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Debbie Reynolds (1932)

Mary Frances Reynolds

Type :  

  Summary  

Debbie Reynolds is an American actress, singer, and dancer.

She was initially signed at age 16 by Warner Bros., but her career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gave her a small but significant part in the film Three Little Words , then signed her to a seven-year contract. In her next film, Two Weeks with Love , she had a hit with the song "Aba Daba Honeymoon". However, it was her first leading role, in Singin' in the Rain , that set her on the path to fame. By the mid 1950s, she was a major star. Other notable successes include Tammy and the Bachelor , in which her rendition of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the music charts; and The Unsinkable Molly Brown , for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She continues to perform successfully on stage, television and film to the present day.

Her personal life has not gone as well. Her first marriage, to popular singer Eddie Fisher, produced a son and a daughter, actress/author Carrie Fisher, but ended in divorce in 1959 when Fisher and her former friend Elizabeth Taylor fell in love. Her second and third marriages also ended disastrously, each time ruining her financially.

She is a noted collector of film memorabilia, beginning with the landmark 1972 MGM auction. In June 2011, unable to find a suitable home for her large collection, she began auctioning it off.

  Biography  

 early life
She was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (née Harmon; 1913–1999) and Raymond Francis Reynolds (1903–1986), who was a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Her parents were of Irish ancestry.
Reynolds was a Girl Scout and a troop leader (a scholarship in her name is offered to high-school age Girl Scouts). Her family moved to Burbank, California, in 1939, and she was raised in a strict Nazarene faith. At age 16, while a student at Burbank's John Burroughs High School, Reynolds won the Miss Burbank Beauty Contest, a contract with Warner Bros., and acquired a new first name.

 career
Reynolds regularly appeared in movie musicals during the 1950s and had several hit records during the period. Her song "Aba Daba Honeymoon" (featured in the film Two Weeks with Love as a duet with Carleton Carpenter was a top-three hit in 1951. Her most high-profile film role was in Singin' in the Rain as Kathy Selden. In Bundle of Joy she appeared with her then-husband, Eddie Fisher.

Her recording of the song "Tammy" (from her film Tammy and the Bachelor ) earned her a gold record, and was the best-selling single by a female vocalist in 1957. It was number one for five weeks on the Billboard pop charts. In the movie , she co-starred with Leslie Nielsen.

In 1959, Reynolds recorded her first album for Dot Records, simply called Debbie, which included her own selection of twelve standards including "S’posin'", "Moonglow," "Mean To Me" and "Time After Time." Bing Crosby paid tribute to Reynolds in the sleeve notes accompanying the album thus:

Someone recently said, and with reasonable accuracy I would think, that good singers make good actors. Evidence in support of this belief is available in the recent performances of Sinatra and Martin, for instance, but I would like to put forth also the proposition that the reverse is quite true: good actors make good singers. Assuming they can carry a tune. We all know that Debbie is better than a good actress — she’s VERY good, and we all know she can sing with a lilt and a listenable quality that’s genuinely pleasant and agreeable. Witness “Tammy”. It was small surprise to me then that when I listened to this beautiful album she has etched for Dot, I found myself captivated and enchanted. Quite obviously Debbie had spent a great deal of time selecting the songs to be included, because she’s made them her own, and invested them with a sincerity that’s inescapable — of contrasting moods to be sure, but the moods are there, and to me, mighty effective. And that, mes amis, is artistry.

Reynolds also scored two other top-25 Billboard hits with "A Very Special Love" and "Am I That Easy to Forget" — a pop-music version of a country-music hit made famous by both songwriters Carl Belew , Skeeter Davis , and several years later by singer Engelbert Humperdinck. She has released several albums of both her vintage performances and her later recordings.


During these years, she also headlined in major Las Vegas showrooms.

Her starring role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown led to a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then portrayed Jeanine Deckers in The Singing Nun .

In what Reynolds has called the "stupidest mistake of my entire career", she made headlines in 1970 after instigating a fight with the NBC television network over cigarette advertising on her eponymous television series; NBC cancelled the show.

