The beloved actress and author died Tuesday following her hospitalization last week. She was 60.
Fisher and Simon met while Fisher was filming the first “Star Wars” movie, which debuted in 1977. “Once they saw each other, no one else mattered to either of them,” Peter Ames Carlin wrote in this year’s Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon. The pair moved into an apartment near Central Park almost instantly, but their relationship was complicated by Fisher’s heavy drug use and fears that she wouldn’t live up to Simon’s reputation as a musical virtuoso. Hoping marriage would solve their problems, they wed in 1983, but divorced the following year.
The relationship didn’t end there, though. According to Carlin’s biography, as reported by People magazine, they moved in together again after the divorce and dated on and off for about a decade, with Fisher helping to raise Simon’s son from his first marriage. The couple reportedly ended the relationship after a psychedelic trip in the Amazon.
Simon’s 1983 song “Hearts and Bones” was about his romance with Fisher. The lyrics imply the coupledom was tumultuous, but end on a loving note: “The arc of a love affair / Waiting to be restored / You take two bodies and you twirl them into one / Their hearts and their bones / And they won’t come undone.”
In her 2008 autobiography, Wishful Drinking, Fisher said Simon’s 1990 song “She Moves On” is about their breakup. Simon wrote, “I know the reason I feel so blessed / My heart still splashes inside my chest / But she, she is like a top / She cannot stop / She moves on.” Fisher praised “She Moves On,” writing, “If you can get Paul Simon to write a song about you, do it. Because he is so brilliant at it.”
Fisher never remarried, though she did begin dating talent agent Bryan Lourd shortly after breaking up with Simon. They had one child together, “Scream Queens” actress Billie Lourd, in 1992.
During a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Fisher reflected on the stereotypically feminine role she felt she was expected to play in her marriage to Simon. “I’m not as cooperative as you might want a woman to be,” she said. “Every man, I think, or at least the ones I end up finding, there’s no such thing as a consort. All men are kings. That was my little discovery in the process … I really thought men’s fantasy is to have an intellectual geisha. So what I did was I learned to cook and I took a massage course. But that’s not all of it. You have to also agree.”