Known for her boundless energy and pert demeanor, legend actress Debbie Reynolds made memorable turns in films like "The tender Trap," "Singin" in the Rain," "Tammy and the Bachelor" and also "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

Who was Debbie Reynolds?

Debbie Reynolds walk on to develop a movie career as among the most well-known actresses of her time. Well-known for variety of musicals in the 1950s, she make a star revolve in Singin' in the Rain (1952), in i m sorry she offered a spirited performance opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor. The adhering to decade, Reynolds winner the respect of she peers through her title duty in the musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, for which she got an Academy award nomination. She continued to act and also sing for an ext than 40 more years via film, television and the stage.

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Background and Early Career

Debbie Reynolds to be born mary Frances Reynolds on April 1, 1932, in El Paso, Texas. Reynolds, who acquired her begin in beauty pageants before being found by a Warner Bros. Film scout, made her cinematic debut in a modest component in 1948's June Bride, adhered to by a an ext noticeable function in musical The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady (1950). 

Signing with MGM later that year, she showcased her flair for impersonation in Three little Words, in which she illustrated 1920s vocalist Helen Kane. Reynolds co-starred in the film v comedian Red Skelton and also dance icon Fred Astaire, who she would later call out as being supremely kind and also helpful share his tips around dancing.

Classic Musical: 'Singin' in the Rain'

Known for her boundless energy and also pert demeanor, Reynolds made her means with starring duties in a variety of musicals, amongst them Two Weeks through Love (1950; the opposite Ricardo Montalban), Skirts Ahoy! (1952), Give a Girl a Break (1953) and also Hit the Deck (1955). The actress's most famous turn was in Singin' in the Rain (1952). At 19 year old, she starred opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor, bright in numbers such as "Good Morning" and "All I perform Is Dream that You." parts in various other lighthearted tasks followed, including The to work of Dobie Gillis (1953), Athena (1954) and also The Catered Affair (1956).


Gene Kelly: Debbie Reynolds was 18 once she starred together Gene Kelly's love interest in Singin' in the Rain. She had never sung or danced before, yet she said learned a lot native Kelly who she has described 'as the most exacting director I ever before worked for.' (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In 1957, Reynolds secured a ar at No. 1 ~ above the pop charts v the sentimental ballad "Tammy" from the well-known romantic film Tammy and the Bachelor, in which she starred the opposite Leslie Nielsen. (The Tammy collection continued in an number of sequels transparent the '60s, v the title role played by Sandra Dee and also then Debbie Watson.) 

'Unsinkable' Academy compensation Nomination 

In the at an early stage 1960s, the actress appeared in much more comedic outings, amongst them The Rat Race, co-starring with Tony Curtis as romantic leads, and The pleasure of His Company, in i m sorry Reynolds was rejoined with Astaire, who played her affluent father. A pair of westerns were also in the mix, namely The 2nd Time Around (1961) and How the West to be Won (1962), a virtually three-hour outing v a star-studded cast that included Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones and also Eli Wallach. 

In 1964, Reynolds further won much more acclaim with her title role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, because that which she got an Academy compensation nomination. The hit music biopic complied with the life the the well known unconventional lady of society and Titanic survivor. Reynolds was following seen in Goodbye Charlie (1964), once again paired with Curtis, i m sorry was adhered to by 1966's The singing Nun and 1967's Divorce American Style. The last project, a satire, co-starred Dick van Dyke and to be penned through Norman Lear and Robert Kaufman.

TV and Stage Work

After certification in the short-lived television sitcom The Debbie Reynolds show (1969) and the campy function What's the matter With Helen? (1971), Reynolds did not act in movies for an extended duration of time, outside of voice-over work as the location character in the 1973 animated feature Charlotte's Web. Instead, she turn toward stage work, safety the next few years performing in las Vegas nightclubs and on Broadway, wherein she received a Tony compensation nomination because that the 1973 resurgence of Irene. In 1976, she additionally starred in a live musical revue at the Minskoff Theatre merely entitled Debbie.

After guest clues on TV mirrors like Alice, The Love Boat and also Hotel, Reynolds went back to Broadway, wherein she changed Lauren Bacall in the lead role of the musical variation of Woman of the Year (1983). In 1989, Reynolds started to tourism nationally v a stage manufacturing of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Later Career and Honorary Oscar

Reynolds reverted to attribute films in 1992, through a cameo appearance in The Bodyguard followed by a supporting role in Oliver Stone's Heaven and Earth (1993). In 1996, she headlined her very first film in 25 years when she was cast in the title duty of Albert Brooks' endearing comedy Mother, followed the following year by a part in In & Out. Reynolds later took top top a recurring function on the struggle sitcom Will & Grace, because that which she earned a guest actress Emmy nomination. Several roles later, the actress portrayed Liberace's mommy in the acclaimed HBO biopic Behind the Candelabra (2013), opposite Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. 

In November 2015, Reynolds received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian compensation from the Academy that Motion photo Arts and also Sciences. With her granddaughter accepting the prize at a one-of-a-kind ceremony, Reynolds was offered the respect in link to her job-related on issues approximately mental health as a co-founder that the organization The Thalians.

Personal Life


Debbie Reynolds attract a hair coat to hide her pregnancy during the filming of Bundle of Joy, alongside her co-star and also husband Eddie Fisher. She provided birth to she real-life bundle the joy, Carrie Fisher, on October 21, 1956. 

Photo: RKO Radio Pictures/Getty Images

Reynold's sunny film persona belied a life behind the scene filled with an individual ups and also downs. In 1955, against the advice of frank Sinatra, she wed singer Eddie Fisher, but was embroiled in a media scandal as soon as it to be revealed the he left the marriage for actress Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds and Fisher had actually two youngsters — Carrie, a writer and achieved actress recognized for play Princess Leia in Star Wars, and Todd, a film housing — before divorcing in 1959. 

The complying with year, Reynolds married shoes mogul bother Karl, that funded his gambling habit with many of her money. Burdened v his debt, Reynolds filed because that divorce in 1973. In 1985, she wed real estate developer Richard Hamlett, who reputedly was additionally the resource of far-reaching financial turmoil; they divorced in 1996.

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With anecdotes the highlight her trademark humor, Reynolds has actually published the Debbie: my Life (1988) together with Unsinkable: A Memoir (2013) and Make 'Em Laugh: momentary Memories the Longtime Friends (2015). 


A work after Carrie's death, Reynolds to be at her boy Todd Fisher's residence in Beverly Hills to talk about her daughter's funeral arrangements as soon as she suffered a possible stroke, as reported by TMZ. She was rushed to Cedar Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and also died there hours later. “She want to be v Carrie,” Todd told Variety. Reynolds to be 84.

A personal memorial was organized for Carrie at her Beverly Hills home, i beg your pardon is situated on a property she mutual with Reynolds, top top January 5, 2017. A funeral for Reynolds was held the complying with day at forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, wherein she was buried with some of Fisher’s ashes. 

After Fisher and Reynolds’ memorials, Bright Lights, one HBO documentary around their relationship, aired top top January 7, 2017. The film, i beg your pardon is command by Alexis Bloom and also Fisher Stevens, premiered in ~ the 2016 Cannes film Festival in May. 

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