Actress Debbie Reynolds dies a day after daughter Carrie Fisher

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Actress Debbie Reynolds, who began her storied career in the musical movie “Singin’ in the Rain,” died a day after her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, died following a massive heart attack.

Reynolds, who suffered a stroke, died on Wednesday at the age of 84.

Reynolds was rushed to the hospital at about 1 p.m. on Wednesday from her son Todd Fisher’s home in Beverly Hills, California. TMZ reported that the two were making plans for Carrie Fisher’s funeral when she suffered an apparent stroke.

Todd Fisher said that his mother was under a lot of stress and wanted to be with her daughter.

ADVERTISEMENT

“She went to be with Carrie. In fact, those were the last words that she spoke this morning,” he told E! News. “More specifically, she said that she really, she was under a lot of stress.”

Carrie Fisher died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack a day earlier on a flight from London to Los Angeles. She reportedly never regained consciousness after being removed from the flight.

The relationship between Reynolds and her daughter was the main subject of Carrie Fisher’s book, “Postcards from the Edge,” which has been called semi-autobiographical. The women were portrayed by Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine in a movie adaptation of the book.

Reynolds divorced Todd and Carrie’s Jewish father, Eddie Fisher, in 1959, after he had an affair with Elizabeth Taylor, who he was then married to for 5 years; unlike Reynolds, Taylor converted to Judaism to marry Fisher. Reynolds married two other times in 1960 and 1984, and pronounced all of her marriages disasters.

Carrie Fisher had presented her mother with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award earlier this year.

Reynolds starred as Kathy Seldin in “Singin’ in the Rain” at the age of 19. Her decades-long career as an actress and singer included starring roles in films including “The Affairs of Dobie Gillis,” “The Tender Trap,” “Tammy and the Bachelor,” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”

She had her own television show in the 1970s and starred in the Broadway revival of the musical “Irene.”  She played Grace’s mother Bobbi on ten episodes of the long-running television series “Will & Grace.

She had been ill in the last year, but had said she planned to resume performing.

Sign up for Your Morning Light