The actress, 60, was aboard an 11-hour flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday when she suffered a heart attack. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she died on Tuesday.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, Simon, 75, referred to Tuesday as “a horrible day” — calling Fisher “a special, wonderful girl.”
Simon and Fisher had an explosive love affair — marrying in 1983 and divorcing a year later, and then continuing to date on and off for about a decade before ending their relationship.
In Peter Ames Carlin’s biography Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon, their tumultuous relationship was explained as a mix of love and personal crises — stemming from their swinging states of depression, Fisher’s drug use and an array of personal insecurities.
“They fought a lot,” writes Carlin — describing one scene in which they yelled at each other and stopped just as abruptly because they were “laughing too hard to snarl anymore.”
According to the book, Fisher was already heavily involved with drugs (she began using at age 13) when she was first introduced to Simon while filming Star Wars. Though she was being pursued by three other men, her attraction to Simon was instantaneous.
“Once they saw each other, no one else mattered to either of them,” Carlin wrote. They quickly moved into an apartment in New York City’s Central Park West together.
The couple married there and continued to celebrate while he was on tour — with Fisher appearing in skits as Simon hosted episodes of Lorne Michaels’ comedy series, The New Show.
Their joyous start didn’t last, though. The newlyweds eventually return to reality where “the same problems were waiting just where they had left them.” After less than a year, they divorced.
They would reconcile a few months later — first talking to each other and then moving to dating and living with each other. But their problems were still there. Though Fisher went to rehab in the mid ’80s, she still suffered from severe bipolar disorder. Simon, meanwhile, was in therapy because of his own unhappiness.
Eventually they’d find themselves together in the Amazon — where Simon was recording an album. Together they visited a spiritual healer called a brujo. During that experience, Fisher had a revelation that she would never be able to escape “Paul’s ever-spinning, ever-controlling brain.” They left Brazil and Fisher left Simon for good.
Simon married wife Edie Brickell in 1992, while Fisher went on to have a relationship with talent agent Bryan Lourd. They have one child together — actress Billie Lourd, 24.
“Abandoned and forsaken,” Simon sang in “She Moves On,” a song he wrote after Fisher had left him. “As if she’d captured the breath of my voice in a bottle / And I can’t catch it back.”
The song took on new meaning after her death: “When the road bends / And the song ends / She moves on.”