Carrie Fisher is one of those stars who has been around long enough to mean different things to different generations. For one, she may primarily be regarded as the daughter of glamour couple Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, who famously left Reynolds for Liz Taylor.
To another, she is the space icon Princess Leia, one of the heroes of George Lucas' "Star Wars" saga. Some got their first pubescent glimpse of sexuality thanks to the shiny gold bikini she wore in "Return of the Jedi."
But for the younger generation, Fisher may come to be known more for her rousing confessional style and a wild life that puts most reality shows to shame. In the midst of a successful career as an actress, screenwriter and novelist, Fisher faced down horrible battles with mental illness and spent many years fighting these battles with drugs and alcohol, eventually landing in rehab for electroshock treatment.
In coming to terms with all this, Fisher, in 2006, released the hilarious and revealing memoir "Wishful Drinking," telling tales of her bizarre showbiz upbringing and the downward spiral that landed her in the mental ward. This year, Fisher turned "Wishful Drinking" into a one-woman show, which opened on Broadway in early October.
Fisher, 53, spoke to Bankrate about this crazy life, and what it has meant to her financially.
Bankrate: You were once engaged to Dan Aykroyd, so you were right in the middle of the crazy, first years of "Saturday Night Live." Did all the partying and drugs make them more funny, or less so?
Carrie Fisher: With drugs, you generally work in spite of them. They were pretty professional, though. I maybe saw some pot smoking on the job. But they had to get a new show out every week, so it was a pretty professional atmosphere except for the incredibly immature people who were around, and I include myself in that.
Bankrate: John Belushi is always painted as wildly out of control.
Carrie Fisher: He was the sweetest guy. He was a drug addict, no more crazy or out of control than someone with a really bad drug problem. The difference with John was that unfortunately, to get close to him, people would give him drugs. So it was hard for him to stay straight.
Bankrate: You're probably one of the few people who worked with the original "SNL" crew and the best of the latest. Comedically, how would you compare Tina Fey to the original cast?
Carrie Fisher: Tina Fey is creative, and a writer. Not all of the performers in the original troupe were writers. Danny (Aykroyd) wrote some, but Tina is all over the map in terms of what she does. It's really impressive.