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Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, were so close that Reynolds died of a stroke while planning her daughter’s funeral. The pair died only one day apart and lived next to each other for 15 years, so it’s hard to believe that they didn’t speak to one another for 10 years of their lives.

Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, died one day apart

Actor and writer Carrie Fisher went into cardiac arrest on Dec. 23, 2016, on a flight from London to California. She died a few days later, on Dec. 27, at the age of 60. According to CNN, the medical examiners determined that “sleep apnea and other undetermined factors” caused her death. 

Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, told the media that her mother “battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life,” and “she ultimately died of it.” 

One day later, on Dec. 28, Reynolds had a stroke while planning her daughter’s funeral. 

Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, and Billie Lourd
Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, and Billie Lourd | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

“It’s not natural to outlive your child,” Reynolds wrote in her autobiography a few years earlier. “This has always been my greatest fear. I don’t know if I could survive that.” 

The 84-year-old actor foreshadowed her own death, years before it happened.

“I want to go be with Carrie,” Fisher’s brother, Todd, recalled her saying before she died. 

Fisher and Reynolds had a ‘volatile relationship’ in the actor’s 20s

Although the pair were close at the end, Fisher and Reynolds did not speak for 10 years. The late Star Wars actor explained the estranged relationship to Oprah Winfrey in a 2011 interview. 

“We had a fairly volatile relationship earlier on in my 20s,” Fisher told Winfrey. “I didn’t want to be around her. I did not want to be Debbie Reynolds’ daughter.”

After the success of the 1977 Star Wars: A New Hope and its sequels, Fisher struggled to get out of her mother’s spotlight. She wanted to create her own public persona that was separate from the famous Reynolds.  


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“We talked really badly,” the star continued. “We didn’t get along. We had the extra, larger-than-life relationship. This is a very powerful person, but in order to have my own identity, I have to forge some kind of character out of nothing.”

During the 10 years, Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar, and her drug use became out of control. In 1985, the young actor went to rehab for the first time. 

The two women grew close again when Fisher came out of rehab

After her rehab time, Fisher wrote a novel about an actor who reunited with her famous mother after recovering from drug addiction. Although the Star Wars princess explained that it wasn’t an autobiography, she did admit that some inspiration came from her personal life. 

The two actors began to grow close again, and in 2000, Reynolds bought the house next to her daughter in Beverly Hills, California. The two remained neighbors until they died in 2016.