Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher's Final Send-Off — All the Details
In a livestream that began just after 1:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, Todd Fisher — Carrie Fisher's brother and Debbie Reynolds' son — led a warm, funny, fan-oriented memorial in honor of the women, who died a day apart in December 2016.
Starting the proceedings, Todd joked that Forest Lawn's director had really gone the extra mile to sell him on the cemetery as the final resting place for the duo, recalling that Debbie's favorite, hummingbirds, were flitting about the first time he visited.
He also pointed out that Debbie's friend and mentor Bette Davis and her buddy Liberace are buried nearby.
Todd thrilled attendees of what was dubbed a celebration of life by revealing he plans to recreate the sitting room and office the women used to entertain guests in a museum-like setting so fans can see what it was like in their inner sanctum. Calling that sort of preservation "important to Debbie," he pointed out that other artifacts from the women's lives and careers were present outside the proceedings.
An adorable home-movie shot of Carrie
Carrie as a young girl
Carrie as an adolescent, pretending to hitchhike
He then introduced several elaborately edited videos capturing moments from Carrie and Debbie's family life and their most memorable career highlights, punctuated by a live appearance from R2-D2, who rolled around the stage mournfully until being comforted by Todd.
There were plenty of "Star Wars" references in the tribute.
Todd Fisher with R2-D2
Debbie's lengthy reel included bits from all of her famous movie roles, as well as touching footage from one of her final on-camera interviews, in which she tearfully recalled entertaining the troops in the '50s and '60s. "You have to take care of those that need," a frail Reynolds said.
Ruta Lee said of Debbie, "She was, without a doubt, the most generous human being I ever met or ever hoped to meet."
The tribute, including loving words from bosom buddy and fellow trouper Ruta Lee, 81, also honored Debbie's involvement in her charity the Thalians, which helped normalize and establish mental-health treatment, an issue close to her heart after dealing with Carrie's battle with bipolar disorder.
In keeping with the afternoon program's uplifting vibe, Todd also announced the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios are going strong and will continue doing business; four girls from the studio performed a routine set to the Brian Setzer Orchestra's upbeat "The Dirty Boogie"; and there was tap-dancing galore.
The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles spiced up their performance of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" by projecting anti-Trump memes using Carrie's image behind them. Family friend Gavin de Becker, a prominent security expert who grew up with Carrie, offered a hilarious series of anecdotes, including noting that he had sex for the first time at her house. "It wasn't with Carrie, but she did arrange it," he said drily, to howls from the audience.
A heart-tugging image of the empty chair left on the stage in honor of Debbie.
The show wound down with a never-before-seen clip of Billie Lourd singing with her mom and grandma at Debbie's final performance, and a video of James Blunt performing his "Courtney's Song" in Carrie's honor. It ended more than two hours after it began with a dance performance set to Janet Jackson's 1989 tune "Alright."
Other celebrity attendees included Dan Aykroyd, Griffin Dunne and Connie Stevens.