Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Debbie Reynolds Dies One Day After Her Daughter, Carrie Fisher

She told her son Todd Fisher that she would soon be with Carrie


January 1, 2017

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds at the opening of Star Wars, the Force Awakens

On December 28, 2016, one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, Reynolds was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, in fair-to-serious condition after suffering a stroke at her son's home. Later that afternoon, she died in the hospital. Her son Todd Fisher tweeted that her last words were that she wanted to be "with Carrie."

Reynolds, 84, complained of breathing problems, an unidentified source told the Los Angeles Times. The Times notes that, unlike Fisher, Reynolds was in poor health all year.

Margaret Stewart, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles City Fire Department, said paramedics provided medical aid in the 1700 block of Coldwater Canyon Drive, and a woman in fair to serious condition was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center. The woman’s identity, age or symptoms were not revealed, citing privacy laws.

TMZ reported Reynolds was at her son’s house discussing funeral plans for Carrie Fisher, 60, who died after a heart episode last week on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

Her son told CNN this morning that people should “Pray for her” but gave no details.

Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds, 84, was an actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, and humanitarian.

Her breakout role was the portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. However, it was her first leading role in 1952 at age 19, as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain, that set her on the path to fame. By the mid-1950s, she was a major star. Other notable successes include The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), Susan Slept Here (1954), Bundle of Joy (1956 Golden Globe nomination), The Catered Affair (1956 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress Winner), and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), in which her rendering of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the music charts. In 1959, she released her first pop music album, entitled Debbie.[1]

She starred in How the West Was Won (1963), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), a biographical film about the famously boisterous Molly Brown. Her performance as Molly Brown earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other notable films include The Singing Nun (1966), Divorce American Style (1967), What's the Matter with Helen? (1971), Mother (1996 Golden Globe nomination), and In & Out (1997). Reynolds was also a noted cabaret performer. In 1979 she founded the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood, which still operates today.

2 year old Carrie Fisher with her mother, Debbie Reynolds.

In 1973 Reynolds starred in a Broadway revival of the musical Irene and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. In 1969 she starred in her own television show The Debbie Reynolds Show, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. She was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance in A Gift of Love (1999) and an Emmy Award for playing Grace's mother Bobbi on Will & Grace. At the turn of the millennium, Reynolds reached a new younger generation with her role as Aggie Cromwell in Disney's Halloweentown series. In 1988 she released her autobiography titled, Debbie: My Life. In 2013, she released an updated version titled Unsinkable: A Memoir.

Reynolds was a noted businesswoman, having operated her own hotel in Las Vegas. She was also a collector of film memorabilia, beginning with the landmark 1970 MGM auction. She was the former president of The Thalians, an organization dedicated to mental health causes. Reynolds continued to perform successfully on stage, television, and film into her eighties. In January 2015, Reynolds received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In August 2015, it was announced Reynolds would be the recipient of the 2016 Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. In 2016, a documentary about her life was released titled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.


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