In what is maybe the most extraordinary Hollywood ending ever Debbie Reynolds has died one day after her famous daughter Carrie Fisher. Todd Fisher said his mother wanted to be with his sister. They leave behind Carrie’s daughter Billie to deal with cruel tragedy. Unbelievable.
What is going on here? How did this happen? All I know is that for several days, a posting on Debbie Reynolds’ Twitter that Carrie was “Stable” was taken seriously and literally by news organizations. In reality, Reynolds has not been seen in almost two years publicly.
In January 2015 she appeared at the SAG Awards to pick up her Lifetime Achievement honor. In her acceptance speech, Reynolds repeated herself and contradicted herself, and got lost. Clearly, something was wrong with our Debbie.
By November 2015 she was unable to accept her Oscar Lifetime Achievement Award. She sent granddaughter Billie to the Governors Awards to make a speech. Carrie was there, of course. That was a little over a year ago. Debbie Reynolds had not been seen in that time.
So we don’t exactly how frail Debbie Reynolds really was when she had to be told her daughter had died. It was obviously too much for her. And she obviously had not been Tweeting anything at all. News organizations just picked up the story and ran with it.
Watching Oprah’s 2011 interview with mother and daughter, it’s also pretty clear that they tied to each other in deep ways. And now, in what seems like a snap of fingers, they are gone. It’s surreal.
When Carrie was touring her one woman show “Wishful Drinking,” she made a stop in Hartford, where my own mother — a theatre critic– spotted Debbie in the audience. No fuss was made over her. She was just there, my mom says. My mom approached her and asked Debbie why she was there in Hartford, Connecticut. It wasn’t like this was a Broadway opening.
My mom says Debbie responded, “Where else would I be? It’s my daughter.”
Says it all, I think.