On Tuesday, Carrie Fisher died at the age of 60 after going into cardiac arrest on a flight from London to LAX four days earlier. The actress, best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars film series, was the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Fisher was not married at the time of her death, though she was married to musician Paul Simon in the late 1970s.
Read on to learn more about Paul Simon, Carrie Fisher’s ex-husband.
1. Fisher and Simon Were Married for Less Than a Year
Simon and Fisher married in August 1983, and were together for 11 months before divorcing in July of the following year.
Before getting married, the couple dated from 1977 to 1983. They met while Fisher was filming the 1977 Star Wars, and at one point the couple even moved into a New York City apartment together. The song “Hearts and Bones” is rumored to be inspired by their relationship.
After their divorce, Fisher and Simon continued to date on-and-off. After hearing the news of her death, Simon went to Twitter with a post that read, “Yesterday was a horrible day. Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It’s too soon.’
In Peter Ames Carlin’s biography, Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon the author states that Fisher and Simon’s relationship ultimately ended because of “latent emotional issues, too many fights and Fisher’s rampant drug use.”
2. He Wrote Most of ‘Simon & Garfunkel’s’ Music
Simon was a widely celebrated musician, and rose to fame as part of the musical duo, Simon & Garfunkel. He wrote most of the band’s music, including No. 1 hits like “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge over Troubled Water.” After the duo split in 1970, Simon began a solo career, and recorded three albums in five years. His hit album, Graceland, sold over 14 million copies worldwide.
Simon met and befriended Art Garfunkel after moving to Queens, New York, as a boy. Biography.com writes, “Simon credits Garfunkel’s performance in the 4th grade talent show as his inspiration to start singing, especially after he heard a girl tell Artie how good he was.”
In high school, Simon and Garfunkel formed a band called “Tom and Jerry”. They performed their music at school dances, and pulled together their money record their single “Hey Schoolgirl” when they were just 15. Their later songs didn’t have as much success, and Garfunkel decided to put music aside to study art history at Columbia University. Simon, meanwhile, majored in in English at Queens College.
3. He Has Earned 16 Grammy Awards
Over the course of his career, Simon has earned 16 Grammy Awards for his work, and has won Album of the Year three times. On top of that, he has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and attended the Kennedy Center Honors celebration in 2002.
Paul was born on October 13, 1941, and was raised in Forest Hills, New York. His mother, Belle, was an English teacher, while his father, Louis, was a teacher and a bandleader. Simon has been married three times. His first marriage was to Peggy Harper from 1969 to 1975. Together, the couple had a son, Harper Simon. He then married Fisher, whom he divorced in 1984. Simon married his third wife, Edie Brickell, in 1992. The couple has three children together: Adrian, Lulu, and Gabriel.
4. He Was Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001
Simon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Five years later, he was named one of the ‘100 People Who Shaped the World’ by Time magazine.
Simon forayed into the world of musical theater in the 1990s with a Broadway musical called The Capeman about the life of convicted murderer Salvador Agron. He produced and wrote the musical, but it received poor reviews from critics, and lost $11 million during its run. In late 2010, The Capeman was revived with three runs in Central Park’s Delacorte Theater.
5. He Played a Role in Woody Allen’s ‘Annie Hall’
In 1977, Simon dabbled in acting, playing the role of music producer Tony Lacey in Woody Allen’s critically acclaimed film Annie Hall. In 1980, he wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony. The song “Late in the Evening” from the film’s soundtrack soared to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Apart from that, Simon has made appearances in the Disney Channel TV Movie Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme, and The Rutles: All You Need is Cash. He has hosted or performed on SNL 14 times over the course of his illustrious career, and his most recent appearance on the variety show came in 2013 with Justin Timberlake. In 2008, he was honored with the ‘TV Land Most Memorable SNL Musical Guest Award.’