Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' Public Memorial Features Onstage Cameo From R2-D2

The two died within days of each other last December

By Corinne Heller, Alli Rosenbloom Mar 25, 2017 10:00 PMTags

Carrie Fisher was honored by a dear and old friend at a public celebration of her and her mother Debbie Reynolds' lives, which was livestreamed Saturday.

Star Wars droid R2-D2 made a cameo appearance onstage alongside Carrie's brother and Debbie's son Todd Fisher, who hosted the event at a reception hall at the Hollywood Hills' Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where both actresses were laid to rest together at a private funeral in January.

"My mother didn't like memorials or funerals," Todd, 59, told the crowd Saturday. "She liked shows, this show was really time for you to be in our living room as if we were all a big family." 

Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher's Mother-Daughter Moments
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Carrie, 60, and her 84-year-old veteran actress mom died within one day of each other last December.

"She said to me many times, 'I never want to go to my daughter's funeral,'" Todd recalled. "So she said, 'I would like to change my burial plans and I would like to buried with Carrie. I didn't know she was going to leave us the very next day."

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Home videos of a young Carrie with her family, as well as scenes of her as Princess Leia in four Star Wars films, most recently Star Wars: The Force Awakens, were screened at the event, as was footage of Debbie in her own movies.

Artifacts from the family's life, including Debbie's old Hollywood artifacts, which she famously collected, were also displayed at the entrance to the venue.

Two groups of dancers also performed, including one that tap-danced to Debbie's famous dance from Singin' in the Rain. The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles also performed "True Colors," made famous by Cyndi Lauper, in her honor and a song by James Blunt written and performed for the pair played at the very end of the program. 

Carrie Fisher: A Life in Pictures

Dan Aykroyd, who was once engaged to Carrie and starred with her in The Blues Brothers, took the podium to deliver some sweet words about the star.

"Although Carrie and I did not get married, we had taken blood test in anticipation of maybe having a child," he said. "So what would the offspring of Princess Leia and Elwood Blues turn out like? Funny? Quick? Spiritual, haunted, pursued, talented, acerbic...deviant, manic, other words, we would've had Todd Fisher."

Ruta Lee, who worked closely with Debbie on launching her charity The Thalians, sang a few of her dear friend's favorite songs. Additional speakers included Margie Duncan, who runs Reynolds' world famous dance studio, other close family members and a former roommate of Carrie's, who compared living with the star to a "24-hour long, living musical."

E! News

E! News spoke with Todd Fisher about the widely-attended event, a coming together that Debbie would've wished for. 

He shared, "Well, we've already said goodbye in many ways but this is the goodbye that we are sharing with friends and family and the public because they are connected to us. It's the way Debbie would've wanted it, it's the way it is. So you can't really be done with the goodbyes until you do it with all of the people."

Fisher called the public memorial a final "sendoff" to Carrie and Debbie, speaking about their extended family, "There are words that are unspoken between any of us. We had a very strong love and so there are no goodbyes. We shall all meet again."

Other celebs who attended the memorial included Todd's wife and former One Life to Live star Catherine Hickland, actor Griffin Dunne, one of Carrie's longtime friends, and actress Connie Stevens, 78, who used to be married to Carrie and Todd's dad Eddie Fisher, who died in 2010. 

In addition to Todd, Carrie is survived by half-sisters Joely Fisher, 49, and Tricia Leigh Fisher, 48, and daughter and Scream Queens actress Billie Lourd, 24, who is now caring for the actress' French bulldog, Gary.

Debbie's dog, a terrier mix named Dwight, was spotted at the memorial, being led by one of the actress' friends.