The actor, joined by director Damien Chazelle, took to the stage to accept the Vanguard Award for “La La Land.” The Los Angeles–set musical film ― an early awards season favorite ― was heavily influenced by classic films like “Singin’ in the Rain,” which starred Reynolds.
“I wish I could’ve said this in person, but I’d like to thank Debbie Reynolds for her wonderful career of work,” Gosling said. “She was an inspiration to us every day. We watched ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ every day for inspiration, and she was truly an unparalleled talent. So I thank her for all of that inspiration.”
Reynolds died on Dec. 28 after reportedly suffering a stroke. Her death came just one day after the actress’ daughter, “Star Wars” icon Carrie Fisher, died after suffering a heart attack. The two will be buried in a joint funeral service at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Hollywood Hills.