In a year replete with the passing of entertainment legends, Hollywood was stunned tonight with the news that Debbie Reynolds has 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 had suffered 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 that “She wanted to be with Carrie.”
Among others who mourned Reynolds was Albert Brooks, who directed and starred alongside Reynolds in his 1996 film Mother. “I can’t believe this happened one day after Carrie,” he said. “My heart goes out to Billie.
Comedy legend Carl Reiner, who worked with Reynolds in the 1959 black comedy The Gazebo and directed Carrie 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.
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. ❤
A photo posted by Debra Messing (@therealdebramessing) on Dec 28, 2016 at 6:52pm PST
It is beyond astonishing that both @carrieffisher & @DebbieReynolds1 have left this earth. I overwhelmingly adored & admired them both. 😢🌹🌹 pic.twitter.com/emLn1ZvwUd
— Sean Hayes (@SeanHayes) December 29, 2016