December 27 was an epic shock to fans of “Star Wars” in general and of Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in four films of the multi-picture franchise (and a CGI cameo in one more). Fisher died that Tuesday, a few days after suffering a heart attack during a London-LA transatlantic flight. She was but 60 years old, “too soon” in the words of her former husband, singer-songwriter Paul Simon. Among the most devastated was Fisher’s mother, veritable screen icon Debbie Reynolds of the classic 1952 film musical “Singin’ in the Rain”. She had commented on Facebook her gratitude for the condolences and prayers of the numerous fans who had paid tribute to her daughter Carrie Fisher’s legacy. Nobody could’ve predicted what happened next.
As People tells it, in yet another parting salvo of the “celebrity-deadly” year 2016, only a mere day after mourning the loss of her daughter, Debbie Reynolds herself has joined her, dying Wednesday December 28 at age 84. Details provided by her son, Fisher’s brother Todd, have it that Reynolds was busying herself planning for Carrie’s funeral when she suffered what was believed to have been a stroke. Emergency services were called and she was rushed Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles.
Family members believe that Reynolds’ worry after Fisher’s heart attack and hospitalization over the preceding weekend were compounded by her eventual death, causing her own physical condition to deteriorate. Witnesses at her Beverly Hills home have it that her last words before the stroke were, “I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie.” Sources close to the family have revealed that Reynolds had endured several minor strokes in the past, with the final fatal one brought on perhaps by her grief.
Coming into showbiz prominence in the tail end of the golden age of cinema, Debbie Reynolds shot to stardom thanks to her acting, singing and dancing skills in “Singin’ in the Rain”. Her off-camera life was also a draw for fans, most especially the episode when her husband singer Simon Fisher – Carrie and Todd’s father – divorced her only to marry her best friend, the then-recently widowed Elizabeth Taylor. Despite the disappointments of her love life, with three marriages ending in divorce, Reynolds continued to wow moviegoers with her great talent, as seen in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, which was adapted for the stage with her reprising her role. While movie projects began to peter out with age, she continued being a hit on stage musicals and Las Vegas shows.
She is survived by son Todd Fisher, and her actress granddaughter, Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd. I’m sure she’s now with Carrie, one with the Force.
Photo Credit to http://consequenceofsound.net/