Debbie Reynolds—star of films including Singin’ in the Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown—has died at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai hospital. She was 84 years old.
Reynolds is perhaps most remembered for the heartbreaks in her life, which included losing her husband, Eddie Fisher, to Elizabeth Taylor; losing the Oscar for her nominated performance in Molly Brown to Julie Andrews’ Mary Poppins; a 1997 bankruptcy; and, most recently, losing daughter Carrie Fisher only one day prior due to complications from a heart attack.
“She wanted to be with Carrie,” son Todd Fisher told Variety.
Reynolds had been hospitalized Wednesday night after a suspected stroke.
Her life was hardly a sob story, though. In 2005 Reynolds won the Costume Designers Guild Awards’ President’s Award for her conservation of classic Hollywood costumes. In 2015, she received the Screen Actors Guild’s lifetime achievement award, and in the same year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented her with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
She was also a humanitarian and philanthropist, one of many actors who founded the Thalians in 1955, a charitable org tasked with raising awareness of mental health issues.
Carrie Fisher’s ’87 novel Postcards of Edge was long-rumored to be based on Fisher’s tempestuous relationship with her mother. In the 1990 film adaptation, the character presumably based on Reynolds was played by Shirley MacLaine.
More coverage on Reynolds and her legacy to come.
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