A Portrait of Hollywood Royalty

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debby Reynolds (2016)

HBO decided to move up their presentation of Bright Lights – Originally to be shown in March 2017. HBO instead will have their first showing of Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debby Reynolds on the 7th January 2017 @ 8:00pm to 9:35pm (95m – 1h 35m) EST.

The need for more immediacy seemed essential after losing Carrie Fisher at age 60 from a massive heart attack. The details are readily available from other sources. The remarkable ending to her life broke the many hearts of those who loved and respected who she was in life. Someone remarked, read her books again or for the first time to get the real inside of Carrie Fisher. She was direct, witty, honest, opened up her life to help others who were living similar nightmares. As Princess Leia she showed a woman could take care of herself. Man didn’t need to rescue her, she rescued them. She stood up for us all and is an inspiration the way in which she chose to live her life. I went down a similar road and with her openness, it helped me to make it through to the great place I am in my life. Nothing is perfect but when you can achieve your own goals, needing help from others is perfectly fine. It’s better to have someone to love who loves you in return. It makes life special.  She was an advocate for Mental Illness (Dysfunction) and enabled people to come forward after her death and declare on Twitter they were bipolar or had PTSD or suffered from Depression and much more. Many of these people risked highly visible careers by doing it under the hashtag #InHonorOfCarrie. She gave people support with her books and coming out by talking about her bipolar and the ECT she had frequently. Her intentions were to try to eliminate the stigma. She freed people from feeling like outcasts. Her life was always giving to her family and the world. She is our Princess Now. I was crushed when I read the headlines and repeatedly said No – louder and louder,  feeling like I was losing my mind. This could not be possible. Unimaginable.

The next day after Carrie Fisher’s death the news came in her mother Debby Reynolds was being taken to the hospital via ambulance. A short time later, my partner received a news release stating: Debby Reynolds is dead. The news went beyond any reasonable belief.

I have had time to watch Carrie’s Wishful Drinking performance on HBO. Next came deciding to buy the Original Star Wars Trilogy in Blu-Ray. I haven’t been able to open the package. In time I will. I did decide to rewatch the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The first time was before any of this was happening. Bought her most current book release The Princess Diarist and also Shockoholic. Reading her words makes me feel in touch with her. So it is a good suggestion to grieve, if you are, to fill up your soul with who she presented to the world. And that always seemed to be the inside story.

Carrie tried to remove the stigma of Mental (Illness) Dysfunction. We are who we are. She didn’t let people make her be less of who she was. She is still all around us.

Debby Reynolds is her brilliant mother, a Hollywood Movie Star from the old school. Sometimes I just wish there were a way to create an atmosphere for the film world to not be so oppressive to women or other minorities. The film world has room for the diversity. Also to make more optimistic stories we can escape into. Reality is bad enough sometimes, we need books and films to help us get away from the harshness of life. There is nothing wrong with needing to escape and doing it. Entertainment should be for everyone. Debby Reynolds grew up in the old star system and then it gradually disappeared. For something which had grown in strange ways, the old Hollywood, the new one has left the building. It’s up to Independent Film makers to continue telling the stories now. Occasionally, a film is made one can feel comfortable when watching. There is nothing wrong with that either.

Debby Reynolds was Hollywood Royalty and Carrie Fisher was born into one of the most well know Royal Families. Now they are gone and so are all the others pretty much. Losing part of our childhood and losing someone from within our own age, it was too soon for Carrie to go but since she did and her mother did not want to be without her, she left the very next day. No one would ever part them. Now the disturbance in the Force is beginning to heal from the sadness and tears. The more we just let them both be alive in our memories through all the gifts they left for us , it will keep them alive as long as we remember. – j.kiley 2017

Debby Reynolds at theend of Singin' In The Rain' running up the aisle. She turns when she hears Gene Kelly acknowledging her as the Star. She became a Star due to this film and she became a Star within the film.

Debby Reynolds at the end of Singin’ In The Rain’ running up the aisle. She turns when she hears Gene Kelly acknowledging her as the Star. She became a Star due to this film and she became a Star within the film. Debby’s face says it all – losing two such remarkable women.


Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia (Center) Harrison Ford as Han Solo (Right) Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker (Left) in the Original Star Wars (Episode IV): A New Hope. Carrie became a star as Princess Leia at 19 years. Her mom Debby Reynolds became a Star at 19 years in Singin’ In The Rain. Both married Famous Jewish Singers. They were bound in life by love and exited life a day apart. “They so couldn’t live life without each other that they couldn’t die without each other, either.” (NYTimes article 12.29.16 ‘The Unsinkable Debby Reynolds’… I mean in a film she survived the Titanic.) A remarkable love affair beyond anyone’s understanding but theirs.


Just take in their love for each other. (2015) Debby and Carrie. A beautiful sight.


Sag Awards for Debby Reynolds to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award 2015. She was unable to be present due to an illness for the same honor from the Academy Awards. Carrie was very careful to protect her mom, who was very fragile. Photo left to right are Carrie Fisher – Debby Reynolds – Billie Lourd (also an actress in her own right – check IMdB)


Carrie Fisher with her service dog Gary. Billie Lourd, Carrie’s daughter and Debby’s Granddaughter, is caring for Gary now.

Bright Lights Trailer

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