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US actress Debbie Reynolds dies, a day after daughter Carrie Fisher

bbc.com

US actress Debbie Reynolds has died, a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, her son announced.

US media say the 84-year-old had a stroke. She was taken to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday.

The Hollywood legend is best known for her role in the 1952 musical Singin’ in the Rain, opposite Gene Kelly.

Fisher – renowned for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars series – died on Tuesday aged 60, following a cardiac arrest on a plane.

Reynolds had been taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre after falling ill.

Announcing her death, her son Todd Fisher told AP news agency: “She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken.”

The stress of his sister’s death, he added, had been “too much” for their mother.

Celebrity news site TMZ reports that Reynolds cracked while discussing plans for Carrie’s funeral with her son, telling him: “I miss her so much; I want to be with Carrie”.

Fellow actors have been paying tribute to Reynolds on social media. Star Trek star William Shatner tweeted: “Debbie Reynolds was one of the last of Hollywood Royalty. It breaks my heart that she is gone.”

Joan Collins said she had been a “wonderfully warm friend and colleague”.

British comedian Stephen Fry, who earlier tweeted that it had been a “crushing blow to lose Carrie Fisher”, offered his “deepest sympathy” to the family at “this new blow”.

Reynolds was leading lady in a succession of major Hollywood musicals and comedies in the 1950s and 60s.

She rose to stardom with Singin’ in the Rain, at the age of only 19.

She received a best-actress Academy Award nomination for the 1964 musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

In 2015, she was given a lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild. The award was presented to her by her daughter.

Fraught relationship

Reynolds married singer Eddie Fisher in 1955 and had two children, Carrie and Todd. The couple divorced in 1959 after news emerged of his affair with movie star Elizabeth Taylor.

Reynolds married twice more.

Carrie Fisher died days after suffering a massive heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.

She had shot to fame in the initial Star Wars series but had a number of other roles including in Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and When Harry Met Sally (1989).

Fisher was also an author and screenwriter. Her semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge was made into a film, starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid.

The story drew on Fisher’s struggles with drugs and her sometimes strained relationship with her mother.

The pair stopped speaking to each other for many years but became closer later in life.

In an interview last month with US radio network NPR, Fisher spoke of their relationship: “She’s an immensely powerful woman, and I just admire my mother very much.”

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