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.
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.
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.
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.
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.