Debbie Reynolds, the American actress and singer who rose to fame with her 1952 role in Singin’ in the Rain, died Wednesday at 84. Reynolds died one day after her daughter, the actress and writer Carrie Fisher, who suffered a heart attack at 60. Reynolds’ son Todd Fisher, Carrie Fisher’s brother, reportedly told a Los Angeles news station that the stress of losing her daughter caused Reynolds to suffer a fatal stroke.
Reynolds began her career as a teenager, landing a contract with Warner Bros. after winning a local beauty contest in her hometown of Burbank, Calif. She would go on to receive nominations for several Golden Globes and Emmys, as well as an Oscar nomination for her starring turn in The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1964. After surviving one of Hollywood’s most notorious love triangles (husband Eddie Fisher divorced her to marry her best friend, Elizabeth Taylor), Reynolds would work into her 80s, finding time to dedicate to philanthropy and amassing a large collection of film memorabilia.
Once described by LIFE magazine as “bouncy as a kitten on a living room rug,” Reynolds is remembered as an American sweetheart, a wellspring of good-natured talent and, always, as Princess Leia’s mother.
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