Carrie Fisher's mother, Singin' in the Rain star Debbie Reynolds, dies aged 84

A Hollywood icon, she was one of our last links to film's Golden Age

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Debbie Reynolds - an icon of Hollywood's Golden Age and mother of the late Carrie Fisher - has died at age 84.

The star of Singin' in the Rain and so many other classic Hollywood films passed away late on Wednesday (December 28), after originally being hospitalised hours earlier for a suspected stroke.

Her son Todd told Variety simply: "She wanted to be with Carrie."

Her death comes one day after her beloved daughter Carrie Fisher shockingly died of complications from a heart attack she suffered on a transatlantic flight to Los Angeles.

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When Star Wars actress and writer Carrie left us so tragically, the stoic Debbie reached out to fans on Facebook, 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."

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Her road to leading one of Hollywood's most famous families began nearly 70 years ago, when her success as a teen beauty landed Debbie a contract at Warner Bros in the last days of the Hollywood studio system.

Even then, Debbie was a triple threat as an undeniably charismatic actress, singer and dancer - making her a natural pairing for Gene Kelly in 1952's Singin' in the Rain.

That musical ode to early days of Hollywood's sound era won a Golden Globe and was nominated for two Oscars, but would only later become regarded as a classic.

Following its critical reappraisal, Singin' in the Rain was inducted in both the National Film Registry and the US Library of Congress, and has been ranked as the greatest musical of all time by the American Film Institute.

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Her star turn in Singin' in the Rain propelled Debbie to the upper echelons of Hollywood success, and a title role in the Tammy film series soon turned her into a popstar as well.

The title track 'Tammy' topped the US singles charts and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song.

(Leslie Nielsen and Debbie Reynolds in Tammy And The Bachelor)

Debbie's incredible string of '50s and '60s box office smashes included The Singing Nun, How the West Was Won, Divorce American Style and, of course, The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Her portrayal of the Titanic disaster's most famous survivor in The Unsinkable Molly Brown garnered Debbie her first acting Oscar nomination, as well as a Golden Globe Award nod.

It was at the height of her fame that Debbie married crooner Eddie Fisher, the father of future Star Wars icon Carrie and her filmmaker-actor brother Todd.

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However, the marriage ended notoriously when Eddie left his wife for her friend Elizabeth Taylor, causing an early Hollywood cheating scandal in the process.

Debbie's own combative early relationship with her daughter was fodder for Carrie's semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge, the story of a drug addict rebuilding her life after an overdose.

Postcards from the Edge was ultimately adapted into a BAFTA and Academy Award-nominated dark comedy, with Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine as semi-fictional stand-ins for Carrie and her mum Debbie.

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(Postcards from the Edge: Meryl Streep, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine and Carrie Fisher)

A documentary about the mother-and-daughter relationship called Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds is due to premiere on HBO next spring.

Debbie would later marry twice more - to businessman Harry Karl for 13 years, and then to real estate mogul Richard Hamlett between 1984 and 1996.

In her later years, Debbie received her fifth Golden Globe nomination for playing an unbearably clingy mum in Albert Brooks's bittersweet comedy Mother and made memorable guest appearances in Will & Grace.

She more recently portrayed Liberace's eccentric mother in the HBO television movie Behind the Candelabra, which won 11 Primetime Emmy Awards.

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(Debbie Reynolds with daughter Carrie Fisher and granddaughter Billie Lourd)

As one of the latest-living icons of Hollywood's Golden Age, Debbie was honoured with the Screen Actors Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, and was selected for the prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy that same year.

Debbie Reynolds is survived by son Todd Fisher and her granddaughter Billie Lourd, who starred with late mum Carrie in 2015's blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Below famous friends and fans pay tribute to the late Debbie Reynolds below:

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From: Digital Spy
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