Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher: The story of their 12 year relationship

13 December 2021, 11:27 | Updated: 28 December 2021, 15:47

Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon were on and off for 12 years
Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon were on and off for 12 years. Picture: Alamy/Getty Images

By Naomi Bartram

Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher began dating in 1977 before getting married in 1983.

Fans of Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon will already know their relationship was anything but simple.

Over the course of 12 years, the pair dated, split, married, divorced and then dated again.

Here's how their love story started...


Carrie and Paul were said to have met in 1977 when Carrie was filming the first Star Wars movies as Princess Leia.

Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon had a tumultuous relationship
Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon had a tumultuous relationship. Picture: Getty Images

While it seems they met through a friend, some reports claim it was Richard Dreyfuss and others have claimed it was Paul's ex-girlfriend Shelley Duvall who introduced them.

It didn’t take long for the pair to spark an instant connection, as Peter Ames Carlin, the author of Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon, previously wrote: “Once they saw each other, no one else mattered to either of them. Carrie added velocity to [Paul’s] life, a kind of wild energy that often set him alight and sometimes made him scream.”

Fisher went on to write in her 2008 memoir ‘Wishful Drinking’: "We understood each other perfectly. Obviously we didn't always agree, but we understood the terms of our disagreements."

Falling in love

Carrie, 26, quickly moved into Simon's, 41, New York apartment on Central Park West.

Paul and Carrie split up before getting married
Paul and Carrie split up before getting married. Picture: Alamy

But at the time, it was reported their relationship was very stormy and they broke up several times.

During an interview with Chicago Tribune, Carrie admitted she was actually planning on marrying her co-star from the 1980 comedy ‘The Blues Brothers’, Dan Aykroyd.

"We had rings, we got blood tests, the whole shot. But then I got back together with Paul Simon,” she said.


In 1983, Fisher and Simon were on the brink of another split, but they decided to get married instead.

According to People, the wedding took place at Simon's Central Park duplex and guests included the likes of Randy Newman, Christie Brinkley, and Billy Joel.

The following day, Carrie joined Simon on tour and later told the crowd: "I'd like to thank you all for joining us on our honeymoon. We couldn't have done it without you."

Simon and Carrie got married in 1983
Simon and Carrie got married in 1983. Picture: Getty Images

Paul released a song for his wife in 1983 called ‘Hearts and Bones’, with lyrics reading: “Two people were married, the act was outrageous, the bride was contagious.”

Reflecting on the song in a later interview, Paul said: “That was one of my best songs. It took a long time to write it and it was very true. It was about things that happened. The characters are very near to autobiographical. It’s probably the only track that I really like on that album.”


Carrie had to go back to California to film a role for ‘Shelley Duvall's Fairie Tale Theatre’ while her husband continued touring.

The couple then split 11 months later, but a few months after the divorce they started dating and then living together again.

Fisher wrote in ‘Wishful Drinking,’: "Paul and I dated for six years, married for two, divorced for one, and then we had good memories of each other so what do you think we did? ... We dated again."

All in all, the couple were together for 12 years on and off, with Fisher helping to raise Simon’s son, Harper from his first marriage to Peggy Harper.

When Fisher died in 2016, after suffering a heart attack, Paul paid tribute to his ex on Twitter, writing: "Yesterday was a horrible day. Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It's too soon."

Paul remarried Edie Brickell in 1992 and the pair have three children together; Adrian, Lulu, and Gabriel.