Why Carrie Fisher Was ‘Grateful’ That Her Father Left Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor

Carrie Fisher had a unique childhood as the daughter of actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Although her parents’ marriage seemed perfect to their fans, the family soon became paparazzi darlings in the late 1950s. Their issues went public when Eddie left Reynolds to marry Elizabeth Taylor in 1959. 

 American singer Eddie Fisher, wearing a tuxedo, stands with arm around his wife, American actor Debbie Reynolds (R) and smiles while looking at British-born actor Elizabeth Taylor, smoking a cigarette, Las Vegas, Nevada. The next year Fisher left Reynolds and married Taylor.
Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds|Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Carrie Fisher’s father married Elizabeth Taylor the same day he divorced Debbie Reynolds

Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor|Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Eddie and Reynolds married in 1955. The pair were Hollywood’s “it couple” at the time, as they were both famous before they got together. Reynolds and Eddie eventually had two children together- Carrie and Todd. Eddie named Todd after his best friend and Taylor’s former husband, Michael Todd. 

While they shared a few good years, Eddie began a romantic relationship with Taylor. Their relationship started after Todd died in a plane crash in 1958. Eddie consoled Taylor while she mourned Todd’s death and soon fell in love with the Cleopatra star. He then asked Reynolds for divorce after four years of marriage.

Carrie Fisher said Elizabeth Taylor was ‘loyal’ and a ‘devoted mother’ 

Tom Petty, Elizabeth Taylor and Carrie Fisher during UCLA Names Elizabeth Taylor Endowment Fund for Long Time AIDS Advocate Taylor and Friends Set to Cut Ribbon for New Center at UCLA Clinical Aids Research and Education CARE Center in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Tom Petty, Elizabeth Taylor,and Carrie Fisher| SGranitz/WireImage

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Eddie and Taylor’s marriage lasted for five years. In 1964, Taylor met and fell in love with Richard Burton, prompting her to leave Eddie. Although Taylor got blamed for ruining her parents’ marriage, Fisher had kind words to say about Taylor when she died in 2011. In a statement for Entertainment Weekly, Fisher said Carrie cared for everyone in her inner circle and treated Fisher and her brother well. 

“Elizabeth lived her life to the fullest, whether by loving to the fullest or while also giving us some of the most memorable performances ever on film,” Fisher said. “A devoted mother many times over and even very briefly a stepmother to my brother Todd and myself, loyal to the lifelong friends surrounding her — even with all this she found time to become one of the earliest champions for those living with HIV.”

Carrie Fisher said she was ‘grateful’ that her father left Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor and called her a ‘remarkable woman’ 

Carrie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor
Carrie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor|Steve Granitz/WireImage

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After Eddie and Reynolds divorced, Reynolds’ career continued as she balanced her movie and television roles with motherhood. In an essay for the Daily Mail, Fisher said she didn’t foster a relationship with Taylor while married to her father. According to the article, Fisher  “didn’t really know Elizabeth at all” in her younger years. However, they connected on a deeper level when Taylor invited Fisher to her home in 1999.

While she didn’t connect with Taylor throughout her childhood, Fisher told Entertainment Weekly that she could understand how her father fell for Taylor. She also vowed never to forget Taylor during her statement. 

“If my father had to divorce my mother for anyone — I’m so grateful that it was Elizabeth,” Fisher said. “This was a remarkable woman who led her life to the fullest rather than complacently following one around. She will be missed but never forgotten.”