When Debbie Reynolds died the day after Carrie Fisher, fans knew their bond was strong, but according to family friend Sue Cameron, few people knew how powerful it truly was

By Maura Hohman
December 27, 2018 08:00 AM
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2011 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Arrivals
Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

When Debbie Reynolds died the day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, two years ago, it seemed yet another sign of their powerful and almost otherworldly connection. And, according to Debbie’s longtime friend Sue Cameron, their bond was indeed deeper than most ever realized.

At age 60, the Star Wars alum died of a heart attack on a plane on December 27, 2016; Reynolds died at 84 years old the very next day. And while the world was moved by their closeness both in life and in death, Cameron says that Reynolds had a premonition her daughter would not make it home for Christmas that year.

All Star Moms
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
| Credit: CBS via Getty Images

“I made it a point to go over every three weeks to see Debbie, and on that last day that I saw her, on Dec. 21, she told me she had had a vision the night before,” says Cameron, the author of Hollywood Secrets and Scandals. “She called it an ‘experience with death.'”

Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Sue Cameron
Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Sue Cameron
| Credit: Sue Cameron

Cameron says Reynolds told her that she had been in bed that night, when she “felt death come over her.” The star described it as a “weighty cloud” that briefly hovered over her bed. “Oh all right, I guess this is it,” said Reynolds as she recounted the moment to Cameron. But then, she said, the cloud moved to the left of her bed and stayed there.

“Debbie said, ‘I guess it wasn’t for me,'” says Cameron, “but in hindsight, I realized the cloud settled over the exact spot where Carrie always sat on Debbie’s bed.”

Debbie Reynolds, Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher
| Credit: Bruce Bozzi/Instagram

Cameron says that Reynolds, whom she had known for over 40 years, was not afraid of death. “She was absolutely ready to go and said that if it happens, she had a wonderful life and that people get old and you have to accept it.”

However, Cameron says, Reynolds told her she was “very worried” about her daughter.

“She said ‘I don’t know what will happen to Carrie if I go and that is my only worry,’ ” says Cameron. “The day Carrie got on the plane from London, Debbie told her assistant and caretaker … that she did not believe Carrie was coming home. She did not say ‘Carrie is going to die today,’ but she said ‘Carrie is not coming home.'”

“Somehow Debbie had a sense that Carrie was going to die,” says Cameron. “She knew it.”

Carrie and Todd Fisher

Cameron met Reynolds in the late ’70s when she interviewed the star for her column at The Hollywood Reporter.

That’s when Reynolds told Cameron that she would teach her what Hollywood was really about. “You can’t write about us, until you know what our lives are like,” Reynolds told the young writer. “So I am going to send you plane tickets and you are going to come with me on the road and see what our work is really about.”

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“She taught me the Hollywood business from the side of the star,” says Cameron, “and that’s what most people don’t see.”

Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
| Credit: Ron Galella/WireImage

“I’ve seen her tap dance with three broken toes because she could not miss a show,” says Cameron. “She had an extraordinary work ethic.”

Cameron says the bond between Reynolds and her daughter was almost beyond comprehension. “I would almost call it pre-ordained,” says Cameron. “It was as if they had arrived here from another universe and they were supposed to play this out. They were bonded and almost locked together.”

With reporting by Liz McNeil.