Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Debbie Reynolds

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Tragic news tonight...

Debbie Reynolds died tonight as a result of a stroke. She was 84 and had been taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center this afternoon complaining of difficulty breathing, just a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died at 60 after a heart attack.

A teenage beauty queen, Reynolds had moved to MGM after some unproductive years at Warner Bros., where her only film of note was The Daughter Of Rosie O’Grady. She will forever be remembered as Kathy Selden, the fledgling actress of serious intent who wins the heart of Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood in the 1952 Freed Unit classic Singin’ In The Rain.

She was rarely off the celebrity radar screen over more than six decades that included a headline generating divorce when her husband, singer Eddie Fisher, left her for Elizabeth Taylor; more choice roles on film (including The Tender Trap (1955), with Frank Sinatra; A Catered Affair (1956), with Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine, and the title role in another musical, 1964’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown; and Broadway (as the star of the 1974 revival of Irene). Molly Brown brought her her sole Oscar nomination for best actress. 

Her TV career had an inauspicious infancy with The Debbie Reynolds Show in 1969, a time when variety shows were changing with the culture with programs like Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Reynolds’ show was canceled after one season. Nevertheless, she was a guest star on many series, right up through NBC’s hit Will & Grace. 

Reynolds’ personal life was marked by marriages that ended in divorce and financial wreckage, from which she invariably bounced back with entrepreneurial ingenuity and an un-defeatable optimism.

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She was a Hollywood legend and had an amazing career that spanned decades. To have her pass the day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher...terrible and sad for their families and friends.

She will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.

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