The daughter of onetime marrieds Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher (and the half sister of actress Carrie Fisher), Joely Fisher grew up in the shadow of show business and suffered through a typically complex Hollywood childhood. At an early age, she had to contend with her father's substance abuse problems, a broken home, her own addiction to overeating, and a host of other complications. Unlike others with her familial background, however, Fisher resisted the lures and the pitfalls of childhood stardom and generally remained out of the spotlight. She spent most of her childhood estranged from her dad and traveling on the road with her mother, then attended Emerson College in Boston as a musical theater major.
Following a couple of guest spots on Growing Pains during the very early '90s, Fisher finally debuted in features in 1994 -- when the then-26-year-old turned up in a host of A-list releases including the James L. Brooks comedy I'll Do Anything and the Jim Carrey comic fantasy The Mask. A regular role on the Ellen DeGeneres sitcom Ellen ensued, as did a supporting turn as homosexual Butch Gamble's (John Goodman) promiscuous sister Pamela on the short-lived Fox sitcom Normal, Ohio (2000). Fisher also made a mark in network telemovies during the late '90s and early 2000s, such as the efforts Seduction in a Small Town (1997) and Kidnapped in Paradise (1998). In 2006, the actress signed on as one of the leads, a wife in an emotionally strained 24-year-old marriage, on the Fox situation comedy 'Til Death.