Debbie Reynolds: Life Story and Gorgeous Photos When she was Young

Debbie Reynolds was an actress, singer, and businesswoman whose professional career spanned over seven decades. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Helen Kane in the 1950 film ‘Three Little Words,’ for which she received a nomination for Most Promising Newcomer. Her cinematic career began at MGM after she won a beauty pageant mimicking Betty Hutton at sixteen.

Acting career

Reynolds made her cinematic debut in 1948 in the film ‘June Bride,’ in which she played an uncredited role. Before her breakthrough role in 1952 as the ingenue who is transformed into a star in “Singin’ in the Rain,” she appeared in four musical comedies as a supporting character. Reynolds’ bright-eyed attitude enchanted moviegoers, who dubbed her “America’s Sweetheart” soon after. During the 1950s, she starred in a string of light comedies, including ‘Susan Slept Here,’ ‘The Tender Trap,’ ‘The Catered Affair,’ and ‘Bundle of Joy.’

She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)’. The movie was based on the fictionalized account of a survivor of the Titanic disaster.

She made her Broadway debut in the revival of the musical ‘Irene.’ Her performance was well-received, and she was nominated for numerous awards. Her Broadway credits include ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ (1977), ‘Woman of the Year’ (1982), and ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ (1989).

She starred in Disney’s ‘Halloweentown’ series between 1998 and 2006. She began appearing in the television sitcom “Will & Grace” in 1999 and remained in the role until 2006.

Television Career

Debbie Reynolds starred in ‘The Debbie Reynolds Show’ in 1969, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. At the time, she was the highest-paid female performer on television. Reynolds played Debbie Thompson; a housewife married to Jim, a Los Angeles Sun sportswriter.

Singing career

Debbie Reynolds’ debut song, “Tammy,” was released in 1957. The song became the year’s best-selling single by a female performer, earning her a gold record. On the Billboard pop charts, it was number one for five weeks. ‘A Very Special Love’ and ‘Am I That Easy to Forget’ were also top-25 Billboard singles. Debbie Reynolds released an album named “The Best of Debbie Reynolds” in 1991. Angelo DiPippo arranged and conducted Reynolds’ last album, Chrissy the Christmas Mouse, recorded with Donald O’Connor.

Business ventures

Debbie Reynolds opened her dancing studio in Hollywood in 1979. In 1983, she published a workout video called “Do It Debbie’s Way!” She purchased the ‘Clarion Hotel and Casino’ in 1992 and renamed it the ‘Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel.’ Her business effort, unfortunately, failed, and she was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1997.

Debbie Reynolds Spouses

Reynolds married three times in her life. She married singer Eddie Fisher in 1955. They had two children, Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher. Following Eddie Fisher’s extramarital affair with actress Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie and Eddie Fisher divorced in 1959.

Reynolds married businessman Harry Karl in 1960. She later had financial problems as a result of her husband’s poor investments and gambling habits. Their marriage lasted until 1973 when they divorced.

Reynolds’ third marriage was to real estate developer Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996.

Debbie Reynolds Death

During a flight in December 2016, Reynolds’s daughter, Carrie Fisher, suffered a medical emergency. Later that night, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died. Reynolds was rushed by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles the next day, December 28, after having a “severe stroke,” according to her son. Her death was later revealed to be related to an intracerebral hemorrhage that was worsened by hypertension. Her mortal remains were interred in the ‘Forest Lawn Memorial Park – Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, with those of her daughter.

Below are some glamorous photos of young Debbie Reynolds from her early life and career.

#1 Debbie Reynolds signs scorecards at a sporting event, 1950.

#3 Debbie Reynolds fishing by the sea, during a break in the shooting of ‘Three little words’, 1950.

#10 Debbie Reynolds kneels in a bathing suit in a promotional portrait for director Stanley Donen’s film, ‘Give the Girls a Break’, 1953.

#11 Debbie Reynolds gets ready to throw a pass to kick off the football season, 1953.

#12 Debbie Reynolds sitting on the base of an overturned tree, 1955.

#13 Debbie Reynolds wearing a two-piece swimsuit while leaning against a wooden pier post on a beach, 1950s.

#18 Debbie Reynolds wearing a leotard and fur muff, 1955.

#21 Debbie Reynolds wearing a swimsuit, sitting beside a swimming pool, 1955.

#23 Debbie Reynolds reads Ernest Hemingway’s book ‘Death in the Afternoon’, 1950.

#25 Debbie Reynolds dances with Carleton Carpenter from the film ‘Two Weeks with Love’, 1950.

#26 Debbie Reynolds, posing with her legs in the air on some rocks, 1950.

#29 Debbie Reynolds with the Burbank Majorettes at John Burroughs High School, 1948.

#30 Debbie Reynolds as she steps through a door on the lot of MGM studios, 1948.

#32 Debbie Reynolds smiles on the lot of MGM studios, 1948.

#34 Debbie Reynolds pictured smiling in a publicity portrait, 1950.

#36 Debbie Reynolds wears a button-front plaid cotton dress with demure, rounded collar and three-quarter sleeves, 1950.

#38 Debbie Reynolds, dressed as a pilgrim, sits on top of a replica of Plymouth Rock holding a mallet and a chisel.

#40 Debbie Reynolds, wearing a 1953 tiara and a costume with tinsel, blows a horn while sitting atop a star-shaped clock in a promotional portrait for New Year’s Eve.

#41 Debbie Reynolds smiles while leaning upon a counter filled with a display of various candies, 1952.

#42 Debbie Reynolds, wearing a straw hat, applying lipstick behind the scenes of director Don Weis’s film, ‘I Love Melvin’, 1952.

#43 Debbie Reynolds stands hold books while Bobby Van pulls on her arm in a scene from the film ‘Affairs Of Dobie Gillis’, 1953.

#44 Debbie Reynolds n the telephone in a scene from the movie ‘The Affairs of Dobie Gillis’, 1953.

#46 Debbie Reynolds talks to a friend after her performance in Los Angeles, 1954.

#47 Debbie Reynolds with her friend at the opening of Ice Capades, 1954.

#50 Debbie Reynolds, wearing a strapless one-piece swimsuit, holding a beach ball while sitting on an air mattress in a swimming pool, 1955.

#52 Debbie Reynolds, smiling and sitting in a beach chair at the edge of a swimming pool, 1955.

#53 Debbie Reynolds sits on a piece of luggage, waving and smiling, 1955.

#54 Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher at Poolside, 1954.

#55 Debbie Reynolds, wearing an evening dress, smiles while sitting in the crowd at a formal event, 1950s.

#57 Debbie Reynolds with Kim Novak enjoying ice cream sundaes at a Hollywood party, 1955.

#58 Debbie Reynolds leaning and looking back in a scene from the film ‘The Tender Trap’, 1955.

#59 Debbie Reynolds, holding a bunch of daffodils, 1955.

#62 Debbie Reynolds posing near the swimming pool, 1955.

#66 Debbie Reynolds entertains guest at her pool party, 1955.

#67 Debbie Reynolds entertains guest at her pool party, 1955.

#68 Debbie Reynolds with John Ericson at her pool party in Los Angeles, 1955.

#69 Debbie Reynolds kisses John Ericson at her pool party, 1955.

#70 Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher cut their towering wedding cake after they were married at Liberty, 1955.

#71 Debbie Reynolds-Eddie Fisher with daughter Carrie Frances born October 21, 1956.

#72 Debbie Reynolds attends an event in Los Angeles, 1957.

#75 Debbie Reynolds lifts fellow actor Tony Randell, 1959.

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Written by Alicia Linn

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