Hollywood legend and mother of Star Wars actor Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds has passed away one day after her daughter died after suffering a massive heart attack on a flight to Chicago. Debby was 84.
Reynolds died on Wednesday after being brought to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for a medical emergency, reported a celibrity website.
On Tuesday, her daughter, author and screenwriter, Carrie died of complications from a heart attack she had suffered four days earlier while on a flight from London to LA.
“She wanted to be with Carrie,” her son Todd Fisher said.
Reynolds was taken to the hospital from Carrie’s Beverly Hills house after suffering a stroke.
The veteran actress released a statement about Carrie’s death, thanking fans for their support and for embracing “the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter.”
Born Mary Frances Reynolds in 1932, she got her first break at the age of 16, when Warner Bros. signed the newly crowned Miss Burbank as a contract player and gave her the stage name “Debbie.”
The actress quickly became America’s Sweetheart, appearing in “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952) and marrying pop idol Eddie Fisher, with whom she had two children.
Fisher left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor in 1958, setting in motion a messy divorce and public relations scandal that Carrie would later liken to the Aniston-Pitt-Jolie saga of the 21st century.
The Reynolds-Fisher divorce became final on May 12, 1959, Carrie was 2 at the time and Taylor and Fisher were wed less than four hours later. Taylor would go on to divorce Fisher in 1964 after she fell for Richard Burton on the set of “Cleopatra” (1963).
In 2010, Reynolds recalled how she found out her husband was cheating on her lonely at home while Fisher was away on tour, she called Taylor at home to chat. To her surprise, Fisher answered the phone.
In her 2008 autobiography “Wishful Drinking,” Carrie described her parents’ breakup, which started when her dad “flew to Elizabeth’s side, making his way slowly to her front.”
Also a singer, Reynolds’ recording of “Tammy” spent five weeks at Number 1 in 1957 and was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song.
The tune gave Reynolds the distinction of being the only woman to have a Number 1 record in the span between July 28, 1956, and December 1, 1958.
She also scored top 25 Billboard hits with “A Very Special Love” in 1958 and “Am I That Easy to Forget” in 1960.
Reynolds had one of the principal roles in 1962’s all-star Cinerama epic “How the West Was Won.” And in the 1960s she remained a star, despite the ho-hum box office performances of “Mary, Mary,” “Goodbye Charlie” and “The Singing Nun.”
The actress earned her first and only Oscar nomination in 1964 for the musical comedy “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and went on to star in her own short-lived NBC sitcom, “The Debbie Reynolds Show.”
During 1970s and ‘80s, she worked mainly on the stage. In 1974, she earned a best actress tony nomination for the musical revival “Irene”. However, she returned with a bang on the big screen in 1996 when Albert Brooks cast her as the acerbic title character in “Mother,” a role that earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
In 2000, she won an Emmy for her recurring role as Debra Messing’s feisty mom on NBC’s “Will and Grace.”
In her later years, Reynolds toured the country with her successful nightclub act. In 2010, she starred in her own West End show, “Debbie Reynolds: Alive and Fabulous.”
A collector of movie memorabilia, she was to oversee the relocation of the Debbie Reynolds’ Hollywood Motion Picture Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. But those plans were scrapped in 2009 when the developer went bankrupt.
Instead, she auctioned off much of her collection, including Marilyn Monroe’s white subway dress from “The Seven-Year Itch”.
In 2013, Reynolds released a memoir, “Unsinkable,” and appeared that same year in the HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra,” playing Liberace’s mother.
In 2015, she was honored with the SAG Life Achievement Award, which was presented by her daughter Carrie.
Reynolds is survived by her son Todd, a TV commercial director from her marriage to Fisher; and granddaughter, actress Billie Lourd.
(With Inputs from PTI)