CHICAGO – Carrie Fisher was born into a showbiz family in 1956 — she is the daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds and started performing in Las Vegas shows at age 12.

And then, George Lucas showed up with an offer to play Princess Leia in the 1977 film “Star Wars,” thus immortalizing Fisher’s 21-year-old self. Things proceeded from there with Fisher battling drugs and other addictions, but also writing and performing voraciously.

Her one-woman show, “Wishful Drinking,” shares a title with her autobiography. The show played Broadway in 2009; it’s now on a national tour.

Here are some questions she answered during a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune.

Q: So your show, “Wishful Drinking,” can also be seen on HBO. Why should people pay good money to come and experience you in person?

A: Well, I’ve finished my new book now. My show is basically anecdotal memory. Now I have other anecdotes, other lives. I always change it up. Once you film it for HBO, you are redundant. Obviously, I am working against redundancy. But once you get to a certain age, you are working against a lot of things.

Q: Like Princess Leia and “Star Wars?”

A: I kept the Princess Leia shampoo and the soap and a few other things. I like the things where something is a little bit wrong. I also have one of the original “Star Wars” posters. The slogan is “How many times have you looked up and wondered what was going on?” They were trying different things out. That one just says so much about life.

Q: Among Hollywood celebrities with famously complex childhoods, you are an uncommonly good writer.

A: I fell in love with words early on. Books were my first drugs, they were a perfect escape. They’re structured, organized and they have happy endings. There is an internal life, whereas showbiz is so external. The books I liked most were novels. They make you an observer. I always was an observer.

Q: A little fame always strikes me as a nice thing. The kind of fame you were born into, not so much.

A: Yes, it’s nice to be able to get restaurant tables and access to doctors and such. But when you are in the middle of the other kind, you don’t know it’s the middle. I was accustomed to this chaos. I came into show business understanding that it was finite, that it would come to get you at some point. It would have been a neater trick for me to stay out of show business. I watched my parents’ fame fade. I saw what that did to them. I always say my mother and I should have done a “Grey Gardens.”

Q: So you always knew nothing lasts …

A: I call fame the “shine” and I was always living on “borrowed shine.” Princess Leia is famous; I’m not. I was Paul (Simon)’s wife. Show business isn’t friendly to older people. We like to watch good-looking people. If you can stop aging, more power to you. Some people take growth hormones. They look like beef jerky. I got really fat and I was so humiliated. Literally, my getting thinner has tragically given me this power of being better looking.

Kylie Minogue honored for breast cancer work

LONDON – Pop princess Kylie Minogue has received an honorary doctorate for her work raising awareness of breast cancer.

The singer, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2005, was made an honorary Doctor of Health Sciences by Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, southern England.

Wearing a doctoral cap and gown, Minogue told students at Wednesday’s graduation ceremony that being diagnosed with cancer made her “appreciate at first hand the hard work that goes on to support patients through it.”

Minogue underwent chemotherapy and surgery before resuming a career that has made her a superstar in Britain and her native Australia.

Big donation for Fordham

NEW YORK – Denzel Washington has donated $2.25 million to Fordham University, his alma mater.

The university said Monday that Washington has given $2 million to endow the Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre and another $250,000 to establish a scholarship for a minority undergraduate student studying theater at Fordham.

Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” has joined the school’s faculty as the first Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre.