Debbie Reynolds dead at 84

Debbie Reynolds in Albert Brooks' 1996 comedy, 'Mother'
Debbie Reynolds in Albert Brooks’ 1996 comedy, ‘Mother’

In a cruel twist that only 2016 could have wrought, just a day after the death of Carrie Fisher, her mother has also died.

Debbie Reynolds, whose career stretched more than half a century, passed away in Los Angeles, according to her son. She was 84. Reports indicated she had been rushed to the hospital earlier in the day after having suffered a stroke.

The singer and actress starred opposite Gene Kelly in 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain near the beginning of her career. She would later appear in dozens of films throughout the 50s and 60s, and even headlined her own television series, The Debbie Reynolds Show.

For much of the 1980s and 1990s she would work only sporadically in TV and films, playing mostly small roles. Over her career Reynolds lent her voice to animated projects, and was the voice of “Charolette” in the classic 1973 animated tale, Charlotte’s Web. She would later work on other animated faire, such as Rugrats and Kim Possible.

Then came the film which, for me, is one of my favorite comedies.

Mother, written and directed by Albert Brooks, stars Brooks as a novelist struggling with a case of writer’s block who then moves back in with his mother to figure how how to write again. Reynolds plays the title role, and is brilliant.

Debbie Reynolds with Gene Kelly (right) and Donald O'Connor in 'Singin' in the Rain'
Debbie Reynolds with Gene Kelly (right) and Donald O’Connor in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’

The role reminded audiences of Reynolds talents, and she worked consistently ever since.

As of this writing it isn’t clear what lead up to Reynolds’ death, but it’s hard not to guess it related to the events surrounding her daughter’s passing.

Carrie Fisher is one of Reynolds two children with the late Eddie Fisher. Carrie, who suffered a heart attack while on a flight into Los Angeles from London, died on December 27.

With the loss of her daughter, Reynolds leaves behind a son, Todd, as well as a granddaughter, Carrie’s girl, Billie Catherine Lourd.

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