December 29, 2016


Actress Debbie Reynolds, Mother of Carrie Fisher, Dead at 84

Theo Wargo/WireImage
Theo Wargo/WireImage

Update (9:25 p.m.): Debbie Reynolds' son Todd Fisher confirmed that the Singin' in the Rain star has died at the age of 84. "She said, 'I want to be with Carrie.' And then she was gone." He added that his sister's death was "too much" for their mother to take.

Reynolds' untimely passing occurred a few hours after she was taken into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for an emergency. The star began to wow the Hollywood world in the early '50s.

Original story (5 p.m.): TMZ is reporting that 84-year-old Academy Award–nominated actress Debbie Reynolds, one day after the death of daughter Carrie Fisher, has "suffered a medical emergency, which we're told is a possible stroke." The hospitalization story says Reynolds was at the home of her son, Todd Fisher, planning Carrie's funeral. The site quotes "family sources" and says 911 was called around 1 p.m.

Variety adds, via an L.A. Fire Department spokesperson who would not confirm Reynolds' identity, that "an adult female patient was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in fair-to-serious condition."

Carrie Fisher died on Dec. 27 at age 60, having suffered a heart attack on Dec. 23. She dedicated her November memoir The Princess Diarist to Reynolds (among others), referring to a recent series of strokes and subsequent health troubles:

"For my mother—for being too stubborn and thoughtful to die. I love you, but that whole emergency, almost dying thing, wasn't funny. Don't even THINK about doing it again in any form."

Shortly after news of Fisher's death, Reynolds—whose work includes Charlotte's Web and 1964's The Unsinkable Molly Brown—wrote on Facebook, "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 Carries Mother."

Speaking to Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air one month ago, Fisher said of Reynolds' recent health struggle:

"There were days we thought she was going to die. Yeah, she stopped breathing. But, and I said to the nurse once, I said, you know, 'Have you ever seen someone come back from this place?' 'Cause she could—she had two words left that she could say. And the woman said, 'Sometimes.' And she came back. She's fully back. ... I mean, she can't walk as easily. And she's a little more fragile, but she—she's there."

In 2015, Debbie Reynolds received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars.