Hear the story of how Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds overcame their relationship issues before they died.
In a heartbreaking turn of events, Debbie Reynolds, 84, passed away one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, 60, died. These types of deaths, where the "other half" of a duo dies very near after their loved one does, has become a cultural symbol of dying of a broken heart. Clearly Fisher and Reynolds, who were both iconic actors and women with fiery spirits, were very close at the end of their lives. But it wasn't always that way.
According to Today, Fisher struggled with being the daughter of two well-known performers, Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, and growing up in the Hollywood celebrity world. "There's a whole lot of freight that goes with being movie stars' kids – on the cover of Life when you're two minutes old," Fisher told Rolling Stone in 1983. By the time she was 13, Fisher was already experimenting with drugs, and went to rehab for heroin and cocaine addiction for the first time at 28. During that time period, Fisher was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, all of which led to a period of years where Fisher and Reynolds didn't speak at all.
But in the wake of their twin deaths, fans have dug back into the archives of their lives and found the beautiful moments in their lives where the two women reunited. Their interview on Oprah in 2011, in which they discuss the full complexity of their relationship is one such touching example of the hard work the two put into healing their relationship. "My lowest point in Carrie and my relationship was probably when we discovered that she was ill, or that she had this mental health problem, and that it was going to be with her forever," Reynolds tells Winfrey in the interview.
Despite their tough times, the two respect each other a lot. "She’s an immensely powerful woman, and I just admire my mother very much," Fisher said in an interview earlier this year. They even perform a duet when on Oprah (if you weren't already crying):
The relationship between Reynolds and Fisher is a reminder that the world of fame is difficult to navigate and often corrodes relationships beyond compare, but that if you love someone enough, you can bridge the gaps. Here's to these two fabulous, smart and daring women who left their mark on the world of film and in our hearts.