Ryan Gosling thanks Debbie Reynolds for being an everyday ‘inspiration’ for ‘La La Land’

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Ryan Gosling thanked the late Debbie Reynolds for being an inspiration for La La Land during the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Monday.

While accepting the Vanguard Award on behalf of the cast and crew at the annual film awards gala, the actor, who stars as jazz pianist Sebastian in the critically acclaimed Los Angeles-set musical, paid tribute to Reynolds, who died Dec. 28, and her 1952 classic Singin’ in the Rain.

“I wish I could have said this in person, but I’d like to thank Debbie Reynolds for her wonderful career of work,” Gosling, who was joined on stage by La La Land director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz, said to applause. “She was an inspiration to us every day — we watched Singin’ in the Rain every day for inspiration and [she was] a truly unparalleled talent. So, thank you to her for all of that inspiration.”

See photos of Debbie Reynolds throughout her life:

Debbie Reynolds

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Debbie Reynolds, faced with the break-up of her marriage to Eddie Fisher, keeps her emotions concealed beneath a veneer of smiles as she chats briefly with newsmen outside her home in Los Angeles, Sept. 11, 1958. She told them that Fisher had moved out, that she didn?t expect him back, and that his personal things were still in the house. Fisher, meanwhile, was keeping out of sight, as was the third member of Hollywood?s newest triangle story, Elizabeth Taylor. (AP Photo/Don Brinn)

Debbie Reynolds

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Debbie Reynolds

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Debbie Reynolds

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Debbie Reynolds

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Debbie Reynolds

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Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Debbie Reynolds

Getty Images

Cast members of the film “Singin’ in the Rain,” from left, Donald O’Connor, Rita Moreno, Cyd Charisse, and Debbie Reynolds, strike a pose from a musical number at a 50th Anniversary screening of the film in Beverly Hills, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 5, 2002. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson)

In this Tuesday, May 21, 2013 photo, Debbie Reynolds, a cast member in the film “Behind the Candelabra,” poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. Reynolds plays Frances, the mother of the pianist and vocalist, Liberace. HBO debuts “Behind the Candelabra” in the US, Sunday, May 26, 2013. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

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The fest’s annual Vanguard Award, for notable creative ensemble, is presented to a film’s cast and director. La La Land stars Emma Stone as aspiring actress Mia, opposite Gosling, and features John Legend, Rosemary DeWitt and J.K. Simmons.

Read more: How ‘La La Land’s’ Music Found Just the Right Note

Reynolds, the vivacious actress, dancer and pop star, died one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher passed away after suffering complications from a heart attack. She was 84.

On Monday, Reynolds’ granddaughter and Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, shared a touching tribute to the duo on Instagram. “There are no words to express how much I will miss my Abadaba and my one and only Momby,” she said, adding to the fans, “Your love and support means the world to me.”

Watch Gosling’s speech below.

Read more: Mark Hamill’s Carrie Fisher Tribute: “Making Her Laugh Was a Badge of Honor” (Guest Column)

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