Two days. Two deaths of iconic Hollywood actresses who were also mother and daughter.
Debbie Reynolds died Wednesday at 84, one day after daughter Carrie Fisher’s death.
It’s unclear why Reynolds died — she had complained of breathing problems, an unnamed sourced told the Los Angeles Times — but she was reeling emotionally from losing her daughter, who was 60.
“She spoke to me this morning and said she missed Carrie,” said Reynolds’ son Todd Fisher. “She’s with Carrie now. Reynolds’ long career in entertainment
In late November in an interview on WHYY’s “Fresh Air,” host Terry Gross spoke with Fisher about her mother.
Though famous, the two went through the same evolution that many moms and daughters experience — it can be feisty during the teenage years, and maybe into a daughter’s early 20s, but as the child ages, she begins to appreciate the wisdom, power and experience of the woman who, despite obstacles, raised her, lived as an example to her, loved her without condition.
“I could appreciate — she’s an immensely powerful woman. And I just admire my mother very much. She also annoys me sometimes when she’s, you know, mad at the nurses,” Fisher said, referring to a time years ago when Reynolds was ill. “But, you know, she’s an extraordinary woman, extraordinary.
“There are very few women from her generation who worked like that, who just kept a career going all her life and raised children and had horrible relationships and lost all her money and got it back again. I mean, she’s had an amazing life, and she’s someone to admire.”
Gross asked if Fisher admired her mother’s strength and accomplishments as Fisher got older.
“Oh, God, yeah. No, when I was a kid, I just thought she was someone who was telling me what to do. And I didn’t want to do it.”
Reynolds’ publicist Ed Lozzi spoke lovingly of her this week, saying that despite her star power, she treated everyone with respect.
“The people that worked for her … she was just so respectful and caring and thoughtful to her publicists and her agents,” Lozzi told CNN. “A lot of stars we worked for were not. She was special that way.”
Reynolds’ film career began after being spotted in a beauty pageant at age 16. She became famous when she was picked to co-star with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in “Singin’ in the Rain,” one of Hollywood’s best-known musicals.