art du jour

The Story Behind That Striking Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds Photograph

Photo: Lawrence Schiller © Polaris Communications Inc

If you were on social media over the past 24 hours, there’s a fair chance you stumbled across the gorgeous black-and-white photograph, shown above, of a young Carrie Fisher attentively watching her mother, Debbie Reynolds, while she performs onstage. The photo itself is striking on its own merit, but after the deaths of both Fisher and Reynolds this week, it has reached a new level of poignancy. The photographer, Lawrence Schiller, did a short interview with the New York Times to discuss the shot, which he took at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas in 1963 while on assignment. “Her daughter was really mesmerized by her mother always. That’s what really stood out,” he explained. “You’re waiting for the moment in which something you’ve seen is illustrated. And then you don’t even stop and think. The image is there and your camera is like a sponge to absorb the moment.” Schiller also noted that a nanny watching over Fisher brought a stool for her to sit on, Fisher climbed on top of it “all by herself,” and sat through the entire performance without looking away. Two Hollywood icons immortalized, indeed.

The Story Behind That Fisher, Reynolds Photo