In the stunning wake of the death of actress Carrie Fisher comes a most tragic sequel. Her beloved mother, the legendary Debbie Reynolds, aged 84, has now passed away.
The news of Reynolds death, coming on the day the world was already mourning the loss of her daughter, is even more heart-wrenching when you hear of her final thoughts and last words, both of which were for her daughter.
According to TMZ, Reynolds told her son Todd Fisher, “I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie.”
And as if it had been written for the saddest movie you could ever see, Reynolds died from a stroke a few hours later.
According to reports, Reynolds had suffered failing-health and a couple of strokes earlier this year Her son believed the news of Carrie’s death was simply more than his mother could bear.
In 1952 at the age of 19, Reynold’s danced and sang her way into the hearts of a very admiring public when she starred in Singing’ in the Rain with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. It was her first leading role, and from there, the the young star went on to have a very illustrious and celebrated career.
An interesting footnote to Singin’ in the Rain is that Reynolds wasn’t a dancer when she was cast in the movie. She had actually been a gymnast, but, according to director Gene Kelly, she was always the first choice for the part.
That didn’t stop Kelly from later upbraiding Reynolds on the set for her lack of dance experience. Apparently he sent her running from the room in tears. Fred Astaire, who happened to be there, found Reynolds hiding under a piano, and volunteered to help her with her dancing.
Astaire’s lessons paid off like gangbusters adding another skill to Reynolds’ repertoire making her an undisputed Hollywood triple threat. Since then, she has become Hollywood royalty, her daughter a Princess Royal.
Born in 1932 in El Paso, Texas, Mary Frances “Debbie” Reynolds was also a businesswoman, running her own hotel in Las Vegas. She was a film historian and humanitarian. When she was young, she joined the Girl Scouts, and remarked in an interview that she wanted to die as the world’s oldest living Girl Scout.
Her marriage to Eddie Fisher in 1955 produced their two children, Carrie and Todd, both of whom made handsome careers in show business. However, it ended very scandalously four years later when Fisher left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds was married two more times, her last marriage ending in divorce in 1986.
In 2016, a documentary about her life was released titled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. It’s slated to air on HBO in March 2017.
Hollywood’s reaction to the passing of this legendary lady and her lovely daughter has been one of shocked heartbreak. And I think it’s going to take a long time for Hollywood and fans alike to get over this one. Perhaps we can take some solace in the fact they are together.
On a day like today, maybe only Debbie herself can make you smile. Here she is singing “Dream of You” from Singin’ in the Rain and she is simply adorable.