Carrie Fisher, a casual friend (we’ve swapped emails but she probably wouldn’t remember) has just written her autobiography. It’s great! Jesus, the hell she’s been through. But she tells her life story with such wit and perspective that you find yourself spellbound. And for any star struck kid who ever dreamed of growing up in the glamour and excitement of Hollywood this book should knock that shit out quick.
Here are just a couple of brief excerpts to give you a taste.
When I was born, my mother was given an anaesthetic because they didn't have epidurals in those days. Consequently, she was unconscious.
Now, my mother is a beautiful woman - she's beautiful today in her 70s, so at 24 she looked like a Christmas morning. All the doctors were buzzing round her pretty head, saying: 'Oh, look at Debbie Reynolds asleep - how pretty.'
And my father, upon seeing me start to arrive, fainted. So all the nurses ran over saying: 'Oh look, there's Eddie Fisher, the crooner, on the ground. Let's go look at him.'
So when I arrived I was virtually unattended. And I have been trying to make up for that fact ever since.
Mom and Dad were great friends with Elizabeth Taylor and her husband Mike Todd. Mike died in a plane crash in 1958, when I was two, and my dad flew to Elizabeth's side, making his way slowly to her front.
He later wrote his autobiography, Been There, Done That - well, he called it an autobiography, but I thought of it more as a novel. I like to call it Been There, Done Them, because it really was just about the women he'd slept with and how the sex was and what their bodies were like (so it is a feelgood read).
There was also my mother's closet - which I always thought of as the Church Of Latter-Day Debbie because it was the magical place that she entered as my mom and emerged as Debbie Reynolds.
At a certain point in my early 20s, my mother started to worry about my obviously ever-increasing drug ingestion. So she ended up doing what any concerned parent would do. She called Cary Grant.
Some years later, I was in London en route to my mother's wedding to Richard Hamlett, her third husband (I don't like to miss any of my parents' weddings). She called me at my hotel, and when I didn't answer she became concerned.
So she let the phone ring and ring - until finally she panicked. She knew I was in the room so, in her mind, probably the only reason I wasn't answering the phone was that I had overdosed.
So she did what any normal concerned mother might do when troubled about her daughter's well-being. She called Ava Gardner. And she asked Ava to make sure I was not dead.
I live next door to my mom now. She is still a little eccentric.
Whenever she calls she says: 'Hello, dear, this is your mother, Debbie.' (As opposed to my mother Vladimir or Jean-Jacques.) My brother and I talk this way to each other now: 'Hello dear, this is your brother, Todd.'
Another example of her eccentricity: she suggested several times that I should have a child with her last husband, Richard, because 'it would have nice eyes'. It hadn't occurred to her this might be odd. I think she just thought, you know, my womb was free and we're family.
When I spoke about my mental illness publicly, I won great acclaim. I waited my entire life to get an award for something, anything (OK, fine, not acting, but what about a tiny little award for writing? Nope), I now get awards for being mentally ill.
Remember the white dress I wore all through that film (STAR WARS)? George (Lucas) came up to me the first day of filming, took one look at the dress and said: 'You can't wear a bra under that dress.'
'OK, I'll bite,' I said. 'Why?' And he said: 'Because ... there's no underwear in space.'
Among George's many possessions, he owns my likeness, so that every time I look in the mirror I have to send him a couple of bucks. That's partly why he's so rich.
When I was about 16 and my brother Todd was about 14, my mother took a part in a musical in New York, so we moved there for a year. I was out one evening when someone told me my mother was on the phone.
'I'm at the hospital with your brother,' she said. 'He shot himself in the leg with a blank.'
'What?' I said. 'He'll be fine,' she continued. 'He's in surgery now. Anyway, the police are here and they want to come to the house to examine the gun.
'I need you to get to the house before them to let them in, but also I need you to hide all the guns and bullets and - what else ... Oh yes! I need you to flush your brother's marijuana down the lavatory.'
It was Saturday night and you would think that this wouldn't be a particularly slow night for crime in New York. But you wouldn't know it looking at our living room because we had five policemen milling around, asking my mother pertinent questions such as: 'Did you know John Wayne? What kind of guy was he?'
Finally they told us they had established the gun could discharge live ammo, so my mother was in possession of an unlicensed firearm and had to go to the police station.
We got home just before 6am and there was a knock at the door.
Mom went to see who it was and came back laughing. 'It was a couple of reporters,' she said. 'They heard Todd had been shot in the leg and they wanted to know if I had done it for publicity for the show. I so badly wanted to tell them, "Yes, and now I can only do one more Broadway musical because I only have one child left to shoot for publicity."'
"Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher, is published by Simon & Schuster and available here.