Joely Fisher opened up about the scars she suffered from her childhood and how her famous father, Eddie Fisher, wrote an apology letter to her because of all she witnessed while growing up.
Joely Fisher was born to superstar parents Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens Fisher. The second of two daughters, she had an older half-sister, Carrie Fisher, from her father's earlier relationship.
Joely, who is now a mother herself, recently released a book where she disclosed to fans exactly how her life growing up was and its impact on her as an adult.
Portrait of American singer and actor Eddie Fisher[left] A picture of actress Joely Fisher[right] | Photo: Getty Images
Eddie was born as a Jewish boy in South Philadelphia. He dropped out of high school as a teenager but was already singing on the radio at the time. It did not take long for record labels to come knocking.
He was nicknamed the "Coca-Cola Boy" due to his musical genre television series "Coke Time." The series debuted in 1953, and Eddie was given a $1 million contract. Between 1950 and 1956, he had 35 songs in the top 40.
Eddie Fisher at Bel Age Hotel on June 11, 1991 in West Hollywood, California | Photo: Getty Images
Connie Fisher was born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia, in 1938, on Coney Island. Her father, Pietro Ingolia, was a bass player who played in big bands like "Stan Getz." His stage name at the time was Teddy Stevens.
Her mother, Eleanor McGinley, was a band singer. She parted ways with Pietro after it came out that she cheated on her husband with other men while he was touring.
After the divorce, Connie was sent to live with her grandparents in Rockaway Beach, Brooklyn. She later left to stay with Pietro, who had moved to Eagle Rock in downtown Los Angeles.
Connie pursued a singing career at the Hollywood Professional School she was attending. She was also taking on roles as an extra in TV shows and movies.
She rose to fame after Warner Bros discovered her in the 1950s. She was given a contract by the company, which led to her appearing in "77 Sunset Strip."
The actress released a single with her co-star Eddy Byrnes titled "Kookie, Kookie, Lend me Your Comb!" which they both sang on the show. The song became her first gold-rated record.
MEETING EDDIE FISHER
Connie married actor James Stacey in 1963, but the relationship did not turn out well. Stacey was physically abusive to her and was accused of burning her childhood pictures.
He would sometimes cut off parts of her hair while she slept. They lasted only three years together, and just ten years after the divorce, Stacey was convicted of child molestation. Connie met Eddie Fisher shortly after the divorce.
Eddie at the time had divorced his first wife Debbie Reynolds, then three hours later, he surprisingly got married to Elizabeth Taylor in 1959. Eddie and Reynolds had a daughter together, named Carrie Fisher, before the divorce.
Eddie Fisher with Connie Fisher backstage at the Plymouth Theatre on January 31, 1967 | Photo: Getty Images
He met Taylor a year after she had lost her husband Mike Todd in an airplane accident. Their marriage did not last as they called it quits five years later, and Taylor fell in love with another man, Richard Burton.
Eddie met Connie at a time in her life when she was partying and taking pills, trying to stay away from the sadness her divorce generated, and not long after, she got pregnant.
After Connie became pregnant for the second time, Eddie's friend, Frank Sinatra, gave him his private plane to travel to Puerto Rico and marry her. The couple had a child together named Joely Fisher.
Picture of Eddie Fisher and Connie Sharpe at a formal occasion, circa 1962 | Photo: Getty Images
JOELY'S DIFFICULT CHILDHOOD
Joely followed in her family's footsteps as she became a celebrity early in life. She became famous after her appearance in the sitcom "Ellen" in the 90s. Her half-sister Carrie also starred as Princess Leia in the blockbuster movie "Star Wars."
Revealing all in her memoir titled "Growing Up Fisher, Musings, Memories & Misadventures," Joely explained how difficult it was growing up in a Hollywood family. She said her father would sometimes ask her and Carrie to show him their breasts.
She revealed that her father was a drug addict, and one of her earliest memories of him was seeing Eddie inject himself with drugs. He reportedly first picked up the devastating habit when he lost his voice and still had to perform.
It was suggested he sought help from infamous Hollywood doctor Dr. Max Jacobson who also became known by the nickname "Doctor Feel Good." The doctor had treated stars like Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, and even President Kennedy.
The doctor prescribed to him the drug Speed as a sort of unique energy formula. From then on, Eddie got hooked on the drug. However, the drug problems were not limited to him alone.
Joely's mother Connie used Amphetamine (speed) and Dextroamphetamine which was in the 1970s called "Black Beauties."
She was set to appear on camera wearing jeans given to her by the studio, but she was worried she would not look good. The drug gave her a burst of energy, suppressed her appetite, and gave her a feeling of euphoria.
All this happened when Joely was just a teen, and Connie would sometimes ask her daughter to roll her marijuana so she could build a stockpile. She would also go to clubs with her, and they would stay till 9 a.m the following morning.
Her half-sister Carrie once visited her home with her then-fiancé Dan Aykroyd, and she noticed they were both high on something. All these experiences later impacted Joely in life.
In her memoir, Joely admitted she had had problems with addictions her whole life but for some reason triumphed over them. She explained addiction is something that comes with the Fisher genes.
The genes bring the velvet voice her father had and the susceptibility to infidelity, addiction, and bad financial decisions. She had problems with alcohol addiction and spending money without precautions.
Joely ascribed these problems to her DNA because her father had the same issues, so did her mother and half-sister. She started drinking when her acting career was struggling.
She explained that despite her struggles with addiction, she remained a good mother to her five children from her marriage to cinematographer Christopher Duddy.
THE APOLOGY LETTER
Eddie and Connie's marriage ended when he was caught in bed with two Swedish women. After the divorce, he married former Miss Louisiana Terry Richard, much younger at 21 years old.
Eddie wrote Joely a letter which she found years later. The letter was the first she would see his handwriting apart from the autographs he signed.
He reportedly wrote the letter out of guilt and the remorse he felt while also being high. In it, he explained he should have been the one to clean things up, and Joely felt compassionate reading the letter.
They met again when Joely was older, and Eddie would take her shopping for matching velvet loafers, and other times, they would just hang out. Eddie would sometimes comment on her voice, and that made Joely happy.
Eddie was married the fifth time to Betty Lin, a businesswoman who lived in San Francisco. She sent him to a rehabilitation clinic before her death. The actor also tragically died in September 2010 at the age of 82, and he was buried in a Chinese cemetery located in San Francisco.
Carrie Fisher died at the age of 60 on December 27. She went into cardiac arrest while she was on a plane. Speaking after her death, Joely said the family was moving through it with grace.
She recalled how Carrie would sometimes comment on her clothing while having a cigarette stuck in her mouth and how she would sing her a song and give her expensive clothes.
Carrie Fisher at the US-Ireland Aliiance's Oscar Wilde Awards event at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot on February 19, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images
Surprisingly, Joely's mother, Connie, did not get married after her divorce from Eddie because she felt marriage was not for her. She sadly suffered a stroke in 2016, which stopped her from going out.
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