Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds 6 Allan Warren.jpg
Reynolds in 1987
BornMary Frances Reynolds
(1932-04-01)April 1, 1932
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
DiedDecember 28, 2016(2016-12-28) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of deathIntracerebral hemorrhage, caused by stroke
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer, dancer, businesswoman
Years active1948–2016
Spouse(s)Eddie Fisher
(m. 1955; div. 1959)

Harry Karl
(m. 1960; div. 1973)

Richard Hamlett
(m. 1984; div. 1996)
RelativesBillie Lourd (granddaughter)

Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds (April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016) was an American actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, humanitarian, and mother of the actress and writer Carrie Fisher. She was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, and her breakout role was her first leading role, as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain (1952). Other successes include The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), Susan Slept Here (1954), Bundle of Joy (1956 Golden Globe nomination), The Catered Affair (1956 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress Winner), and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), in which her performance of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the Billboard music charts.[1] In 1959, she released her first pop music album, titled Debbie.[2]

She starred in How the West Was Won (1962), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), a biographical film about the famously boisterous Molly Brown.[1] Her performance as Brown earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other films include The Singing Nun (1966), Divorce American Style (1967), What's the Matter with Helen? (1971), Charlotte's Web (1973), Mother (1996) (Golden Globe nomination), and In & Out (1997). Reynolds was also a cabaret performer. In 1979, she founded the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood, which still operates today.[3]

In 1969, she starred on television in The Debbie Reynolds Show, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. In 1973, Reynolds starred in a Broadway revival of the musical Irene and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance in A Gift of Love (1999) and an Emmy Award for playing Grace's mother Bobbi on Will & Grace. At the turn of the millennium, Reynolds reached a new younger generation with her role as Aggie Cromwell in Disney's Halloweentown series. In 1988, she released her autobiography, titled Debbie: My Life. In 2013, she released a second autobiography, Unsinkable: A Memoir.[4]

Reynolds also had several business ventures, including ownership of a dance studio and a Las Vegas hotel and casino, and she was an avid collector of film memorabilia, beginning with items purchased at the landmark 1970 MGM auction. She served as president of The Thalians, an organization dedicated to mental health causes.[1] Reynolds continued to perform successfully on stage, television, and film into her eighties. In January 2015, Reynolds received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.[1] In 2016, she received the Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.[5] In the same year, a documentary about her life was released titled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, which turned out to be her final film appearance; the film premiered on HBO on January 7, 2017.[6][7]

On December 28, 2016, Reynolds was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after she experienced a medical emergency, which her son Todd Fisher later described as a "severe stroke".[8] She died from the stroke that afternoon, one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher.[9][10]

Early life

Reynolds was born on April 1, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, to Maxene "Minnie" (née Harman) and Raymond Francis "Ray" Reynolds, a carpenter who worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad.[11] She was of Scottish-Irish and English ancestry[12] and was raised in a strict Nazarene church. She had a brother two years her senior.[13] Reynolds was a Girl Scout, once saying that she wanted to die as the world's oldest living Girl Scout.[14] Reynolds was also a member of The International Order of Job's Daughters, now called Job's Daughters International.[citation needed]

Her mother took in laundry for income, while they lived in a shack on Magnolia Street in El Paso.[13] "We may have been poor," she said in a 1963 interview, "but we always had something to eat, even if Dad had to go out on the desert and shoot jackrabbits."

One of the advantages of having been poor is that you learn to appreciate good fortune and the value of a dollar, and poverty holds no fear for you because you know you've gone through it and you can do it again... But we were always a happy family and a religious one. And I'm trying to inculcate in my children the same sense of values, the same tone that my mother gave to me.[13]

Her family moved to Burbank, California in 1939.[15] When Reynolds was a sixteen-year-old student at Burbank High School in 1948, she won the Miss Burbank beauty contest.[15] Soon after, she had a contract with Warner Bros[15] and acquired the nickname "Debbie" via Jack L. Warner.[16]

One of her closest high school friends said that she rarely dated during her teenage years in Burbank.

They never found her attractive in school. She was cute, but sort of tomboyish, and her family never had any money to speak of. She never dressed well or drove a car. And, I think, during all the years in school, she was invited to only one dance.[13]

Reynolds agreed, saying that "when I started, I didn't even know how to dress. I wore dungarees and a shirt. I had no money, no taste and no training."[17] Her friend adds:

I say this in all sincerity. Debbie can serve as an inspiration to all young American womanhood. She came up the hard way, and she has a realistic sense of values based on faith, love, work and money. Life has been kind to her because she has been kind to life. She's a young woman with a conscience, which is something rare in Hollywood actresses. She also has a refreshing sense of honesty.[13]

Other Languages
العربية: ديبي رينولدز
aragonés: Debbie Reynolds
asturianu: Debbie Reynolds
تۆرکجه: دبی رینولدز
Bân-lâm-gú: Debbie Reynolds
Basa Banyumasan: Debbie Reynolds
Bikol Central: Debbie Reynolds
български: Деби Рейнълдс
Boarisch: Debbie Reynolds
español: Debbie Reynolds
français: Debbie Reynolds
Bahasa Indonesia: Debbie Reynolds
interlingua: Debbie Reynolds
italiano: Debbie Reynolds
Basa Jawa: Debbie Reynolds
latviešu: Debija Renoldsa
Lëtzebuergesch: Debbie Reynolds
Malagasy: Debbie Reynolds
მარგალური: დები რეინოლდსი
Bahasa Melayu: Debbie Reynolds
Nederlands: Debbie Reynolds
português: Debbie Reynolds
română: Debbie Reynolds
Runa Simi: Debbie Reynolds
Simple English: Debbie Reynolds
slovenčina: Debbie Reynoldsová
српски / srpski: Деби Рејнолдс
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Debbie Reynolds
Türkçe: Debbie Reynolds
українська: Деббі Рейнольдс
Tiếng Việt: Debbie Reynolds
Yorùbá: Debbie Reynolds
粵語: 德琵雷諾
žemaitėška: Debė Reinuolds