Cruel year for celebrity deaths continues as Debbie Reynolds dies at 84

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Debbie Reynolds/Facebook
The spate of celebrity deaths in 2016 has tragically continued. Legendary actress, singer, and dancer Debbie Reynolds died Wednesday, just one day after the death of her daughter, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, who suffered cardiac arrest on December 23 and died four days later. Reynolds was 84 and Fisher was 60.

The cause of Reynolds’ death was a stroke, according to TMZ. The actress was reportedly at the home of her son, Todd Fisher, and was planning Carrie Fisher’s funeral when she noticed that something was wrong. A call was made to 911, and she was rushed to the hospital.

The proximity of Reynolds’ death to her daughter’s shocked many and inspired speculation that she died of a broken heart. Her son is among those who believe as much. He told the Associated Press that the loss of his sister was “too much” for his mother.

“She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie.’ And then she was gone,” Todd Fisher said, as reported by USA Today. “She’s now with Carrie, and we’re all heartbroken.”

Reynolds had a close bond with her daughter, a fellow actress best known for her role as Princess Leia in several Star Wars films. Their relationship inspired Fisher’s semi-autobiographical novel, 1987’s Postcards from the Edge, which was adapted into a 1990 film starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Their bond was also the subject of the upcoming HBO documentary, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

The actresses’ deaths are a huge loss for the entertainment industry. Reynolds came into the spotlight at age 19 with her role in the iconic movie musical Singin’ in the Rain, and took on numerous notable roles in the decades after, including playing the titular character in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, a part that earned her an Academy Award nomination. A triple threat, Reynolds also starred in stage shows and released multiple albums.

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