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Debbie Reynolds And Carrie Fisher: Their Legendary Mother-Daughter Moments

05/01/2017 17:19
Ron Galella via Getty Images

The mother-daughter dynamic between Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher was both hilarious and heart-rending. We've all had those toe-curling "Mom, noooooooo!" moments, but Debbie took it to a whole new level when it came to embarrassing her daughter. In turn, Carrie pushed her mother to the max, with her descent into drug addiction, a ten-year estrangement and her eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Debbie remained devoted to Carrie, supporting and loving her unconditionally until they both passed away just one day apart. Debbie's last words were "I want to be with Carrie."

Their unique relationship is explored in the forthcoming HBO documentary Bright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, which premiered at Cannes last year and takes on new poignancy in light of recent events.

Let's look back at Carrie and Debbie's most eccentric and memorable mother-daughter moments.

1) What the f*ck?

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Image: Todd Fisher/Twitter

Carrie recalls that when she was seven she saw the F word written on the playground wall and after school, asked her mother what it meant. "I'll have to tell you later dear," replied Debbie,"when I can draw you diagrams."

2) When Cary called Carrie

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Image: Allan Warren/WikiCommons CC BY S.A. 3.0

When your teenage daughter is dropping too much acid and you're really concerned, who are you going to call? Why, Cary Grant of course!

As Fisher recalls: "When the phone rang, and a familiar voice informed me that he was Cary Grant - even a Cary Grant that was gonna maybe give me a "just say no" drug lecture - well, initially I was, in fact, totally tongue-tied. Normally, I wouldn't have believed that the person on the other end actually was Cary Grant - but when he told me my mother had asked him to call, well that sounded eerily like some bizarre thing my mother would do."

3) Nobody puts Carrie in coach

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Image:Todd Fisher/Twitter

According to games radar, money was so tight for the production of Star Wars: A New Hope that production planned to fly the cast to the UK in economy rather than first class.

As Hollywood royalty, Debbie was so incensed at the thought of her daughter slumming it that she personally phoned George Lucas to complain - whereupon the 19 year old Carrie snatched the phone and said "Mother, I want to fly coach, will you f*ck off?!" The indignity of her flying economy was, said Carrie "a fact that would haunt my mother for months."

4) The ten year feud

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Image: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

Carrie and Debbie opened up to Oprah Winfrey about their often difficult bond in 2011. "We had a fairly volatile relationship earlier on in my 20s. I didn't want to be around her. I did not want to be Debbie Reynold's daughter," revealed Carrie. Debbie was devastated by her rejection saying "It's very hard when your child doesn't want to talk to you and you want to talk to them, and you want to touch them, you want to hold them." After ten years of estrangement, the pair were eventually reconciled and ended up living next door to each other in the same grounds, "separated by one daunting hill."

5) Postcards from the edge

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Image: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

Carrie Fisher documented her struggles with her mother, fame and drug addiction in her thinly veiled novel, later turned into a movie starring Meryl Streep. Carrie was eventually diagnosed with Bipolar disorder aged 24. "My lowest point in Carrie and my relationship was probably when we discovered that she was ill... and that it was going to be with her forever," Debbie told Oprah. "That was very hard. How is she going to get along in life? How can I help her in life? All I could do is love her, and always shall." Carrie went on to become an outspoken advocate for mental health, saying "I'm mentally ill... I am not ashamed of that."

6) The show must go on

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Image: Featureflash/Shutterstock

In Bright Lights, the new HBO documentary about their relationship, Carrie talks of trying - and failing - to stop the then 83 year-old Debbie Reynolds from performing. Says Fisher "My mother is performing a show in Connecticut. I tried to stop her, but that is like throwing yourself in front of one of a... what are those called? Not tiramisus. Tsunamis. She's Tsumommy."

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds will debut in the US January 7 on HBO, and in the UK January 10 on Sky Atlantic.

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