Carrie Fisher's mother Debbie Reynolds dies
Film legend Debbie Reynolds has died aged 84 – a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, the beloved Star Wars actress.
Reynolds’ passing was confirmed by her son Todd Fisher, who said: “She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken.
“She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie.’ And then she was gone.”
He told the Associated Press that the stress of his sister’s death “was too much” for their mother and that she had suffered a stroke.
Reynolds was a renowned actress in her own right. She was thrust into the limelight when she starred alongside Gene Kelly in the 1952 classic Singin’ in the Rain, which would become one of her best-known roles.
:: Celebrity deaths in 2016
It was claimed that she had been discussing arrangements for her daughter’s funeral when she fell ill at about 9pm UK time on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for the LA Fire Department had earlier said that a woman was escorted to hospital from an address in Beverly Hills in a “fair to serious condition”, but could not confirm it was Reynolds owing to privacy laws.
Countless actors have paid tribute to Reynolds, with William Shatner describing her as “one of the last of Hollywood royalty”.
Last year, Reynolds received an honorary Oscar known as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award – but was too ill to attend the ceremony.
Her 60-year-old daughter Carrie, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, died on Tuesday – four days after she suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
After she died, Reynolds wrote in a Facebook post: “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.”
In November, Fisher had spoken of how she admired her mother – and told NPR radio that Reynolds had recently suffered setbacks with her health.
Fisher said: “(My mother is) an immensely powerful woman … There’s very few women from her generation who worked like that, who just kept a career going all her life, and raised children, and had horrible relationships, and lost all her money, and got it back again.
“I mean, she’s had an amazing life, and she’s someone to admire.”
Debbie Reynolds cd sing, dance & gave dazzling performances. RIP doesn’t sound right for her or Carrie-I hope they’re somewhere having fun
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) December 29, 2016
Debbie Reynolds was one of the last of Hollywood Royalty. It breaks my heart that she is gone. I’d hoped that my grieving was done for 2016.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 29, 2016
Reynolds had been married three times – and her first marriage to Eddie Fisher, Carrie’s father, ended in humiliation after he left her for fellow screen icon Elizabeth Taylor.
In another turn of misfortune, Reynolds’ second husband gambled away most of her savings – and her third marriage to a real estate developer ended in divorce in 1996.
Reynolds once said in an interview that she had more luck selecting restaurants than men.
In an interview a few months after Elizabeth Taylor’s death in 2011, Reynolds described how she had buried the hatchet with her one-time love rival when they were both passengers on the Queen Elizabeth.
She had told The Huffington Post: “I sent a note to her and she sent a note to me in passing, and then we had dinner together.
“(Elizabeth) was married to Richard Burton by then. I had been remarried at that point. And we just said, ‘Let’s call it a day.’ And we got smashed. And we had a great evening, and stayed friends since then.”
A documentary about her relationship with her daughter, titled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and is due to be broadcast on HBO in March.