The lives of Star Wars star Carrie Fisher and her actress mother Debbie Reynolds have been celebrated at a public memorial.

The event, featuring humour, music and dance, was a chance for fans to remember the legendary Hollywood pair following a private service earlier in the year.

Fisher, who was known for playing Princess Leia in the hit film franchise, died in December aged 60 after she suffered a heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles.

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
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The mother and daughter died just one day apart

Her 84-year-old mother, star of Singin’ In The Rain, died of a suspected stroke a day after her daughter.

The ceremony was led by Reynolds’ son Todd Fisher, who called it a show saying his mother hated to attend memorials.

Opening with an ode to Star Wars – the film that made Fisher a household name – a working R2D2 unit came on stage and mournfully beeped before parking next to a director’s chair with Fisher’s name on it.

Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds starred in Singin' In The Rain
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Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds starred in Singin’ In The Rain

Actor Griffin Dunne, who had lived with Fisher when she got the part in Star Wars recounted her initial description of the film: “It’s stupid and it’s terrible.”

He explained how, following the film’s first screening, they both knew she had been wrong.

“We knew movies would never be the same, and you just knew Carrie’s life would never be the same,” he said.

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Dancers from Debbie Reynold’s dance studio performed a tribute to Singin’ In The Rain – the film that catapulted Reynolds to fame aged just 19.

A new song by James Blunt was also played, written by him as a personal tribute to Fisher following her death.

Actor Dan Aykroyd spoke movingly about his former fiance describing her as “sharp, hilarious, plunging, laughing, weeping, souring, exhilarating Carrie”.

Describing his mother’s final moment, Todd Fisher said: “It was a very peaceful exit that only my mother could have orchestrated. She was trained in Hollywood where they teach you to make a great entrance, and exit.”

Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Billie Lourd in 2015
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Three generations – Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Billie Lourd in 2015

Following her successful acting career, Reynolds had gone on to raise millions for those suffering mental illness, which her own daughter had spoken openly about battling throughout her life.

The pair had a complex relationship, with several years of estrangement before reuniting, finally living next door to one another and becoming close friends.

After the service, fans were invited to see the actresses’ final resting place at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills, home to numerous late celebrities, including Bette Davis, Reynolds’ close friend Liberace and silent film star Buster Keaton.

Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd was absent from the event, as was Gary – the beloved French bulldog of the Star Wars actress.