Last night – Saturday, November 14th – I spent an amazing evening in Los Angeles with my family. I was humbled to be able to attend the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ 2015 Governors Awards at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood with my stepfather Todd Fisher, aunt Carrie Fisher, and cousin Billie Lourd in honor of Debbie Reynolds.
I have no idea where I would be today without Todd and Debbie. Following a traumatic divorce from my father, ’60 singer Johnny Rivers, my mom, Christi, married Todd, who took my brothers and me in, and raised us as his own. Debbie has been the most amazing grandmother to me, so I felt blessed to be able to attend this prestigious event, were she was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her “irresistible optimism and unflagging support she has brought to the lives of those in need.”
It was very sad that Debbie could not attend, but it was wonderful to see Billie accept the honorary Oscar from Meryl Streep on her behalf. As one of the many people in need that Debbie has helped throughout her life, I can say from personal experience that the award was well deserved for so many reasons. Debbie is not just a phenomenal actress, she is a remarkable human being on every level and a shining example of the type of person we should all strive to be like. Following the event last night, when asked how she felt after receiving the award, Debbie told Todd, “I decided to dedicate a big part of my life to helping people in need because really, that is what life is all about.”
Gena Rowlands and Spike Lee were also honored with Oscars. Spike Lee giving his acceptance speech on stage with Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington.