Film legend Debbie Reynolds died on Wednesday at the age of 84 after suffering a stroke. Her death came one day after her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, died at age 60 after going into cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles last week.
Throughout their lives, the Oscar-nominated Singin’ in the Rain star and the Star Wars icon had a complicated relationship, made even more challenging by public scrutiny, mental health struggles and other factors that tried to rip apart their bond. However, Carrie and Debbie loved each other through it all, in their own special ways.
In honor of their powerful connection and emotional relationship, ET is taking a look back at some of the pair’s sweetest, most touching mother-daughter moments.
1. When Carrie Was a Baby Girl, and Debbie Beamed With Joy
Debbie and her first husband, actor Eddie Fisher, welcomed Carrie on October 21, 1956, and the proud parents posed for heartwarming family photos with their adorable baby girl.
2. When Carrie Came Out to Support Her Mom Getting a Star on the Walk of Fame
When Debbie got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997, Carrie came out to share a few funny words about her mom, joking, “If I have to live in anyone’s shadow it should be yours… It’s always interesting following your footsteps. I love you, Momma. One more star and that makes up for each of your horrible ex-husbands.”
Debbie thanked her daughter during the ceremony, sharing, “I’m especially proud of my daughter Carrie [who] came and said such funny words. She’s a brilliant, young, wonderful, talented, woman but she’s mainly my precious baby. I love her very much.”
3. When They Were Very Honest About Their Troubled Past
In 2010, the pair sat down for a joint interview with the New York Times, where they opened up about their once-tumultuous relationship, and how they loved each other in spite of their differences.
“I think we’ve always been open and honest — that’s why we didn’t get along,” Debbie shared. “As a parent you must give your opinion. And if that causes a breach, then it causes a breach. Carrie and I have disagreements and stalemates, but we still walk away loving each other.”
4. When they Sang a Barbara Streisand Tune Together
During an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011, Carrie and Debbie picked up their mics and, with some piano accompaniment, sang a duet of the Barbara Streisand classic “Happy Days Are Here Again,” and it was just the sweetest.
5. When Carrie Fisher Honored Her Mom at the 2015 SAG Awards
When Debbie won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 SAG Awards, it was her daughter who presented her with the trophy, and as Debbie delivered her speech, it was clear how emotional the moment was for both of them.
6. When Carrie Praised for Her ‘Immensely Powerful’ Mom
In November, when Carrie was promoting her recently released memoir The Princess Diarist, she spoke with NPR’s Terry Gross, and opened up about her relationship with her mom, calling her “and immensely powerful woman.”
“She’s an extraordinary woman. Extraordinary. There’s very few women from her generation who worked like that, who just kept a career going all her life, and raised children, and had horrible relationships, and lost all her money, and got it back again. I mean, she’s had an amazing life, and she’s someone to admire.”
7. When Debbie Earnestly Acknowledged Her Daughter’s Powerful Impact on Pop Culture
A large part of Debbie and Carrie’s past estrangement came from the Star Wars icon having been unhappy working in her mother’s shadow. While they moved past their problems and became deeply connected in later life, there’s one quote from Debbie that truly shows how much she respected and understood the career her daughter had carved out for herself:
“People used to call her ‘Debbie Reynolds’ daughter,’ now they call me ‘Princess Leia’s mother!’”