Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher to be buried side by side

PHOTO: Reuters

LOS ANGELES - A joint memorial service and side-by-side burial are being planned for mother-and-daughter Hollywood stars Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, who died a day apart earlier this week in Los Angeles, the family said on Friday.

Todd Fisher, son of Reynolds and younger brother to Carrie, said a glimpse he caught of hummingbirds at a cemetery site at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills convinced him it was the ideal spot for their final resting place.

"That's the way it was meant to be," Todd Fisher, 58, told Reuters, recalling that his mother, the Oscar-nominated singer and actress, had a special fondness for hummingbirds, which were regular visitors to the grounds of her Beverly Hills home.

Fisher said he and other relatives were gathering this weekend to firm up funeral arrangements, including dates.

He said the family was planning two private events - a joint memorial celebration and a burial of his mother and sister next to one another at Forest Lawn - to be followed by some form of public commemoration of the two women.

Reynolds, who sang and danced her way into the hearts of moviegoers in such Hollywood musicals as "Singin' in the Rain," suffered a stroke and died on Wednesday at the age of 84.

Her daughter, Carrie Fisher, best known as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" films, died a day earlier on Tuesday, four days after suffering a heart attack on a flight from England, where she had been shooting the third season of a British television comedy. She was 60.

Carrie and Todd Fisher were both born to Reynolds and the late singer Eddie Fisher, whose marriage ended in scandal in 1959 after the crooner began an affair with actress Elizabeth Taylor.

In an interview to be broadcast Friday on the ABC News programme "20/20," Todd Fisher elaborated on his mother's final hours, insisting "she didn't die of a broken heart" but rather "just left to be with Carrie."

"It wasn't that she was sitting around inconsolable, not at all," her son recounted in excerpts from the interview published by ABC. "She simply said that she didn't get to see Carrie come back from London. She expressed how much she loved my sister.

"She then said she really wanted to be with Carrie," he added. "In those precise words, and within 15 minutes from that conversation she faded out, and within 30 minutes, she technically was gone."

Debbie Reynolds dies from stroke a day after daughter Carrie Fisher's death

  • Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain star and beloved actress, passed away on Wednesday - just a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died.
  • On Wednesday afternoon TMZ reported that the 84-year-old was rushed to the hospital from her son Todd Fisher's home in Beverly Hills.
  • Where the family was discussing funeral plans for Carrie, who passed away on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack aboard a plane from London to LAX.
  • Fans are seeking solace from the devastating loss on Twitter.
  • And paying tribute to the talented mother-daughter duo by sharing touching photographs of the two throughout the years.
  • Film legend Debbie Reynolds, best known for classic musical "Singin' in the Rain" died Wednesday after suffering a stroke, a day after the death of her movie star daughter Carrie Fisher, US media reported.
  • The 84-year-old had been rushed to hospital in "fair to serious condition," paramedics told AFP, after collapsing at the Beverly Hills home of her son Todd Fisher.
  • "She wanted to be with Carrie," he was quoted as telling industry weekly Variety magazine.
  • Fisher, who catapulted to worldwide stardom as rebel warrior Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, died in Los Angeles, four days after suffering a heart attack on a transatlantic flight.
  • TMZ, citing unnamed family sources, said Reynolds had been at her son's house to discuss funeral arrangements when she became ill.
  • "Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter," she posted on Facebook following her daughter's death.
  • "I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop."
  • Her 2013 autobiography "Unsinkable: A Memoir" detailed the highs and lows of her rocky personal life and a screen career forged in the glamour of Hollywood's "Golden Age" which was still going well into the 1990s.
  • Born Mary Frances Reynolds on April 1, 1932 in El Paso, Texas, the second child of railroad carpenter Raymond Francis Reynolds and his wife Maxine, she came to the notice of Hollywood studio MGM after winning a California beauty contest at age 16
  • She had never danced professionally, according to the Internet Movie Database, when picked to star opposite Gene Kelly in classic musical "Singin' in the Rain."
  • Married three times, Reynolds once said she had more luck selecting restaurants than men.

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher dies aged 60

  • Carrie Fisher, who rose to fame as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films and later endured drug addiction and stormy romances with show business heavyweights, died on Tuesday (Dec 27), her daughter said through a family spokesman.
  • Fisher, the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, who died in 2010, had been in England shooting the third season of the British sitcom Catastrophe. She suffered a heart attack during a flight on Friday from London to Los Angeles. She was met by paramedics and rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
  • Fisher started her showbiz life in 1989 hit film When Harry Met Sally, as a memorable supporting role. Summing up the showbiz legacy she expected to leave behind in her 2011 memoir "Shockaholic," Fisher wrote in self-deprecating style: "What you'll have of me after I journey to that great Death Star in the sky is an extremely accomplished daughter, a few books, and a picture of a stern-looking girl wearing some kind of metal bikini lounging on a giant drooling squid, behind a newscaster informing you of the passing of Princess Leia after a long battle with her head."
  • But her life was also mired at times in substance abuse, mental illness and tumultuous romances with other entertainment figures, all of which he laid bare in her books, interviews and a one-woman stage show titled "Wishful Drinking."
  • Fisher's friend and former Star Wars' co-star Mark Hamill said in a tweet: "No words. #Devastated"
  • Her death came a month after the actress and author made headlines by disclosing that she had a three-month love affair with her Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford (extreme right) 40 years ago.
  • "It was so intense," Fisher told People. "It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend."
  • Shortly after news of her death was made public, her dog Gary, who has his own Twitter account, said goodbye: "Saddest tweets to tweet. Mommy is gone. I love you @carrieffisher."
  • Fisher wrote her bestselling novel, Postcards from the Edge, about a drug-abusing actress forced to move back in with her mother. She later adapted the book into a film that starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.