Friends and family members gathered at the next-door homes of Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher on a gloomy Thursday in the Hollywood Hills for an intimate memorial to mourn the late actresses.
The service was held at Fisher’s home and the eulogies were delivered by her daughter, Billie Lourd, and friends like Meryl Streep, Tracey Ullman and Stephen Fry, while the 125 guests dined on fried chicken, collard greens, and cornbread, according to People magazine.
Streep, who starred in the adaptation of Fisher’s semi-autobiographical novel “Postcards from the Edge,” carried white flowers as she walked up the long driveway to the wooded compound, choosing to ignore questions from reporters gathered on the street. Inside, People reported that Streep sang Fisher’s favourite song, “Happy Days Are Here Again,” and everyone joined in.
Streep knew both mother and daughter â€” she had presented Reynolds with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the film academy’s Governors Awards in 2015.
Outside, Meg Ryan, Ellen Barkin and Ed Begley Jr. were among those entering the property in the tony Coldwater Canyon area of Los Angeles, just north of Beverly Hills. According to People, other celebrity guests included Penny Marshall, Richard Dreyfuss and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Also visiting the compound Thursday were Jamie Lee Curtis, who stars with Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, on TV’s “Scream Queens,” and Eric Idle, a friend of Fisher’s who rented her his home during the filming of “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Fisher and Reynolds died last week, one day apart, casting a pall over Hollywood’s annual holiday break. Fisher, 60, an actress and writer who starred as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, died Dec. 27 after suffering a medical emergency Dec. 23 aboard a flight from London. Reynolds, 84, an Oscar-nominated actress who shot to fame after starring in “Singin’ in the Rain” at age 19, passed away Dec. 28 after being briefly hospitalized.
“She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie,'” Reynolds’ son, Todd Fisher, told The Associated Press. “And then she was gone.”
Fisher and Reynolds will be buried together at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, reportedly on Friday. The sprawling location is the resting place of numerous celebrities, including Lucille Ball, Dick Van Patten, Liberace, Florence Henderson, David Carradine and Bette Davis.
Todd Fisher and other family representatives did not immediately respond to requests for further details about the memorial and burial services.
Lourd, 24, made her first public comment on the deaths of her mother and grandmother on Instagram Monday.
“Receiving all of your prayers and kind words over the past week has given me strength during a time I thought strength could not exist,” Lourd wrote under a picture of the three women. “There are no words to express how much I will miss my Abadaba and my one and only Momby.”
People inside and outside of show business have continued to mourn the two Hollywood legends. Last week, fans created an impromptu star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame for Fisher, and peers like “Star Wars'” Mark Hamill have written heartfelt tributes.
HBO bumped up plans to air the new Fisher Stevens-directed documentary about the mother, daughter duo, “Bright Lights,” which is now set to air on Saturday.
Elsewhere Thursday, Broadway theatres announced plans to dim their marquee lights Friday night. The Broadway League says the lights will be dimmed for one minute at 7:45 p.m.
Reynolds and Fisher both made their Broadway debuts in 1973 in the musical comedy revival of “Irene,” which earned Reynolds a Tony Award nomination. She also appeared on Broadway in “Woman of the Year” and the musical revue “Debbie.”
Fisher’s Broadway credits include her one-woman show “Wishful Drinking,” ”Agnes of God” and “Censored Scenes From King Kong.”
Photographers Scott Fain and Reed Saxon contributed to this report.
Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press