Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynold’s public memorial included R2-D2, tap-dancing

The memorial for Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills on Saturday. This was the public memorial promised to the fans after announcing that the January 5 funeral would be private. It sounds like it was a loving and touching tribute that gave a lot of people closure. Todd Fisher, Debbie’s son and Carrie’s brother, hosted the event, which was attended by over 1,200 people. Todd said at the start that, “This entire thing I’m calling a show, not a memorial, because my mother… liked shows and parties.” Young and old fans came from all over to pay their respects. Dan Aykroyd, Carrie’s former fiancé, spoke and a song written by James Blunt in tribute to the two was played during a video montage. I didn’t realize Carrie and James were so close, she was his son’s godmother. Could you imagine anything cooler than Carrie Fisher as your godmother? Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd attended with boyfriend Taylor Lautner. Both Carrie’s dog Gary and Debbie’s pup Dwight had their own reserved seats.

Dancers, Dan Aykroyd and Star Wars’ R2-D2 were among those who took the stage at Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher’s public memorial service, held Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles’ Forest Lawn — Hollywood Hills.

The celebration included montages — set to music by Star Wars composer John Williams — that highlighted each woman’s storied film career, as well as intimate family photos, interview footage and their humanitarian work.

Though tearful at times, the tone of the 90-minute ceremony was that of a joyful celebration. Star Wars’ R2-D2 even came onstage for a few beeps.

An original song called “I’m Here to Let You Go” by family friend James Blunt debuted over a final photo montage, as well as footage of Reynolds’ last performance, which was with Fisher and her daughter, Billie Lourd, their “pride and joy,” said Todd.

The show also included performances by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (highlighting Star Wars’ Princess Leia as an icon), tap numbers highlighting the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios and a color-guard tribute for Reynolds’ humanitarian work for veterans. Costumes and memorabilia were on display throughout the venue, which accommodated guest overflow in the lobby and outside. Immediately after the service, fans were invited to pay tribute at Fisher and Reynolds’ final resting place.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I sort of felt bad for Todd Fisher after Debbie and Carrie’s death. He repeated during the memorial on Saturday that Debbie, “looked at me to ask for permission to leave, said she wanted to be with Carrie, closed her eyes and went to sleep.” I appreciate that as a beautiful sentiment to the love between Debbie and Carrie but I am not sure how I would handle that. He seems to have found his moment, though. And he assured fans that they meant the world to the ladies and considered them family. He also announced that Debbie’s living room and Carrie’s writing room will be preserved in a museum. I am not yet over Carrie’s death so I will be burning tracks to see her writing room as soon as it’s open. Whatever Todd’s feelings are, he is seeing to the fans and bless him for that. That is probably the best tribute he can pay to his mother and sister.

In addition to Aykroyd and R2-D2, old friends told lovely stories. Guests received programs that had the Tuck Everlasting quote, “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life,” which has always been one of my favorites. The whole event was live-streamed for those who could not make it. Saturday was my son’s bday party so I was swarmed with 12 year old boys and unable to watch it. It sounds like I should have skipped the Lord of the Flies and gone to the memorial instead. The food would have been better, for sure.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to The Thalians in honor of Carrie and Debbie.


Photo credit: Getty Images and WENN and Fame/Flynet Photos

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10 Responses to “Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynold’s public memorial included R2-D2, tap-dancing”

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  1. Mia4s says:

    I realized the other day that one of the sadder things about this for a fan is that I’d love to know what Carrie would have to say about it all! 😉 Hope these lovely ladies are having a wonderful time in paradise.

    Much respect to Todd and Billie. They’ve shown incredible strength. I hope they have all the support they need.

  2. Radley says:

    I’m sad all over again but what a duo. They did live accomplished, interesting, full lives. RIP ladies.

    And kudos to Todd and Billie for handling this massive loss with grace.

  3. minx says:

    Sounds like a lovely memorial.

  4. KLO says:

    How lovely!
    There are several things I like about this:
    1)the family did it when they were emotionally ready so they had already gotten used to the deaths a little bit and actually enjoy remembering their loved ones in such a setting.
    2) people who attended were the ones who actually had a life with those people, it wasnt just a bunch of celebrities there to promote themselves
    3) they meshed the legacies together – I bet it was a great show, touching and hilarious.

    About Todd Fisher – I think it was not a surprise to him how close his mother and sister were. They practically lived together. I think he has made peace with that a while ago and I wish him all the best.

    • Christin says:

      I came here to express similar thoughts about the memorial (content and timing), plus Todd’s likely acceptance.

      Todd and his wife live in Vegas, while Debbie and Carrie were literally next-door neighbors for years. The longtime proximity and daily interaction would have made it hard for either to outlive the other for months or years. They were clearly very close, and Carrie was clearly a caregiver for her mother.

  5. Lucy says:

    So many lovely tributes to these two lovely humans. Nice to know it was, all in all, a joyful ceremony. Good for Taylor for being there for Billie, and I hope she’s doing as well as she can.

  6. what's inside says:

    So beautiful and thoughtful.

  7. browniecakes says:

    I was thinking about going since it was close but found out it was going to be live streamed from It was two hours long and 8.7K live streamed it. Very funny moments. Debbie’ s dance studio dancers were featured several times. Debbie was involved in allot of charity work , very impressive. Good for Todd for doing that for the fans. Todd called Debbie and Carrie ‘his girls’. So sweet. Not sure if it will repeat, but it was just a great send off for them.

  8. maryquitecontrary says:

    I love both of these ladies. What a tribute from those who knew and loved them best.
    Godspeed, angels.