Carrie’s death was ‘too much’ for mum Debbie Reynolds, says son Todd

Actor and singer Debbie Reynolds died barely a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, with her final words being: “I want to be with Carrie,” writes Francesca Gosling.

Carrie’s death was ‘too much’ for mum Debbie Reynolds, says son Todd

The 84-year-old Singin’ In The Rain star died on Wednesday, her son Todd Fisher announced, saying: “She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken.”

“She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie’,” he added. “And then she was gone.”

She suffered a suspected stroke and emergency services were called at 1pm local time to her son’s Beverly Hills home, where they were making plans for Fisher’s funeral, according to Tmz.com.

Actor and director Mr Fisher, 58, speaking outside Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, where Reynolds was taken by ambulance, said the stress of his sister’s death on Tuesday at 60 “was too much” for their mother.

Carrie Fisher, who rose to fame for her role playing Princess Leia in Star Wars, died in hospital days after suffering a heart attack on a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles.

Reynolds was just a teenager when she landed a role in the 1950 film Three Little Words, for which she was nominated for a most promising newcomer Golden Globe.

She was perhaps most famous for playing Kathy Selden in the 1952 musical Singin’ In The Rain alongside Gene Kelly.

Her first of three marriages was to musician Eddie Fisher in 1955 and with him she had Carrie and Todd.

But their relationship ended sourly after his affair with Elizabeth Taylor.

Reynolds continued to have a loving relationship with her ex-husband’s children, including Joely Fisher, 49, who tweeted: “Some of the magic people have left the tribe ... for the moment I’m inconsolable...”

Reynolds had paid an emotional tribute to her daughter on Facebook.

She wrote: “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love Carrie’s Mother.”

The actresses enjoyed a tumultuous relationship, particularly during Fisher’s early forays into show business as she battled drug and alcohol addiction.

However, the bond between the mother and daughter always appeared special and last year Fisher handed Reynolds the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

In her speech, Fisher described Reynolds as being “more than a mother”.

She said: “She’s been an unsolicited stylist, interior decorator, and marriage counsellor”, before adding: “This is an extraordinarily kind, generous, gifted, funny woman who would give you the shirt off her back if Vivien Leigh hadn’t once worn it in Gone With The Wind, and it’s the Debbie Reynolds of the big screen who made it all possible.”

In a 1983 interview with Rolling Stone, Fisher compared her mother’s split from Eddie Fisher to Star Wars, and herself to her character Princess Leia.

“Dad goes off to the dark side, and mum marries a millionaire. My brother and I went in different directions on the Debbie and Eddie issue. He’s gotten involved with Jesus, and I do active work on myself, trying to make myself better and better. It’s funny.”

The two appeared together on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2011 in which Fisher said of her childhood: “My mother would get up in the morning as my mother, and then she’d go into this big closet she had ... she’d go in on this end as my mum, and come out the other end as Debbie Reynolds. It was like a car wash for celebrities.”

She also opened up about her “volatile” relationship with her mother during her youth. “I did not want to be around her. I did not want to be Debbie Reynolds’s daughter.” She added: “I wanted my own life. Her life was crazy at that time and I was in it and I was your confidant and it was chaos and it was hard for all of us.”

Mary Francis Reynolds was born on April 1 1932, in Depression-era poverty in El Paso, Texas, but was quick to find stardom.

The actor and singer was only 18 when her role in 1950s film Three Little Words earned her a Golden Globe nomination for most promising newcomer.

One of her most memorable roles came two years later when she portrayed the fiery Kathy Selden in Singin’ In The Rain.

She became synonymous with the Hollywood cinema glamour of the 50s and 60s, taking over the big screen with roles such as Pansy Hammer in The Affairs Of Dobie Gillis (1953), Jane Hurley in The Catered Affair (1956), Tammy in Tammy and the Batchelor (1957).

Celebrities mourn 'Hollywood Royalty's' passing

Celebrities have mourned the death of actress, singer, dancer and “Hollywood royalty” Debbie Reynolds.

Joan Collins, who starred alongside Reynolds in These Old Broads, said she was “truly heartbroken” by the news.

In a post on Twitter she wrote:

Star Trek actor William Shatner said on Twitter that Reynolds was “one of the last of Hollywood Royalty.”

Debra Messing, who played Reynolds’ on-screen daughter in Will & Grace, wrote on Instagram: “Debbie went to be with Carrie. She always worried about her. Carrie left too soon and now they are together again."

“My heart is literally broken. For 8 years she was my mom. She was pure energy & light when she came on stage.

“A Legend of course, the epitome of clean cut American optimism, dancing with Gene Kelly as an equal, a warrior woman who never stopped working.”

Eric McCormack, who plays Messing’s best friend in the sitcom, said: “The combination of the loss of @carrieffisher & then her mom @DebbieReynolds1 is too much. I’m really at a loss here... #toomuch16.”

Sean Hayes, who also starred in Will & Grace, wrote: “It is beyond astonishing that both @carrieffisher & @DebbieReynolds1 have left this earth. I overwhelmingly adored & admired them both.”

Actor and screenwriter Mark Gatiss quoted Reynold’s lyrics from You Are My Lucky Star which she performed in Singin’ In The Rain.

He posted on Twitter:

Actor George Takei wrote: “There is nothing harder than having to bury a child. Debbie died of a broken heart, but she’s with her daughter now.”

Mia Farrow tweeted:

I Dream Of Jeannie actor Barbara Eden wrote: “Deepest condolences to the family of Debbie Reynolds. I was just notified of her passing. Such a talented charming lady & a good mother.”

Musician and actor Juliette Lewis wrote: “Kindred souls taking flight again.God bless #RipDebbieReynolds #RipCarrieFisher.”

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres said: “I can’t imagine what Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’ family are going through this week. I send all of my love.”

Actor Albert Brooks wrote: “Debbie Reynolds, a legend and my movie mom. I can’t believe this happened one day after Carrie. My heart goes out to Billie.”

TV presenter Larry King said: “Debbie Reynolds was pure class. She was loving, talented, beautiful, unsinkable. I feel sorry for anyone who never got a chance to meet her.”

We remember some of the people who passed away in 2016

More in this section