Debbie Reynolds, the 84-year-old mother of the recently deceased Carrie Fisher, suffered a major stroke and has also passed away. Reynolds was reportedly "devastated" by the loss of her daughter, and when I first learned of her stroke late yesterday, I thought to myself that she, too, would not be long for this world. 2016 has been particularly busy when it comes to the grim harvest of celebrities.
That said, I must confess that, even though Reynolds has been described as "Hollywood royalty," her acting and singing career had little to no impact on my life. People cite Reynolds's work in classics like "Singin' in the Rain," but for me, such movies are but distant echoes of a long-bygone era. I'll give Reynolds this, though: she looked a very lively and healthy 84, so her stroke and subsequent passing are both, even now, a huge surprise to me.
There are, however, those who won't be surprised, and who will say (as I already see some headlines saying) that Reynolds wanted to "be with Carrie." This sentiment, while possibly well-intended, strikes me as tasteless, given that Reynolds had another child: Todd Fisher, Carrie's brother, who is still alive and kicking. It seems gauche to suggest that Reynolds would abandon her son to "be with" her daughter in the afterlife.*
A quick review of Wikipedia trivia reveals that, along with her better-known accomplishments on screen, Reynolds was also a staunch mental-health crusader, and she managed her own hotel in Las Vegas. She was also a stage performer.
RIP, Debbie Reynolds.
*The latest from Wikipedia: "Reynolds is survived by her son Todd Fisher and her granddaughter Billie Lourd. Her son said that his mother's stress from the death of her daughter was partly responsible for her stroke. 'Reynolds told him she missed her daughter and wanted to be with her,' according to news reports." Perhaps not so gauche after all if Reynolds had indeed said this.