Debbie Reynolds dead, actress once known as "America's Sweetheart" was 84!
Debbie Reynolds, known in the 1950s as “America’s Sweetheart” and later as a show biz trooper and “triple threat” dancer, singer and actress, died Wednesday, one day after her own daughter’s death. She was 84.
Her son, Todd Fisher, said Reynolds died Wednesday, a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher who was 60.
“She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken,” Fisher said from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where his mother was taken by ambulance earlier Wednesday.
She was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas – giving her the languid drawl that would help define her image as the ideal American wife. Reynolds moved to Burbank at age 7, where she was a model Girl Scout. At age 16, she entered a Miss Burbank beauty pageant contest to win a free blouse and skirt, and won – which landed her a contract with the Warner Brothers for $65 a week.
As she old CBS News’ Mo Rocca in 2013, her “heart hurt” as she wondered if she could keep up. “Could you keep up? Were you going to fail?” Reynolds described how she felt. “And Gene Kelly kind of scared me, because he was the boss, and he was brilliant, and he was a wonderful teacher. He had to teach me. And to be given a little kitty cat, and expect it to be a lion, it didn’t happen overnight. I had to work, work, work without question.”
Taylor and Fisher married, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1964, after Taylor had an affair with actor Richard Burton. Reynolds said she had predicted that breakup.
Reynolds, though, eventually forgave Taylor and wrote in her memoir that “In the long run, Elizabeth did me a favor.”
“She had her good side,” Reynolds has said of Taylor. “At least once she got over her sex drive.”
After the 1996 breakup with Hamlett, she was forced to auction off her vast Hollywood memorabilia, including Laurel and Hardy’s car, a restored chariot from “Ben Hur” and a guitar from “The Sound of Music.”
In 2000, Debbie said that she “won’t even date … I can’t afford it.”
Reynolds continued acting through the 2000s, including a recurring role on “Will and Grace” and the award-winning HBO film “Behind the Candelabra.”
Reynolds’ granddaughter, Billie Lourd, is also an actress.
taught her how to “sur-thrive.”
“You know, I’m not a person that cries a lot,” Reynolds told CBS Sunday Morning in 2013. “The only reason that I get emotional is, it’s so wonderful that I can’t believe that I have this life and live in this country so great, that I always well up. You know, there’s a huge feeling inside that just pops forward.