Actress Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds, who died within a day of each other, descended from an Irish fugitive from Donegal.
Carrie Fisher, well-known for her role as Princess Leia from Star Wars, died on December 27th after suffering a heart attack before Christmas. She was 60 years old.
Her mother Debbie (84) passed away within a day of learning her daughter died. She was also an actress, known for her starring role in Singin’ In The Rain.
Over the past week, tributes have poured in from Ireland and all over the world for the mother and daughter. Carrie revealed her Donegal connections last year when she was an honoree at the US-Ireland Alliance’s 10th annual Oscar Wilde Awards.
Of her Irish ancestry, Fisher told Alliance president Trina Vargo, “My great, great, fabulous grandfather Burt McReynolds from the county Donegal was wrongfully accused of being a horse thief, a case of mistaken identity.
“But rather than put his family through the rigors of a trial to clear the family name, he emigrated to America, dropped the Mc in the ocean, became Burt Reynolds and the rest is history…and incredibly boring. Thankfully my mother changed all that and gave our family name a kick in the pants that it might or might not deserve.”
Carrie is also being remembered fondly for speaking out about mental health. She had bipolar disorder, alcoholism and battled other illnesses, but always spoke candidly about her illnesses and encouraged others to find help.
Her mother Debbie married musician Eddie Fisher in 1955, and they became the parents of Carrie and Todd. Debbie went on to marry two more times.
The family of the late actresses are planning to hold a joint memorial service.