American actress Debbie Reynolds is seen with her daughter Carrie Fisher on Feb. 12, 1972. (Credit: Dove/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Debbie Reynolds, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1950s and 1960s, died Wednesday, one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed
Debbie Reynolds had just one day to mourn the death of her daughter before she, too, died.
Two days. Two deaths of iconic Hollywood actresses.
But unlike daughter Carrie Fisher’s death, details of what caused Reynolds’ death remain a mystery.
Reynolds, 84, died Wednesday, her son Todd Fisher said.
“She spoke to me this morning and said she missed Carrie,” Todd Fisher told CNN on Wednesday. “She’s with Carrie now.”
He did not give a cause of death. Reynolds had complained of breathing problems, an unidentified source told the Los Angeles Times.
A Hollywood triple threat
Actors Debbie Reynolds and Robert Wagner are pictured at a party in Hollywood, circa 1959. (Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Reynolds was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1950s and 1960s. Born Mary Frances Reynolds, she was a bubbly singer, dancer and actress who starred in “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
But despite her star power, she treated everyone with respect, her publicist Ed Lozzi said.
“The people that worked for her … she was just so respectful and caring and thoughtful to her publicists and her agents,” Lozzi told CNN. “A lot of stars we worked for were not. She was special that way.”
Her film career began after being spotted in a beauty pageant at age 16. She became famous when she was picked to co-star with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in “Singin’ in the Rain,” one of Hollywood’s best-known musicals.
She married then famously divorced singing sensation Eddie Fisher, who left Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor in 1959.
“I have no regrets about my career. I’m just thrilled I’ve had it,” she told CNN’s Larry King in 1990. “You know, it stood by me. Marriages failed; my career always stayed. It gave me the fun of life, you know. It allowed me to travel and meet wonderful, funny people.”
On Wednesday, King tweeted: “Debbie Reynolds was pure class. She was loving, talented, beautiful, unsinkable. I feel sorry for anyone who never got a chance to meet her.”
Though she stepped away from film for much of her career, Reynolds continued to entertain on Broadway stages and in Las Vegas nightclubs. She also appeared on many television shows, including one of her own — “The Debbie Reynolds Show” — that lasted just one season.
Actress Ruta Lee, a longtime friend of Reynolds, told CNN affiliate KABC that Reynolds used her celebrity to help others.
“I was blessed by the almighty in having this wonderful sister who taught me so much in life,” she said. “Debbie was without a doubt one of the most generous, wonderful, loving human beings that God put on this Earth.”
Carrie Fisher, whose grit and wit made “Star Wars'” Princess Leia an iconic and beloved figure to millions of moviegoers, was 60 when she died Tuesday, four days after a cardiac event on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
Debbie Reynolds, left,Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly star in the 1952 hit musical “Singin’ in the Rain.” (Credit: Warner Bros. via Los Angeles Times)