Debbie Reynolds is popularly called the musical actress for her many achievements as an excellent actress who may younger actresses looked up to. She was an American actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, humanitarian and the mother of late Star War’s cast, Carrie Fisher.
Debbie Reynolds is a thoroughly experienced and seasoned Hollywood performer. In the course of her active career, Debbie most definitely had the best of stage, TV and film entertainment. Before her death, she was one of the most respected acting personalities in Hollywood.
Biography And Death
Mary Frances Reynolds was born on in Texas, USA. In 1939, the Reynolds family relocated from El Paso to Burbank, California where Debbie, as she is professionally known, started her high school education at the age of 16. The yet-to-blossom media star was raised in a poor but staunch Christian home.
Debbie’s family has a Scottish-Irish and English ancestry. Her father was Raymond Francis Reynolds, a Southern Pacific Railroad carpenter, her mother, Maxine, did laundry services to make ends meet. Debbie has an older brother, William Reynolds.
Contrary to her fashion style in later years, Debbie was not the typical dress up diva in her youth. She was unpopular, didn’t have many friends and was pretty much unnoticed. Nonetheless, she lived a happy, content and religious life. The tomboy back in the day was a devoted member of the scout. It was her dream to die as the world’s oldest living girl scout, a title that never came to be.
On December 28, 2016, Debbie Reynolds suffered and died from a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher. It is largely believed that Debbie’s death was triggered by her daughter’s death. She suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage.
Transforming away from the tomboy signature, 16-year old Debbie won a beauty contest where she impersonated Betty Hutton. This opened doors to a whole new world of fame and fortune for her. Debbie’s acting talent was discovered during a talent scout by Warner Bros and MGM. She did many musical movies for both companies.
In 1952, Debbie acted in Singin’ in the Rain; a musical movie that is acclaimed to have stamped her presence in the professional acting world. The all-around performer attributes her dancing skills to her co-Singin’ in the Rain star, Gene Kelly.
She also featured in such movies as The Catered Affair, Bundle of Joy, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, which got her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, amongst others. Debbie had a Golden Globe nomination for her Debbie Reynolds Show. In 1956, she also had another Golden Globe nomination for her role in the movie Bundle of Joy which she acted with her then-husband, Eddie Fisher.
She was part of the first soundtrack ever to hit a top spot (No 3) on the Billboard chart. Inspired by her acquired dancing skill and love for musical performances, Debbie Reynold established a Dance Studio in North Hollywood. As an entertainment historian Reynolds also launched a museum in Hollywood with a collection of over 3000 costumes and 46,000 sq ft worth of props and equipment. The late Hollywood veteran also has an LA-based hotel and casino.
Debbie was the highest paid female TV performer in the 70s. In a twist of events, she soon went down the rank with a $2 million loss when she severed her contract with NBC over a cigarette commercial. She was averse to the smoking habit, citing its dangers to health, well-being and to children who watched her show. According to her, integrity is everything.
Following her 1988 autobiography, Debbie: My Life, Debbie did another autobiography titled Unsinkable: A memoir in 2013. She will also be remembered for her role as Bobbi in NBC’s sitcom, Will & Grace. Her last appearance was in the documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher And Debbie Reynolds which premiered on HBO on Jan 7, 2017.
Before her death in 2015, Debbie was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. Coming from a humble background, the star who died at 84 said she was grateful for the moments of lack in her life. They helped her discover the real values of life. She was a humanitarian dedicated to the welfare of people living with mental health problems.
Debbie Reynolds Husband
Reynolds was married three times and divorced for the same number of times. She got married to her first husband Eddie Fisher in 1955. He was a popular actor and singer, but the marriage crumbled after only 4 years when he cheated on her with a co-actress, Elizabeth Taylor which led to their divorce in 1959.
Debbie says regardless of the betrayal, she still respected him and was grateful for the gift of their children- Carrie and Tom Fisher. Eddie Fisher passed on in 2010 at age 82, after four other failed marriages.
Debbie’s second marriage was with millionaire and investor, Harry Karl. The 13-year (1960–1973) union ended in a divorce. Karl reportedly had serious gambling problems.
For the third and last time, Debbie tied the knot with a real estate developer, Richard Hamlett in 1984. The couple split in 1996.
Kids: Daughter And Son
Debbie has two biological children- Tod fisher, a filmmaker and late Carrie Fisher, an actress. Both mother and daughter enjoyed a close-knit relationship as they partnered and worked on several movie projects together.
Tod in his statement after the death of his mother and sister in barely one day says the two had gone to be with each other. Debbie has a granddaughter, Billie Catherine Lourd. Billie is a Hollywood actress who is walking in her mother’s and grand mother’s shoes.