Paul Simon was married to Carrie Fisher for less than a year, but oh, the stories he could tell. The Simon and Garfunkel alum has spoken out about the sudden death of his ex-wife, saying she was a “wonderful girl” and that her passing at age 60 came “too soon.” But Paul Simon’s tumultuous relationship with the Star Wars icon is one for the Hollywood history books.
Paul Simon was briefly married to Carrie Fisher in the early 1980s, but they divorced within months after exchanging vows in New York City. Still, Simon and the movie legend were involved in a complicated on-and-off relationship for more than a decade.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in her her 2008 memoir Wishful Drinking, Fisher revealed that several of Paul Simon’s songs, including “She Moves On” and “Hearts and Bones” were about her. The actress also appeared in the music video for Simon’s “Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War.”
In her book, the movie star praised her ex, writing, “If you can get Paul Simon to write a song about you, do it. Because he is so brilliant at it.”
But she admitted that their personal life was hard to handle.
“I was good for material, but when it came to day-to-day living, I was more than he could take. We once had a fight (on our honeymoon) where I said: ‘Not only do I not like you, I don’t like you personally!'”
In a 2009 interview with late night host David Letterman, Carrie talked about her brief marriage to Paul Simon and touched on some of the songs he wrote about her, including the little known 1983 ditty, “Allergies.”
“It is kind of trippy 15, 20 years down the line and turn on the radio and hear yourself complained about in song,” the actress told Letterman.
Indeed, the superstar couple couldn’t overcome the many obstacles that stood in the way of their happiness—including their constant fighting and the actress’ drug use and battle with bipolar disorder.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Fisher first met Simon when she was filming the 1977 blockbuster Star Wars, and the attraction was immediate. Simon was smitten, later telling the Washington Post, “When I walk down the street with her, it’s like every 7-year-old in America wants her autograph.”
The couple moved into an apartment in New York City’s Central Park West, but after one of their many breakups the actress began dating actor Dan Aykroyd, who won her heart after he saved her life when she was choking while filming The Blues Brothers.
“[Dan] was forcing me to eat because I was very thin in those days and I inhaled a Brussels sprout, and I started choking,” the actress told The Chicago Tribune in 2008.
“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.”
Simon and his on-and-off love eventually married on August 16, 1983, in a traditional Jewish ceremony that was attended by Paul’s musical partner Art Garfunkel, Saturday Night Live guru Lorne Michaels, and A-listers like George Lucas, and Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Despite their high-profile wedding, the couple divorced just 11 months later. Still, Simon and his ex reconciled and began dating and living together again. While Carrie went to rehab in the mid-1980s, Paul went into therapy to deal with his own issues, and their back and forth relationship status continued for years.
“We were together for more than 12 years (off and on) and we traveled a lot. The last place we went to was the Amazon, which I recommend if you like mosquitoes,” the actress wrote in Wishful Drinking.
After the couple visited a spiritual healer called a brujo while in the Amazon, Carrie reportedly had a vision that she would never be able to escape “Paul’s ever-spinning, ever-controlling brain.” Upon returning home, the actress left Paul Simon for good.
“It was very painful to not be able to make it work,” Fisher later told The New York Times of her up-and-down relationship with Paul Simon. The actress said that when things were good, they were really good and that she and Paul “had a similar sense of humor and our fights were sometimes hilarious.”
“The bad thing about my relationship with Paul was that we were similar animals. Where there should be a flower and a gardener, we were two flowers. In the bright sun. Wilting.”
While the late star’s stories about her time with Paul Simon have been recounted in many interviews and her books, Simon has long said he has no interest in rehashing his ill-fated marriage. In 2011, Paul told Rolling Stone he didn’t want to talk about his ex-wife at all.
“I don’t mean I dislike her,” Paul said.
“I don’t dislike Carrie Fisher. I just don’t want to get into it. She’s a writer. She’s entitled to her life and to write about it as she wishes…I see Eminem out there talking about his family and his kids, and I think 10 or 15 years from now he’ll regret it.”
Paul Simon married singer Edie Brickell in 1992.
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