The public memorial for Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher was scheduled for 1 pm but a line of people eager to attend it formed at Forest Lawn at 7 am. Fans of both stars came from the Greater Los Angeles area as well as from other California cities and out of state.
Carrie Fisher (60) died on December 27th 2016 after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London days earlier. She is beloved for her role as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” trilogy (original). She was also a best-selling author (her Postcards From The Edge became a box office hit starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine).
Her mother Debbie Reynolds (84) died just one day later from a stroke. She was a star from the Hollywood’s Golden Era, making her mark as a consummate performer on the big screen in “Singin’ in the Rain” first. Her successful career spanned many decades.
The public memorial for his mother and sister was organized by Todd Fisher who said: “My mother didn’t like funerals and memorials. She liked shows.” And he created a Hollywood production for them both: filled with intimate memories, fan favorites and a lot of love.
The memorial featured private family photos, videos, musical and dance tributes, even an appearance by R2D2. Dan Aykroyd and Ruta Lee spoke about the stars. John Williams’ music was played. James Blunt’s tribute song to Carrie Fisher moved all present. Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles was stirring. A dynamic performance of “Singin’ in the Rain” brought back memories. At the center of the ceremony – of course – were Debbie and Carrie: their lives, successes and contributions which were remembered and honored.
The public memorial for the two Hollywood legends concluded with a walk to Forest Lawn’s Courts of Remembrance where mother and daughter are buried together.
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are gone. Each left behind a remarkable legacy as an artist and as a human being. During and after the memorial many said that Carrie Fisher coped with her bipolar disorder with dignity and grace; she was a voice for others suffering from the disease. In real life, Debbie Reynolds was no less than the Unsinkable Molly Brown. No wonder the program for the public memorial was imprinted with Natalie Babbitt’s quote: “Don’t be afraid of death, be afraid of an un-lived life.” They both lived: survived and achieved. Our memories of them and their work survive them.
Anything L.A.’s Entertainment Editor, I. Sturm