UPDATED with Todd Fisher tribute: In a year replete with the passing of entertainment legends, Hollywood was stunned Wednesday with the news that Debbie Reynolds had died at age 84. Friends, colleagues, and those who admired her praised Reynolds as an icon, an inspiration, and one of the last of Hollywood’s golden age.
Many also noted the tragic circumstances, as Reynolds had suffered a stroke this morning just one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, who’d had a heart attack while flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday. Those circumstances, underscored by the close, often tumultuous relationship between Reynolds and her daughter, were on the mind of Reynolds’ son Todd, who told Deadline sister site Variety, “She wanted to be with Carrie.”
Todd Fisher also shared a tribute below:
Among others who mourned Reynolds was Albert Brooks, who directed and starred alongside Reynolds in his 1996 film Mother:
Comedy legend Carl Reiner, who worked with Reynolds in the 1959 black comedy The Gazebo and directed Fisher in his 1990 comedy Sibling Rivalry, was similarly bereft. “How shocked we were to learn that Debbie Reynolds passed away just a day after her daughter Carrie. I loved & worked both of these icons,” he said on Twitter.
Still others who knew or simply admired Reynolds and her equally famous daughter expressed admiration and condolences. Read on for a sampling.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris:
“I was deeply saddened to learn of Debbie Reynold’s passing. We have lost a unique talent and a national treasure. Coming so close to the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, this is truly a double tragedy. Their imprint on our culture is profound and they both will live on. On behalf of the SAG-AFTRA membership, our hearts go out to their family and loved ones.
Debbie went to be with Carrie. She always worried about her. Carrie left too soon and now they are together again. My heart is literally broken. For 8 years she was my mom. She was pure energy & light when she came on stage. She was loving, and bawdy, and playful- a consummate pro- old school and yet had the work ethic and investment in her craft of a new fiery up and comer. She was always running off to Vegas or somewhere else “on the road” to be a hoofer, to sing and dance and make people laugh. She performed 340 days out of the year. An inspiration on every level. A Legend of course, the epitome of clean cut American optimism, dancing with Gene Kelly as an equal, a warrior woman who never stopped working. A devoted mother and grandmother, and aunt and great aunt, and friend. I lost my mom a few years ago. She loved that Debbie was my TV mom. I hope they find each other and hug and kiss and my mom says, “I got you, Debbie. Carrie’s waiting for you.” RIP Bobbie Adler. ❤
— Sean Hayes (@SeanHayes) December 29, 2016
Gary Marsh,President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide: “Through her role as the magical Grandmother Agatha Cromwell in four “Halloweentown” movies, Debbie Reynolds became as beloved by Disney Channel viewers as she was by their parents and grandparents. We join the film, theatre, recording and TV community in extending our condolences to her family.”