Carl Reiner, who acted alongside Reynolds in The Gazebo and directed Carrie Fisher in the 1990 comedy Sibling Rivalry, tweeted: “How shocked we were to learn that Debbie Reynolds passed away just a day after her daughter Carrie. I loved & worked [with] both of these icons.”
In a lengthy statement on Instagram, actress Debra Messing, who was Reynolds’ daughter in the sitcom Will & Grace said Reynolds had “always worried about” her daughter.
“Carrie left too soon and now they are together again. My heart is literally broken…. An inspiration on every level. A Legend of course, the epitome of clean cut American optimism, dancing with Gene Kelly as an equal, a warrior woman who never stopped working.”
Numerous people wrote on social media that “she died of a broken heart”.
Reynolds was a superstar early in life. After two minor roles at Warner Bros. and three supporting roles at MGM, studio boss Louis B. Mayer cast her in Singin’ in the Rain in 1952, despite Gene Kelly’s objections. She was 19 with little dance experience, and she would be appearing with two of the screen’s greatest dancers, Donald O’Connor and Kelly, who also co-directed.
“Gene Kelly was hard on me, but I think he had to be,” Reynolds, who more than held her own in the movie, told the AP in 1999. “I had to learn everything in three to six months. Donald O’Connor had been dancing since he was three months old, Gene Kelly since he was 2 years old. … I think Gene knew I had to be challenged.”