Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher Remembered by Fans, Friends at Public Memorial Service
Joe Mantegna, who worked with both actresses, shared his thoughts on what made the two women so extraordinary: “How much they embraced life. They just loved it. They bit it off, chewed it up and spit it out. I mean, that’s what was great about them.”
Over 1,000 fans, friends and family members turned out Saturday to Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills for a joint memorial to honor Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. It was an afternoon of music, memories and more than a few tears, as the public had its last chance to say goodbye to two of Hollywood’s brightest stars.
Kathleen Campbell of Hollywood echoed the feelings of many of the attendees who felt compelled to show their support for the two screen legends: “Even though I didn’t know them personally, they were people in my life, so I decided to come out and let them know that they had a lot of friends that they didn’t know they had.”
There were more than a few Star Wars fans present, including several young girls wearing their hair in Princess Leia’s iconic “cinnamon bun” style.
“We grew up with the Star Wars movies and Carrie Fisher and we just love her so much. We were devastated. We were in Texas when we found out, so we found out about this. We just wanted to show up and show our support. We just loved them,” Clarice Diers said while waiting in the long line for a seat inside Liberty Hall.
The actresses' fans came out to honor them, not just for the characters they played, but also for the lives that they lived.
“I loved her honesty about all her issues she faced,” Susan Schwartz of West Hollywood said about Fisher. “She didn’t hide them, which most people do. And I thought that was wonderful role modeling for many of us. She had the courage — well, she had the balls to stand up and say, ‘Hey, everything isn’t always perfect.’ I totally admired her for that.”
During the ceremony, Reynolds was lauded for her work with the Thalians, an organization that has raised millions of dollars to help those suffering from mental health issue. She also received a military color guard in honor of the work she did during the Korean War, visiting injured soldiers.
The Gay Men’s Chorus sang a stirring rendition of "True Colors" while clips of both Reynolds and Fisher played, which moved many in the audience to tears.
Joe Mantegna, who worked with both actresses, shared his thoughts on what made the mother-and-daughter duo so extraordinary: “How much they embraced life. They just loved it. They bit it off, chewed it up and spit it out. I mean, that’s what was great about them.”
It was a fitting tribute for two greats, who created some of Hollywood’s most unforgettable characters.
Todd Fisher with R2-D2 at the Hollywood memorial service for Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)