In his first TV interview since their deaths, Todd Fisher opened up about his mother, Debbie Reynolds, and sister Carrie Fisher on ABC’s 20/20, which aired on Friday, December 30.
As previously reported, Reynolds died at age 84 on Wednesday, December 28, one day after her daughter Carrie’s death.
“From the family’s perspective, this is Debbie’s destiny. She didn’t want to leave Carrie and did not want her to be alone,” Todd, 58, told ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas. “She didn’t die of a broken heart. She just left to be with Carrie.… Carrie was a force of nature in her own right, you know. It took another force of nature to bridle and work with that and she was great with her.”
The Singin’ in the Rain star was planning Carrie’s funeral when she suffered a stroke. Todd said that her last words were about wanting to be with the Star Wars actress.
“It wasn’t that she was sitting around inconsolable — not at all,” Todd explained. “She simply said that she didn’t get to see Carrie come back from London. She expressed how much she loved my sister. She then said she really wanted to be with Carrie. In those precise words, and within 15 minutes from that conversation, she faded out. Within 30 minutes, she technically was gone.”
“She just effectively went to sleep and didn’t wake up. She closed her eyes, peacefully, like you’re going to sleep, and she literally went to sleep and left,” he continued. “My mother, if anybody, had somehow a way to do that, and I watched it happen in front of my face. I was on her bed with her, and I watched her leave and go to Carrie.”
Todd said that he and Carrie’s daughter, Scream Queens actress Billie Lourd, are “brokenhearted,” but happy that the two have now reunited. “It’s horrible. It’s beautiful. It’s magical they’re together,” he told Vargas. “It’s beyond words. It’s beyond understanding.”
Reynolds and Carrie will have a joint funeral and will both be laid to rest at Forest Lawn–Hollywood Hills. Todd and Lourd, 24, chose the specific cemetery after a hummingbird appeared nearby.
“My mother loves hummingbirds, and had hummingbirds in her yard,” Todd said on Friday. “We were going all over the place, and we got to this one place to look at this one thing, these hummingbirds came, and it was just like ‘fait accompli,’ as my mother would say.”