Credits

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, circa 1960

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, 2016

This Star Wars and Singing in the Rain fan was so sorry to hear about the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. When I was 17 years old, I attended an all day marathon of the Star Wars trilogy at the Wang Center in Boston. (And by Star Wars trilogy, I mean the original editions of the movies released between 1977 and 1983. The terms “special editions” and “Jar Jar Binks” weren’t a blink in anyone’s eye). Former WCVB host, Frank Avruch, the MC for the day, announced with awe that Carrie Fisher was only 19 years old when she appeared in the first Star Wars. Two years later, 19 year old me found myself back at the Wang Center this time to watch Singing in the Rain. Mr. Avruch, again, told the audience with awe, that Debbie Reynolds was only 19 years old when she danced and sang to “Good Morning” with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. Both women only 19 when they played the roles that made them famous, but, of course, that wasn’t all they shared.
The mother and daughter certainly had their ups and downs, both in their personal lives and in their careers. Their relationship was certainly very complicated and one that Fisher mined for material for books such as her novel Postcards from the Edge and her one woman show turned memoir Wishful Drinking. Fisher teased about her mother’s larger than life personality (something that she certainly seemed to inherit) and growing up in her shadow. Ironically, though, Debbie Reynolds was the one who often said that she later became known as “Princess Leia’s Mother”.
The only thing that brings a smile to my face about the untimely death of Carrie Fisher followed by Debbie Reynolds is that Fisher, most certainly, would greet her mother in the afterlife, “You just had to upstage me, didn’t you Mother?”
Celebrate the life of the two member of Hollywood royalty with a sampling of their books, movies, and TV shows from the library:

Carrie Fisher
Movies and Television Shows

  • Star Wars (aka Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope): Who can forget the famous hairdo? Fisher’s relationship with Star Wars was about as complicated as the one she had with her mother, but she enjoyed ribbing her famous hairstyle from this movie.
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: “I love you.” “I know.”
  • The Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi: If you all remember about Princess Leia in this movie is the gold bikini, then you don’t remember some truly great Leia/Carrie Fisher moments.
  • Star Wars Episode VI: The Force Awakens: Fun fact, Fisher’s real life daughter, Billie Lourd, had a small role in this movie, playing a member of Leia’s Resistance.
  • The Blues Brothers: Fisher shines in a small comedic role who has an irrational hatred of the Blues Brothers
  • When Harry Met Sally: This is my favorite Carrie Fisher role, not named Leia. Harry and Sally may be the main characters, but Sally’s best friend, Marie, steals the movie, in my opinion.
  • The ‘Burbs: 1989 proved that Carrie Fisher could more than hold her own in comedies.
  • Soapdish: Fisher may have a small role as a soap opera writer in this farce, but the film is worth revisiting and always good for a chuckle.
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: Fisher plays the family therapist, helping Scott Evil deal with the fact that his father is the most evil man in the galaxy, something to which one of her other alter egos could relate!
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: Film maker and Star Wars fan, Kevin Smith, achieved a dream by getting Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker) to perform cameos in this film.
  • Sex and the City Season 3, Episode 14, “Sex and Another City”: Carrie Fisher (as herself) goes up against another Carrie, Sarah Jessica Parker’s, Carrie Bradshaw, in an unforgettable scene in a show full of them.
  • 30 Rock Season 2, Episode 4, “Rosemary’s Baby”: Rumor has it that Tina Fey inserted a Star Wars reference into every episode of 30 Rock. Carrie Fisher guest starring would certainly count as one!
  • The Big Bang Theory, Season 7, Episode 14, “The Convention Conundrum”: James Earl Jones is the standout in this episode, but it’s fun to learn that Darth Vader isn’t above playing a practical joke on one of his children!
  • Postcards from the Edge: Fisher wrote the screenplay based on her best selling novel.
  • These Old Broads: Fisher wrote this TV movie which starred her mother and one time stepmother, Elizabeth Taylor.

Books

Debbie Reynolds
Movies and Television Shows

  • Singin’ in the Rain: This is a perfect movie, with great dancing, great acting, and wonderful comedic timing. Everyone shines in this farce that makes fun of Hollywood in all of its glorious weirdness. It’s such a treat watching Reynolds, Gene Kelly, and Donald O’Connor sing and dance to “Good Morning”.
  • I Love Melvin: Reynolds reunites with her Singin’ in the Rain co-star, Donald O’Connor
  • The Affairs of Dobie Gillis: Not to be confused with the TV show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
  • Susan Slept Here
  • The Tender Trap
  • The Catered Affair: All star cast, including, of course, Ms. Reynolds!
  • Bundle of Joy: This remake of Bachelor Mother is noteworthy for the fact that it starred Reynolds and her then husband, Eddie Fisher. Eddie would make headlines a few years later when he left Reynolds for a grieving widow, Elizabeth Taylor.
  • Tammy and the Bachelor: It’s hard to remember, but there was a time that Leslie Nielsen was known as a serious actor. He plays the object of affection for Debbie Reynolds’s charming Tammy.
  • How the West was Won
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown: This musical led to Reynolds’s first (and only) Oscar nomination.
  • The Singing Nun
  • The Love Boat, Season 4, Episodes 2 and 3: Unfortunately, this season of The Love Boat is not yet available on DVD, but Reynolds stands out in a sea (pun intended) of guest stars.
  • Wings Season 6, Episode 9, “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother”: Reynolds guest stars as Dee Dee Chapel, who has a tense but loving relationship with her daughter. The episode is actually fairly serious, but Reynolds has great comic timing with series regular, Tony Shalhoub.
  • Mother: Reynolds returned to her film career to great reviews in this comedy co-starring Albert Brooks.
  • In & Out: From Crystal Bernard to Albert Brooks to Kevin Kline, Debbie Reynolds played everyone’s mother in the 1990’s.
  • Halloweentown series: Our teen librarian recently discovered that this movie is a big hit with some of the teens who visit our library. I like to think it’s because Debbie Reynolds (who plays the grandmother) transcends generations!
  • These Old Broads: Appearing with her once romantic rival, Elizabeth Taylor, amounts to the best revenge at their shared ex-husband, Eddie Fisher.
  • Will & Grace, Various Episodes: Reynolds introduced herself to a new generation as the mother to star, Debra Messing.
  • Connie and Carla: I saw this movie several years ago purely for the fact it was released at the height of my David Duchovny crush and was generally disappointed with the exception of a surprise and fun appearance of Debbie Reynolds singing with the main characters.

Books

  • Debbie: My Life
  • Unsinkable: A Memoir
  • Make ‘Em Laugh: Short-Term Memories of Longtime Friends
  • posted by Laura

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