Carrie Fisher's 1978 Oscar Date Recalls His Unexpected Evening With 'Star Wars' Royalty

George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and John Belushi were all part of one 27-year-old's storied night.
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Carrie Fisher and Tom Coleman in 1978

Being the date of Star Wars royalty has its perks. 

Tom Coleman was 27 in 1978 when his company Atlantic Releasing received an unexpected Oscar nomination in the foreign-language category for the film Madame Rosa, and though the New Yorker was not planning on attending the ceremony, a legendary publicist got wind that Carrie Fisher also had no plans to attend — and asked if they would be interested in going together. 

Both agreed, and as Coleman recounts in this week's issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine, it was definitely a night to remember. During the limo ride over, Fisher asked if their group would like to stop by and say hello to George Lucas, who was hosting a pre-Oscar party for the Star Wars cast and crew, who were riding high from releasing their worldwide phenomenon the summer before.  

"Carrie did not know the exact address, so we stopped in front of what we guessed was the right place on La Brea Avenue, and our driver went in to check. Moments later, George and Marcia Lucas approached our car with wide grins. They ushered us into the restaurant filled with the Star Wars family, and when Carrie walked in, a spontaneous cheer broke out — their Princess Leia had arrived. The love for her was palpable. I was in awe," writes Coleman in his THR guest column.

Later, when their limo arrived at the ceremony, Coleman was greeted by another filmmaker he admired.

"As we pulled up to the curb, I was amazed to see that it was not an attendant who opened our door but Steven Spielberg, who was nominated that year for directing Close Encounters of the Third Kind (still my favorite sci-fi film of all time). He had been waiting for us to arrive just so he could say hello to Carrie," writes Coleman.

Things only got better from there. His film, Madame Rosa, took home an Oscar, while Star Wars nabbed seven wins.

There's a lot more here, including details of what happened after the ceremony (which included dancing with Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds, and palling around with John Belushi). Read all the details here.

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