Soap Hub called part one of Maurice Benard’s video podcast of State Of Mind with longtime friend Catherine Hickland and her husband, Todd Fisher, amazing. And it was. The promise of more to come in part two did not disappoint.
Maurice Benard: State Of Mind
In this episode, the trio dove deep into the Fisher family history, from his birth as Carrie Fisher’s destined companion in life to his mother’s last words. They discussed Debbie Reynolds’s many charitable achievements and struggles as a mom and touched upon Hickland’s (Lindsay on OLTL; Tess on Loving and The City; Julie on Capital; and Courtney on Texas) overcoming her worst fear – flying – to build her career in Hollywood on her own terms.
Todd Fisher: A Lesson In Grieving
Maurice Benard, who captivates audiences every week on General Hospital as Sonny Corinthos, sat down with Hickland and Fisher in their Las Vegas home. Their house is basically a museum that pays tribute to a legendary Hollywood family — Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher, and her younger brother [Todd], tons of entertainment memorabilia, as well as Hickland’s incredible career highlights. The host and his guests tackled the shadow looming in the room – the back-to-back passing of Carrie on December 27, 2016, and her mother, Reynolds, the next day.
Fisher spoke of how he and Hickland processed the loss of his sister. “If we were not people of faith, and that was the end, you would feel horrible, but if you think in terms of the fact that she was also released from this horrible burden [mental illness]. And it is a burden. Her life was a struggle. It was a beautiful thing, but it was also a difficult thing.”
With his mother, the loss did not come as a surprise since she had suffered a stroke the year prior that the public did not know about, so there was some emotional preparation in place. He was in the room when Reynolds announced, “I have got to be with Carrie,” and within a matter of minutes, she closed her eyes, went to sleep, and never woke up again. He felt at peace. “It was just the most graceful exit on earth. My mother knew how to have an entrance and an exit.”
Catherine Hickland: Overcoming Fear
Watching Hickland and Fisher interact, it is clear they are very supportive of each other and share a similar philosophy about life. He admired his spouse’s approach to building her career as an actress on her own terms.
The veteran soap star explained how she conquered her fear of flying to take a job as a stewardess [now referred to as flight attendant] to earn a living while pursuing her goal of working in Hollywood. By chance, the airline was looking for a stewardess to represent them in a commercial [‘Fly Me’ advertising campaign]. She auditioned and won the role, which earned her a place in the Screen Actors Guild. Her advice to others is, “No matter what route you take, what is supposed to happen is going to happen, as long as you are doing the work. As long as your eye is on the prize, it is going to happen if it is meant to be.”
Benard, Fisher, and Hickland had so much more to share about mental health and Reynolds’s many charitable contributions, including raising money and co-founding The Thalians, a mental health facility at Cedars Sinai Hospital. Fisher spoke of his childhood, being a part of the ‘three compadres,’ growing up as Carrie’s younger sibling, and his mother’s fierce strength when faced with adversity. Watch the riveting interview in its entirety here.
Benard disclosed how the couple helped him during one of his darkest times and how grateful he was. Part of the success of State Of Mind is Benard’s empathy for his guests. His own experiences, as shared in his bestselling memoir Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital, gives him a unique base from which to ease others into sharing their stories and helping others along the way.
Follow Catherine Hickland on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Todd Fisher on Twitter and Instagram, or check out his Official Website at www.toddfisher.com. Subscribe to State of Mind on YouTube for all the episodes, and follow the show on Twitter and Instagram. Follow Maurice Benard on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
— Maurice Benard (@MauriceBenard) August 21, 2022