Back to IndieWire

Debbie Reynolds, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Actress and Carrie Fisher’s Mother, Dies at 84

The actress passed away after suffering a stroke.

Debbie Reynolds


Legendary actress, singer and entertainer Debbie Reynolds has passed away after suffering a stroke on Wednesday, December 28. She was 84.

The news comes just a day after Reynolds’ daughter, Carrie Fisher, died from having a heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles. According to TMZ, Reynolds was at her son’s Todd’s house in Beverly Hills on Wednesday afternoon when someone from the house called 911. 

The “Singin’ in the Rain” actress had been distraught since Carrie’s heart attack and death, and according to reports, was discussing funeral plans for her daughter when she suffered a stroke.

Reynolds had last released a statement following Fisher’s death, saying, “Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop.”

READ MORE: Carrie Fisher, Who Played Princess Leia in ‘Star Wars,’ Dies at 60

With a career spanning almost 70 years, Reynolds was an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-nominated actress. Born Mary Frances Reynolds on April 1, 1932 in El Paso, Texas, her family moved to Burbank, California in 1939. She later changed her first name to Debbie when she signed a contract with Warner Bros.

Reynolds made her acting debut in 1948 in an uncredited role in “June Bride” and then appeared in “The Daughter of Rose O’Grady” (1950). Her first breakout role was in the 1950 film “Three Little Words,” which earned her a Golden Globe nominee for Most Promising Newcomer. Though, she gained fame at the age of 19 as the female lead in the musical “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952), starring Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor.

She went on to have a successful career, starring in “The Affairs of Dobie Gillis” (1953), “Susan Slept Here” (1954), “Bundle of Joy” (1956), “The Catered Affair” (1956) and “Tammy and the Bachelor.” Additional acting credits include, “Will & Grace,” “The Rat Race” (1960), “How the West Was Won” (1962) and “Charlotte’s Web” (1973) and “The Debbie Reynolds Show” (1969-1970), among many others. For many younger generations she is also known for her role as Aggie Cromwell in Disney Channel’s “Halloweentown” movie series.

READ MORE: Cannes Classics Highlights Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Women of Old Hollywood

As a singer, Reynolds released her first pop album, “Debbie,” in 1959, and went on to release several other LPs. In 1973 she starred in a Broadway revival of “Irene,” earning a Tony nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. 

Last year she received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, which was given to her by daughter Carrie, and was also given the 2016 Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Her upcoming project was her documentary, “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The movie is currently slated to screen at the upcoming Palm Springs Film Festival and air on HBO in March.

Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox