Friday, July 12, 2024

Soap Actress Catherine Hickland On the Passing of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher: “Never in a million years did we see that coming”


You may not know it, but Carrie Fisher’s sister in law, and Debbie Reynolds’ daughter in law, is soap actress Catherine Hickland. Catherine is married to Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother and Debbie’s son. She’s published a lovely remembrance on her website, which I’ve excerpted here. (I’ve added paragraph breaks.)  It’s still hard to believe that Carrie and Debbie are gone, but Hickland manages to put it in some perspective. Bravo!

When Todd and I decided to get married, Carrie, Debbie and Carrie’s incredible assistant, Byron, planned our wedding. Debbie was not feeling well when we decided to get married, and so Carrie thought it was best if we got married at her home so that Debbie could come and go easily if she didn’t feel well enough to stay during the reception.

Carrie was Todd’s “best man.” Carrie did what Carrie wanted and everyone understood that, so I didn’t think a thing of it when she smoked an e-cigarette throughout the entire ceremony. At one point she spontaneously suggested that Todd, I, and our friend and pastor Henry Cutrona, take a hit off of the “peace pipe” to seal the deal. What were we going to say? We all took a puff. The guests howled.

During the prayer before the rings, when everyone’s eyes were closed, Carrie dropped the ring. Ping! It went rolling in a circle, causing a few people to crack their eyes open and sneak a peek to see what was going on, only to find her on all fours looking for the ring before the prayer ended. I admit, I was peeking. The look on her face was priceless. She found it in time.

On this last Christmas Eve, as I was tucking Debbie in, I asked her how she was being so strong amidst such a painful crisis, and she said, “all of this is very stressful, I am trying to keep my stress levels down, because if I allow it, it will take me.” Now thinking back, I realize at that time, there was still some hope that her daughter might somehow miraculously pull through, and if that happened, then by God, she was going to be here, strong of mind and body to be by her side.

After Carrie left for her next stop, Mom decided to go “Home” and be at peace with her girl.Losing one was enough of a shock, losing them both at once was unimaginable. Never in a million years did we see that coming.To say I will miss Debbie, and Carrie, two of the most powerful personalities I have ever known, seem like insignificant words. It will be much more than missing.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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