Two American icons whose work, I admire and whose career I have followed for decades passed less than 24 hours apart. Even worse, they were mother and daughter.
On Tuesday morning, actress Carrie Fisher age 60 known to many as Princess Leaia Organa from the original Star Wars Movies passed away. Fisher had a heart attack a few days earlier while flying from London to Los Angeles and never came out of it.
Twenty-four hours later, Fisher’s 86-year-old grieving mother, Debbie Reynolds collapsed after traveling to her son, Todd Fisher’s home where arrangements to discuss the funeral plans for her daughter’s funeral. Reports are that her final words were, “I want to be with Carrie.”
The family who must now bury two of their loved ones suspect that Reynolds suffered a stroke.
… The vivacious blonde, who had a close but sometimes tempestuous relationship with her daughter, was one of MGM’s principal stars of the 1950s and ’60s in such films as the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain” and 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” for which she received an Oscar nomination as best actress.
Reynolds received the SAG lifetime achievement award in January 2015; in August of that year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences voted to present the actress with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Nov. 14 Governors Awards, but she was unable to attend the ceremony due to an “unexpectedly long recovery from a recent surgery.”
Reynolds had a wholesome girl-next-door look which was coupled with a no-nonsense attitude in her roles. They ranged from sweet vehicles like “Tammy” to more serious fare such as “The Rat Race” and “How the West Was Won.”
Final tweet from Debbie Reynolds:
Carrie is in stable condition.If there is a change,we will share it. For all her fans & friends. I thank you for your prayers & good wishes. pic.twitter.com/isXJqqFEB6
— Debbie Reynolds (@DebbieReynolds1) December 25, 2016
Family spokesman Simon Halls released a statement to PEOPLE on behalf of Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd:
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” reads the statement.
“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” says Lourd, 24. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
My heart breaks for any parent who must bury a child but this in under 24 hours is shocking no doubt to the family and to the world. I cannot imagine what those left behind who now must plan a double funeral or two separate funerals are feeling at this moment.
Sympathies extended to the family, friends and loved ones of Carrie Fisher and mother, Debbie Reynolds and may God bless and comfort them in their hour of grief.
Surely, these two American icons will live on in the hearts of millions and on the screen. May both mother and daughter rest in peace.