Todd Fisher is the brother of Carrie Fisher, who suffered a major heart attack on December 23 and died on December 27. He is also the son of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, who died just days after her daughter. On March 25, Fisher held a public memorial for his famous mother and sister.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in March 2017, Fisher said that his mother asked for his “permission” to die after his sister passed away.
“My mother said to me the night that Carrie died … we were talking that night and I didn’t know what was happening, but she was setting me up for her leaving the planet,” he told ET. “And she really just said to me, ‘You know, I know that was really hard on you losing your sister.’ [And I said], ‘I mean, Carrie was there holding my hand when I took my first steps. I have film of that and it will be in the memorial.’ And when I was editing that, it ripped my heart out. But my mother said, ‘I know that’s tough. It might be tougher even, you know… I don’t know for sure when I [will] go.'”
Like his older sister and mother, the 58-year-old Fisher went into the movie business, but focused on work as a cameraman and a producer. He also oversaw his mother’s finances as the CEO of the Debbie Reynolds Management Company, Inc.
After the sad news about his sister’s health, Fisher was in the spotlight, giving updates and urging everyone to pray for her. On December 27, the Fisher family told People Magazine that Carrie Fisher died.
“It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning,” family spokesman Simon Halls said. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Todd Fisher remembered his sister on Twitter.
On December 28, TMZ reported that Reynolds and Todd Fisher were at his house in Beverly Hills, discussing funeral plans, when someone called 911 to report a medical emergency. Sources told the site that Reynolds has been “distraught” since the death of her only daughter. TMZ reports that Reynolds suffered a “possible stroke” and that her condition was listed as “fair to serious” when she arrived at the hospital. The Los Angeles Times’ source said that Reynolds was complaining of breathing problems.
Joely Fisher, whose mother is Eddie Fisher’s third wife, Connie Stevens, tweeted:
Just a couple of hours after TMZ reported that Reynolds was rushed to the hospital, the site reported that she died. Reynolds, the star of musicals like Singin’ In The Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, was 84 years old. TMZ said that Todd Fisher confirmed his mother’s death.
In a 20/20 interview after the deaths of his mother and sister, Todd Fisher said that the two will be buried together in Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
“My mother loves hummingbirds, and had hummingbirds in her yard,” he told 20/20. “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.”
Todd Fisher is named after Michael Todd, the producer who was married to Elizabeth Taylor from 1957 until his death in a plane crash a year later. Todd was friends with Reynolds and Fisher’s father, Eddie Fisher. Fisher is married to his third wife, former One Life to Live actress Catherine Hickland.
Here’s a look at Fisher’s life and what he’s saying about his sister.
1. Fisher’s Family Confirmed Carrie Fisher Died on December 27 & Debbie Reynolds Died a Day Later
Carrie Fisher’s heart attack was first reported by TMZ. According to the site, Fisher was on a United Airlines flight from London, where she was on a tour to promote the book The Princess Diarist, to Los Angeles and that the emergency happened 15 minutes before the flight landed. An EMT happened to be on the plane and helped treat Carrie Fisher before the plane landed. TMZ reports that it took 15 minutes of CPR to finally get a pulse. She was rushed to UCLA Medical Center on a ventilator.
Fisher first told the Associated Press that his sister was in stable condition, but he later said that he could not confirm her condition.
“She’s in the ICU and everybody’s praying for her,” he told Variety. “There’s nothing new from the doctors. There’s nothing new at all. … There’s no good news or bad news.”
Fisher told Variety that the AP was “writing between the lines” when it said his sister was in stable condition before.
Fisher also told The Hollywood Reporter that Carrie Fisher was “out of the emergency room” at around 4 p.m.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Fisher said that his sister was in the intensive care unit.
“We don’t know. We hope for the best,” Fisher told Entertainment Tonight. “We certainly do not know her condition, that’s why she is in ICU. I’m sure everyone wants to speculate, but now is not the time for that.”
On December 24 at 10:13 p.m. ET, Fisher’s family told The Hollywood Reporter that there was “no official update right now.” On the following day, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, <a href="http://heavy.com/entertainment/2016/12/carrie-fisher-health-update-stable-condition-says-debbie-reynolds-heart-attack-mother/" wrote on social media that her daughter is in “stable condition.”
On December 27, Fisher’s family confirmed to People that Carrie died at 8:55 a.m. at the hospital. “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers,” the statement read.
The day after Carrie’s death, TMZ reported that Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, died at age 84. She was rushed to the hospital just hours before and was at Todd’s home in Beverly Hills, where they were discussing Carrie Fisher’s funeral.
