How They Met: In 1978, Fisher and Simon met in L.A. through actress Shelley Duvall, whom the former was friends with and the latter had been dating and living with for the past two years. They ran into each other again in N.Y.C. at Saturday Night Live, which Fisher hosted that year. Later, they went dancing at Studio 54 — an action on Simon’s part that Fisher would later tell The New Yorker was a “rare occurrence.”
Why We Loved Them: Long before Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik were even but a glimmer in their respective parents’ eyes, Fisher and Simon were repeatedly breakin’ up and makin’ up — FOR. 12. YEARS. In fact, they were apart mere weeks before they decided to get married in the summer of ’83, but more on this later.
When They Peaked: The relationship was turbulent, without a doubt. Even their damn honeymoon was tinged with domestic drama. As Fisher later recalled in her memoir Wishful Drinking, she and Simon had a fight on their trip that resulted in the Star Wars actress yelling, “Not only do I not like you, I don't like you personally!” She added, “We tried to keep the argument going after that but we were laughing too hard.”
The Breakup(s): During one of their first breakups, somewhere around 1979, Fisher began dating (and got secretly engaged to!) her Blues Brothers co-star Dan Aykroyd. In 2008, Fisher finally explained the situation, telling the Chicago Tribune that he’d proposed "in the trailer on set.” She was eating and began choking on a Brussels sprout when Aykroyd sprung into action. “He thought I was laughing, and then he saw that I was dying, and he did the Heimlich maneuver, and then like 10 minutes later he asked me to marry him, and I thought, ‘I better marry him. What if that happens again?’ We had rings, we got blood tests, the whole shot. But then I got back together with Paul Simon.”
The reunion was short-lived. In June of ’83, Fisher opened up about yet another split from Simon. “I will always be related to Paul,” she told People. “How can I not be?” Simon shared a similar sentiment in the same article. “We still care very much for each other. There is nobody else like Carrie. She’s got one of the fastest, funniest minds I know. She is absolutely unique,” he told the outlet. “There is no animosity.”
In fact, there was so little animosity that they not only reconciled weeks later, but decided to get married. That August, the pair wed at Simon’s N.Y.C. duplex overlooking Central Park, to an audience that reportedly included Randy Newman, Lorne Michaels, George Lucas, Kevin Kline, Teri Garr, Christie Brinkley, and Billy Joel. “Let’s just say we’ve had a stormy romance, and the storm’s finally over,” Fisher said during the festivities.
Just 11 months later, the marriage was over. "We partly [got married] to save the relationship," Fisher told The Washington Post in 1987. "It was a relationship based on a great conversation. It probably should have stayed a conversation.”
Be that as it may, the end of Simon and Fisher’s marriage wasn’t the end of their romantic relationship. They continued dating until about 1990, when they took their final trip together, to the Amazon. While there, the couple drank a psychedelic tea made from the caapi vine (which, from what I gather, is another name for ayahuasca). According to Peter Ames Carlin’s Paul Simon biography Homeward Bound, the tea led Fisher to have a vision, which she described as “feeling pinned beneath Paul’s ever-spinning, ever-controlling brain; about the way he, like so many powerful men she knew, assumed his expertise and control over every situation.” After that, the relationship was officially over.
“It was very painful to not be able to make it work,” Fisher told The New York Times of the relationship in 2012. “We had a good time together when we did. We had a similar sense of humor, and our fights were sometimes hilarious.”
The relationship inspired several of Simon’s songs, which Fisher praised. “I do like the songs he wrote about our relationship. Even when he’s insulting me, I like it very much. If you’re gonna be insulted, that’s the way to go. ‘Graceland’ has part of us in it,” she told Rolling Stone in an interview that was published just one month ahead of her sudden death.
Elaborating on the relationship’s end, Fisher told the outlet, “I’m not good at relationships. I’m not cooperative enough. I couldn’t give him the peace that he needed. Also, it’s interesting when you’re with another celebrity. The issue of celebrity becomes neutralized and you can get onto your bigger problems. We both had very interesting fights. It’s all a shame, because he and I were very good together in the ways that we were good. But like I said, I don’t supply someone with a really peaceful home.”
And, of course, stories about Simon appeared in several of Fisher’s books. In 2011, Simon weighed in on his ex-wife’s ongoing public discussion of the relationship, telling Rolling Stone, “She’s entitled to her life and to write about it as she wishes,” clarifying that he would not be doing the same: "I don’t want to talk about Carrie. I don’t mean I dislike her. I don’t dislike Carrie Fisher. I just don’t want to get into it.”
The day after Fisher passed away, Simon tweeted, “Yesterday was a horrible day. Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It’s too soon.”
Where They Are Now:
Fisher went on to date CAA agent Bryan Lourd in the early ‘90s, welcoming daughter Billie Lourd in ’92. By ’94 Lourd had left Fisher for another man.
The accomplished actress and writer went into cardiac arrest during a flight from London to L.A. in late December 2016. She was pronounced dead on Dec. 27.
Simon wed his third wife, singer Edie Brickell, in 1992. The pair shares three children together: Adrian Simon, 27, Lulu Simon, 25, and Gabriel Simon, 22. Simon also has a 47-year-old son, Harper, from his marriage to Peggy Harper.