“She used to say, 'I couldn't stop you with a train.' But I didn't start working until after college. I wasn't told not to do it and I wasn't pushed into it at all. I'm sure that my mom would have been happy with any path I chose. Maybe this one is difficult for her to watch because she has done it for so long herself; she knows both the triumphs and the really big lows.” Joely Fisher (on what her mother thought of her going into show business)
A Golden Globe award-nominated American performer of television, film and stage, Joely Fisher, the daughter of Hollywood celebrities Eddie Fisher and Connie Stevens, was launched to fame with her role as Paige Clark on the popular ABC sitcom “Ellen” (1994-1998), from which she received her first Golden Globe nomination. More recently, she is famous to TV viewers as Nina Fletcher in the mega-hit series “Desperate Housewives” (2005-2006). The multi-talented actress also has had regular roles in shows like Fox's “Normal, Ohio” (2000-2001), Lifetime's “Wild Card” (2003-2005) and “’Til Death” (also Fox, 2006-2007), as well as acted in a number of well-liked TV films, including “Jitters”(1997), “Seduction in a Small Town” (1997) and “Kidnapped in Paradise” (1999). Her big screen credits include “I'll Do Anything” (1994, with Nick Nolte), “Mixed Nuts” (1994, with Steve Martin), “Inspector Gadget” (1999, with Matthew Broderick), “Cougar Club” and “You” (both 2007). Fisher also starred in the Broadway productions of “Grease” (1995) and “Cabaret” (2000).
Off camera, Fisher is happily married to her husband of 11 years, Christopher Duddy, and has two lovely young daughters with him, Skylar and True. She also has two stepsons, Cameron (21) and Colin (19), from Duddy's previous marriage.
Fisher is a vegan and enjoys watching cooking shows. The actress is a fan of “American Idol” and has appeared in the audience for a few tapings. She also enjoys skiing.
Childhood and Family:
Joely Fisher was born on October 29, 1967, in Burbank, California, to singer/actor Eddie Fisher (born on August 8, 1938) and actress Connie Stevens (born on August 8, 1938). Her parents divorced when she was two years old and she lived with her mother and her younger sister Tricia Leigh Fisher (actress, born on December 26, 1968). She graduated from Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, California, and spent one semester at the University of Paris before enrolling at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. However, she quit before graduating to launch her acting career.
On December 31, 1996, Joely tied the knot with cinematographer Christopher Duddy. She gave birth to the couple's first girl, Skylar Grace Fisher-Duddy, on June 14, 2001. Her second child (also a girl), True Harlow Fisher-Duddy, was born on February 2, 2006. Joely practiced natural childbirth and had a home birth with True. On home birth, she said, “I decided to have her at home. We had a lot of friends around and of course her father was there and the doctor, the doula, the midwife, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker and my sister likes to say 'and Entertainment Tonight' because I don't do anything without catering and a gift bag and camera crew.”
In addition to Tricia, Joely also has two older half-siblings: actress Carrie Fisher (born in 1956) and producer Todd Fisher (born 1958), from her father's previous marriage to actress/singer Debbie Reynolds. She did not know she had any other siblings until she saw 1977's “Star Wars“ and was told that the actress starring as Princess Leia Organa was her half-sister.
Born to a family of actors, Joely Fisher knew she wanted to become an actress at an early age. She got her first taste of the spotlight at age 7 when she and younger sister Tricia sang a number in their mother's Las Vegas act. The sisters went on to tour the world with Stevens, during which time they attended many different schools and had tutors. The unstable life on the road, combined with living in the shadow of a famous mother, was not without cost. Fisher, who had after school jobs at an ice cream parlor and as a receptionist, experimented with drugs, alcohol and smoking and suffered from an eating disorder. Due to her heavy size, she was frequently cast as “the fat friend” in the few acting assignments she landed and was seen in the comedy film “Pretty Smart” (1987), starring her sister Tricia.
Fearing that her weight would ruin her opportunities of succeeding as an actress, Fisher decided to undergo therapy and clean up her life as well. It soon paid off. In the early 1990s, she landed a series of guest spots in such TV shows as “Growing Pains” (1990), “Blossom” (1991) and the CBS Schoolbreak Special, “Dedicated to the One I Love” (1991), opposite Danielle Ferland, before debuting in the TV film “The Companion” (1994). 1994 also saw Fisher portray a role, opposite Nick Nolte, in the James L. Brooks' “I'll Do Anything,” which marked her turning point.
Having been turned down for over 30 TV pilots, Fisher eventually scored a breakthrough when she won a role in the second season of the ABC comedy series “Ellen” (1994-1998), which starred Ellen DeGeneres. First broadcasting under the title “These Friends of Mine,” the show was revamped for its second season and became an instant hit among audiences and critics alike. As for Fisher, who played Paige Clark, a compulsive and buggy TV executive with an endowment for the dramatic, she was handed a 1998 Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She stayed with “Ellen” until 1998 when the show was canceled.
Fisher was next featured alongside Jim Carrey in “The Mask” (1994), teamed up with Steve Martin for “Mixed Nuts” (1994) and played Lauren Osborne in Leslie Nielsen's “Family Plan (1998). She also acted in such TV films as the based-on-novel “Seduction in a Small Town” (1997), with Melissa Gilbert, “Jitters” (1997) and “Perfect Prey” (1998), and provided the voice of Lana Lang in three episodes of the animated series “Superman” (1996-1997). During her 1995 break from “Ellen,” the actress made her Broadway debut in Tommy Tune's popular revival of the musical “Grease” in 1995.
Following the demise of “Ellen,” Fisher performed in the TV films “Thirst” (1998), “Coming Unglued” (1999), “Kidnapped in Paradise” (1999) and the movies “Inspector Gadget” (1999), starring Matthew Broderick, and “Nostradamus” (2000), alongside Rob Estes. She next portrayed the recurring roles of Hope Lustig in The WB's “Grosse Pointe” (2000) and the title character's former wife in the sitcom “Danny” (2001), as well as starred with John Goodman in the short-lived sitcom “Normal, Ohio” (Fox, 2000-2001). On stage, she assumed the role of Sally Bowles in the Broadway play “Cabaret” (2000), replacing Susan Egan, and while pregnant with her first child, she penned and performed a one-woman stage show titled “From Here to Maternity.”
After appearing as Lizzy Collins Spencer on the soon-canceled comedy “Baby Bob” (2002), Fisher landed her first leading role in a series when she was cast in the drama “Wild Card,” which ran on Lifetime from 2003 to 2005. Two months after the show went off the air, Fisher's career gained a boost with her high-profile recurring role on the mega-hit soap “Desperate Housewives” (2005-2006).
In the fall of 2006, Fisher made her return to series TV as a regular with the Fox sitcom “’Til Death.” More recently, in 2007, Fisher appeared in a film directed and co-written by her husband called “Cougar Club.” She also completed filming the independent film “You” (2007).
Aside from acting, Fisher is a gifted singer. She sang many times on her Lifetime show “Wild Card” and currently has two songs available on the Internet named “Welcome to Holiday Inn” and “Don't Ever Leave Me.” Along with her mother and sister, she has recorded the album “Traditions… a Family at Christmas.”
Golden Globes: Miss Golden Globe, 1992