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Earlier today, it was reported that legendary actress Debbie Reynolds, best known for her roles in Singin' In The Rain, as well as being the mother of the late Carrie Fisher, had been rushed to the hospital after suffering an apparent stroke. Unfortunately, it has not only been confirmed that Reynolds did indeed suffer a stroke this afternoon, but she has sadly passed away due to today's events. She was 84, and is survived by her son Todd, who summed up today's untimely passing by simply saying, "She's with Carrie."
The news broke out of TMZ, who previously reported that Debbie Reynolds had suffered said stroke while meeting with her son, Todd Fisher, this afternoon. While planning the funeral for her recently departed daughter, who suffered a massive heart attack this weekend and was stabilized but unconscious until her death yesterday, Reynolds fell ill and was brought to the hospital. This sad passing comes only a day after Ms. Reynolds, and the world, had said goodbye to her daughter, Carrie Fisher. In a sad coincidence, Reynolds' final credited project was co-starring with Fisher in the HBO documentary, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. That film is set to air on the network next March, with no specific air date listed.
Born Mary Frances Reynolds in 1932, "Debbie" was a stage name she adopted after signing with Warner Bros, sometime around 1948. Originally from Texas, Reynolds moved with her family to Burbank, California when she was only 7 years old, putting her within striking distance of the industry she would make her fortune in. Her film debut occurred in 1948 in the film June Bride, though she'd find stardom after two key roles that followed shortly after: 1950's Three Little Words and 1952's Singin' In The Rain. Besides the latter film, which is considered the highest visibility role in her career, Reynolds became known for the Tammy series of films, as well as The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Though younger audiences would know her primarily from her extensive work in more recent years.
Not only did Debbie Reynolds guest star on various TV staples such as Roseanne, Will & Grace and RuPaul's Drag Race, she was also the voice of Charlotte the spider in the 1973 animated adaptation of Charlotte's Web, as well as Splendora Agatha "Aggie" Cromwell, the grandmother in the Disney Channel Halloweentown series of films. Besides her co-starring role in the documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, her last appearance on screen was as Liberace's mother in Beyond The Candelabra.
Debbie Reynolds will be remembered for a lot of things. Among those remembrances, you'll hear of an actor of immense legend and scope, an avid collector of Hollywood memorabilia, and even an entrepreneur and a recording artist. But above all else, she was a person of good stature, highlighted by her status as an emerita member of The Thalians, an organization focused on mental health issues with a specialty in the health of military men and women. She truly was a legendary figure of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and she leaves behind a legacy of entertainment and charity that will not be forgotten. Our condolences go out to Ms. Reynolds' family and friends during this difficult time.