“She’s with Carrie,” Fisher told The Hollywood Reporter.
In a longer interview with the Associated Press, Fisher said that the stress of losing Carrie was “too much” for his mother. “She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie.’ And then she was gone,” Fisher told the AP.
After the death of his mother and older sister in the span of 24 hours, Fisher tweeted:
In an interview with 20/20, Fisher disputed the idea that his mother “died of a broken heart.”
“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 Fisher told 20/20. “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.”
2. In the 1980s, Fisher Tried to Launch a Satirical Christian Series After Becoming a Born Again Christian
In 1980, Fisher became a Born Again Christian, was ordained two years later and founded a church called the Hiding Place Church, according to a 1984 profile of Fisher. In 1984, he started working on a project called Nightline, which would air on Trinity Broadcasting. The series was an attempt at deliving a religious message in the Saturday Night Live format.
“People are tired of being preached at, they want to be communicated with,” Fisher told People in 1984. “Comedy is effective because people love to laugh. There are a hundred scriptures in the Bible that say the joy of the Lord is our strength. Humor breaks down barriers. When you present something in a funny package, people accept it better.”
According to the Telegraph review of Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking, she wrote that Fisher turned out like a normal person, except becoming a born-again Christian.
Fisher’s other credits in the entertainment business include directing a TV series called Science of Survival and working as a camera operator on the documentaries Blue Angels: A Backstage Pass (1989), Cinerama Adventure (2002) and South Dakota (2013). He also acted in These Old Broads, a TV movie Carrie Fisher co-wrote that included Reynolds and Shirley MacLaine.
3. Fisher Is Married to Soap Opera Actress & Celebrity Hypnotist Catherine Hickland
In 1981, Fisher married his first wife, Donna Greberg, the daughter of Stan Freberg. After they split, Fisher married Christi Fisher, who died in 2008. Fiher had three children with Christi – Vanessa, James and Brandon.
According to her website, Hickland is “the world’s only celebrity hypnotist.” As recently as October, Hickland performed as a “comedy hypnotist.” Her most recent show was on October 17 in Fresno, California.
A statement on Hickland’s website reads:
On Christmas 2012 I married Todd Fisher, the man of my dreams. The best part of all, is that we met through FaceBook and the story is a good one! Three years after we met, we became partners for life. With my incredible husband, I married into a show business family that works for my life, as each member understands the demands and dramas of being an entertainer. I am crazy about my Mother-in-Law, Debbie Reynolds who mothers me as one of her own and offers me great insight, and strength through her own life experiences. And the stories can’t be beat! – Catherine
4. Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Tried Unsuccessfully to Open a New Hollywood Movie Museum, so They Auctioned off Her Memorabilia
Fisher has overseen his mother Debbie Reynolds’ businesses, acting as CEO and President of the now-defunct Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino. He was also the chief executive of the Debbie Reynolds Management Company, Inc.
Fisher was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino from 1994 until Reynolds sold the hotel in 1999. The Las Vegas hotel was demolished in 2015.
Since Reynolds obtained such a large collection of Hollywood memorabilia during her days in the movies, Fisher and his mother tried desperately to find a buyer for the collection to display the pieces in a museum. Reynolds and Fisher did run the Hollywood Motion Picture Museum, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009 after an attempt to move the museum from Los Angeles to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
A year after filing for Chapter 11, Fisher announced that the memorabilia had to be auctioned off.
“Most people collect for themselves, but she collected for the public,” Fisher told the Knoxville News-Sentinel in 2010. “She collected for all of us. She collected for the American people to preserve the history of their industry.”
By May 2016, Reynolds and Fisher finished auctioning off her entire collection.
5. Fisher’s Most Recent Project Was a Documentary About Debbie Reynolds
Fisher has worked on a few projects about his famous mother. In 1991, he directed Movie Memories with Debbie Reynolds, a series of segments where his mother introduced classic films and interviewed stars after the movie.
In 2016, Fisher produced Bright Lights, a documentary about Reynolds and his sister, Carrie Fisher.
In an interview with People Magazine in May 2016, Carrie said that Bright Lights will likely be the 84-year-old Reynolds’ last project. Her daughter was sadly right.
“It’s a lot of times terrifying, but watching my mother, who’s incredibly resilient, coping with certain health issues that she’s had,” Carrie Fisher told People of her mother. “We were really lucky we got really what probably could be her last [big project].”
Bright Lights was directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens, and released in September. Fisher was also interviewed for the film.