Reynolds continues to make appearances in film and television. She played Helen Chappel Hackett's mother, Deedee Chappel, on an episode of "Wings" entitled, "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother," which originally aired on November 22, 1994. From 1999 to its 2006 series finale, she played Grace Adler's ditzy mother, Bobbi Adler, on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace (1998–2006), which earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000. She also plays a recurring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie Halloweentown film series as Aggie Cromwell. Reynolds made a guest appearance as a presenter at the 69th Academy Awards in 1997.

Reynolds appeared in her West End show Debbie Reynolds: Alive and Fabulous. In June 2010, her publicist Edward Lozzi secured her a role as a regular columnist for the weekly paper Globe, replacing Ivana Trump in answering reader queries. [http://www.janetcharltonshollywood.com/who-would-you-rather-take-advice-from-ivana-trump-or-debbie-reynolds/]

 personal life
Reynolds has been married three times.

She and Eddie Fisher were married in 1955. They are the parents of Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher. A public scandal ensued when Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor fell in love following the death of Taylor's then-husband Mike Todd, and Reynolds and Fisher were divorced in 1959. In 2011, first on the Oprah show only weeks before Elizabeth Taylor's death from congestive heart failure, Reynolds explained that she and Taylor happened to be traveling on the ocean liner "Queen Elizabeth" at the same time when they made up. Debbie sent a note to Taylor's room, and Taylor sent a note in reply asking to have dinner with Debbie and end their feud. The two reconciled, and, as Debbie put it, "...we had a wonderful evening with a lot of laughs". Reynolds said of Taylor in an interview with Popeater that " went through her younger years of just obtaining what she wanted, and later in life she became a little more aware of other people's feelings" and also said of her legendary friend, "Elizabeth worked really hard all of her life and she raised her children really well. She worked really hard for HIV; I've worked hard for mental health. We both feel we've done our job and our commitment to the community" and "I'm very sorry for Elizabeth's passing. She was the most glamorous star of our generation, and women liked her and men adored her, including my husband . She was a symbol of stardom and her legacy will go on forever".

Her second marriage, to millionaire businessman Harry Karl, lasted from 1960 to 1973. He was previously married to Marie McDonald. At its end, she found herself in financial difficulty because of Karl's gambling and bad investments.

Reynolds was married to real estate developer Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996. They purchased Greek Isles Hotel & Casino, a small hotel and casino in Las Vegas, but it was not a success. In 1997, Reynolds was forced to declare bankruptcy.

Reynolds has been active in the Thalians Club, a charitable organization.

She resides in Beverly Hills next door to her daughter Carrie.

Her maternal grandmother Joan Harmon (September 5, 1883 – October 31, 1932) was an actress who worked on Broadway from 1929 until late 1930.

In keeping with the celebrity tradition of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival of Winchester, Virginia, Reynolds was honored as the Grand Marshal of the 2011 ABF that took place from April 26 to May 1, 2011.

 television work
  • Jukebox Jury
  • The Eddie Fisher Show (recurring guest star from 1957–1959)
  • A Date with Debbie
  • Go!!!
  • ...And Debbie Makes Six
  • The Debbie Reynolds Show (1969–1970)
  • Debbie Reynolds and the Sound of Children
  • Leapin' Lizards It's Liberace
  • Aloha Paradise
  • Win, Lose or Draw
  • Sadie and Son
  • Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder
  • The Golden Girls (guest star, There Goes The Bride pt. 1 & 2 as Truby)
  • Movie Memories with Debbie Reynolds (1991–1992)
  • Battling for Baby
  • Wings
  • Roseanne ..."Arsenic and Old Mom" as Audrey Conner
  • Halloweentown
  • The Christmas Wish

  • Will & Grace (recurring cast member from 1999–2006)
  • A Gift of Love: The Daniel Huffman Story
  • Rugrats (2000-2004)
  • Virtual Mom
  • These Old Broads
  • Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge
  • Generation Gap
  • Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales
  • Kim Possible (recurring cast member from 2003–2007)
  • Pryor Offenses
  • Halloweentown High
  • Lolo's Cafe
  • Return to Halloweentown
  • Secret Talents of the Stars
  • RuPaul's Drag Race Guest Judge
  • The Penguins of Madagascar
  • So You Think You Can Dance Guest Judge
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil


Albums Recorded: Chrissy the Christmas Mouse with Donald O'Connor

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Debbie Reynolds", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.