed by a similar appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on December 12, 2008, where she discussed her electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments. At one point, she received ECT every six weeks to "blow apart the cement" in her brain. In 2014, she said she was no longer receiving the treatment.
In another interview, Fisher revealed that she used cocaine during the filming of The Empire Strikes Back. "Slowly, I realized I was doing a bit more drugs than other people and losing my choice in the matter", she noted. In 1985, after months of sobriety, she accidentally overdosed on a combination of prescription medication and sleeping pills. She was rushed to the hospital, creating the turn of events that led to much of the material in her novel and screenplay, Postcards from the Edge. Asked why she did not take on the role of her story's protagonist, named Suzanne, in the film version, Fisher remarked, "I've already played Suzanne."
In her later years, Fisher had an emotional support animal, a French Bulldog named Gary, whom she brought to numerous appearances and interviews. Following her death, reports indicated that Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd would take care of Gary.