Debbie Reynolds dies a day after actress daughter
Debbie Reynolds, the Singin’ in the Rain actress who tap-danced her way into people’s hearts as a star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, died on Wednesday, grief-stricken over the death of her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, a day earlier.
The 84-year-old suffered a stroke at son Todd Fisher’s home. Todd Fisher said his sister’s death was “just too much” for his mother.
“She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie,’ ” Fisher said. “And then she was gone.”
Her daughter died on Tues- day at age 60, days after falling ill on a flight.
While Reynolds embodied the sunshine of postwar America, Carrie Fisher brought the sarcasm and cynicism of the baby boomers to her movies, books and stage shows, even when she was playing a princess in Star Wars.
Both mother and daughter enjoyed the heights of show business success and endured the depths of personal troubles. Their relationship for years ranged from strained to nonexistent, but late in life they became allies and close confidantes in their struggles.
Reynolds, who had a long career in movies and television, lost one husband to Elizabeth Taylor and two other husbands plundered her for millions. Fisher struggled from early in life with addiction and mental illness.
“There have been a few times when I thought I was going to lose Carrie,” Reynolds said in 2011. “I’ve had to walk through a lot of my tears. But she’s worth it.”
After minor movie roles, MGM studio boss Louis B Mayer cast Reynolds in Singin’ in the Rain, despite star Gene Kelly’s objections. At 19, with little dance experience, she matched Kelly and Donald O’Connor, two of the screen’s best dancers, step for step.
Debbie Reynolds (left) and her daughter Carrie Fisher pose for a photo in 2011.