Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher honored at public memorial in Hollywood Hills

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Sunday, March 26, 2017
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A public memorial service was held for mother-daughter actors Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, who both died suddenly and only days apart last year.

HOLLYWOOD HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- At a public memorial celebrating the lives of Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher, many loving and personal photographs helped tell their story.

The mother-daughter icons died suddenly late last year, stunning the Hollywood community and their fans.

Those dedicated fans lined up early Saturday morning to see and hear it all. For Debbie's son and Carrie's brother, Todd Fisher, it was important to make the event accessible to everyone.

He decided to stream the event live for the world to watch.

"We're trying to let people into our hearts and into our feelings in our living room. I said when I got up there, 'Hey, just imagine we're all sitting in a living room and this is our family get-together saying goodbye to these two family members.' That's what I wanted this to feel like," he said.

The audience heard from Debbie's longtime friend, actress Ruta Lee, and from actor Dan Aykroyd, who worked with both women and dated Carrie.

The auditorium was standing room only, filled with friends, family and the fans from all over.

Young performers from Debbie's dance studio in North Hollywood took to the stage to entertain - even offering up their own take on Debbie's classic "Singin' in the Rain" performance.

R2-D2 even made a touching appearance in remembrance of Carrie, who played "Star Wars" icon Princess Leia. Los Angeles' Gay Men's Chorus also filled the stage with song to honor both women.

Debbie co-founded the mental health charity, The Thalians. During the memorial, the group was selling a pin featuring a drawing of the two women to raise money to help others.

"There's a new fund at UCLA - it's the Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Thalians fund. It's for bipolar and mood disorders because that's something that was near and dear to their hearts," president of the group, Kira Reed Lorsch, said.

The drawing is done by artist Ricky LaChance. It shows Debbie and Carrie leaving the world together as the characters from their iconic roles. The pin will go on sale on the organization's website next week.