Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher had one of the most famous mother-daughter relationships in Hollywood history and following their deaths this week — Fisher on Tuesday at age 60, Reynolds on Wednesday at age 84 — the TODAY show has resurfaced a 1987 interview with Fisher where she discussed her beloved mom.
“I thought my mother was fabulous. I mean, great. Imagine having Debbie Reynolds as a mother? Wild idea! What a concept,” Fisher says in the 1987 interview. “It was great. She was great. She was fun, she was vivacious, she was beautiful. In those days she would come home from the studio and she’d have all this — the wigs and the makeup. I just thought she was fabulous.”
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Asked if she knew what Reynolds did as an actress in those days, Fisher said no. “I didn’t totally understand. I was in the car with her one day, and she started to sing. I said, ‘I thought you could only do that at the studio.’ I literally thought it came on. When I was around her, she was mom. Then I knew she had this thing she did at work. But I just thought she punched it in… I did understand this was the other life she had that was work. And then there was mommy.”
Fisher and Reynolds’ relationship was well documented by the younger actress, perhaps most memorably in Fisher’s semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from the Edge, which Fisher later turned into a screenplay for the 1990 movie starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.
Speaking about Reynolds just last month in an interview to promote her new memoir The Princess Diarist, Fisher called her mother “an immensely powerful woman” whom she admired very much.
“She also annoys me sometimes when she’s mad at the nurses, but she’s an extraordinary woman. Extraordinary,” Fisher told Terry Gross in a November interview for Fresh Air on NPR. “There’s very few women from her generation who worked like that, who just kept a career going all her life, and raised children, and had horrible relationships, and lost all her money, and got it back again. I mean, she’s had an amazing life, and she’s someone to admire.”