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UPDATED Debbie Reynolds dies one day after death of daughter Carrie Fisher

The Hollywood star's stress from her daughter's death "was too much," son says.

Nevil Gibson
Thu, 29 Dec 2016


Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds, 84, has died of a stroke, just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher also died after a heart on a flight from Los Angeles from London.

Ms Reynolds' son, Todd Fisher, said the stress of his sister’s death “was too much” for his mother, the star of musicals and romantic comedies from the 1950s onward.

“She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken,” he told the Associated Press from Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, where his mother was taken by ambulance on Wednesday.

Ms Reynolds' first leading role came in 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain as Kathy Selden, a voice dubber who becomes a star as the film industry transitioned to talkies.

In 1957, she starred in Tammy and the Bachelor and recorded a song for the film, “Tammy,” that hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

She received an Academy Award nomination for best actress of The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1964. Her other film credits include The Catered Affair, How the West Was Won, Mother and In & Out.

She received a Tony Award nomination for best theatre actress for Irene in 1973 and made numerous guest appearances on television shows. She won an Emmy Award for her work on Will & Grace and recently starred as Liberace’s mother in the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra.

Ms Reynolds married twice following her divorce from Eddie Fisher, to shoe businessman Harry Karl and real-estate developer Richard Hamlett. She is survived by Todd Fisher and granddaughter Billie Lourd, an actress.  

Earlier report: Star Wars' Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) dies after heart attack
Star Wars’ Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher, 60, has died after a heart attack on a flight back from London to Los Angeles on Friday.

“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” a statement from family spokesman Simon Halls says. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly.”

Ms Fisher had been hospitalised at the UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles for several days after the arrival of her aircraft.

She was the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and the late singer Eddie Fisher.

Ms Fisher became one of the most famous people in the world after her performance as Leia, the commanding princess of George Lucas’ space opera classics: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, all released between 1977 and 1983 .

She reprised the role last year in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the biggest box office hit of 2015.

Revealing memoirs
As a child of Hollywood, she was also a successful author (Wishful Drinking, Postcards from the Edge, The Princess Diarist), which revealed her troubled personal life of addiction, affairs and mental illness, as well as being an unpredictable talk-show guest.

She was particularly open about her bipolar disorder and the electroshock treatment she received for it.

Her other acting credits include Shampoo, Hannah and Her Sisters, When Harry Met Sally… and The Blues Brothers. She was also a script writer/doctor (Hook, Sister Act and The Wedding Singer).

In the stage adaptation of Wishful Drinking, she led the audience through the circuitous network of affairs and divorces that animates her family tree.

Ms Fisher was married briefly to singer Paul Simon and is survived by actress Billie Lourd, a daughter whose father is talent agent Bryan Lourd. 

Nevil Gibson
Thu, 29 Dec 2016
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UPDATED Debbie Reynolds dies one day after death of daughter Carrie Fisher