Debbie Reynolds, the film and stage star best known for Singin’ in the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, has passed away at the age of 84. The tragic news comes just one day after the death of her daughter, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. Our thoughts are with her family.
Reynolds’ death was confirmed by her son Todd Fisher, who said, “She wanted to be with Carrie.” She passed away at Cedars-Sinai hospital, where she had been taken earlier in the day after a suspected stroke.
Born in 1932 in El Paso, Texas, Reynolds entered showbiz as a teenager and went on to enjoy a long and storied career. One of her very first movie roles came in 1950’s Three Little Words, for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, but it was her starring turn two years later in Singin’ in the Rain that would launch her into bonafide stardom. In 1964, she received an Oscar nomination for The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Other notable works from the course of her nearly seven-decade career include How the West Was Won, The Singing Nun, and In & Out. Her last film was Steven Soderbergh’s 2013 HBO film Behind the Candelabra, in which she played Liberace’s mother Frances.
In addition to her acting career, Reynolds was also known for her commitment to philanthropy. Earlier this year, the Academy presented her with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for being one of the founding members of the Thalians, a mental health charity. She also dedicated herself to the preservation of film history, amassing a huge collection of movie memorabilia including Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch and Judy Garland’s blue dress from The Wizard of Oz. She opened a museum to display her collection in Las Vegas in the 1990s, and ultimately auctioned off her collection just a few years ago.
Reynolds is survived by her son, Todd Fisher, and her granddaughter, Billie Lourd.
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How freakishly beautiful is my 83 yr-old alleged mother? She must drink bats blood & smear bugs brains on her skin. pic.twitter.com/rLi7wIjTyb
— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) May 2, 2015