* Part of Eddie Fisher-Elizabeth Taylor love triangle
* Starred with Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
* Mother of Carrie "Princess Leia" Fisher of "Star Wars"
By Will Dunham
Dec 28 - Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, who
sang and danced her way into the hearts of millions of
moviegoers around the world in musicals like "Singin' in the
Rain," died on Wednesday at age 84, Variety reported citing her
Reynolds, one of the most enduring and endearing Hollywood
actresses, died hours after being rushed to the hospital in Los
Angeles after suffering a possible stroke, according to media
reports. Her death came just one day after her daughter, the
actress Carrie Fisher, died of a heart attack.
Reynolds, who rose to stardom in the film "Singin' In the
Rain," appeared in dozens of films. She starred opposite Gene
Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Donald O'Connor, Fred Astaire
and Dick Van Dyke. She received a best actress Academy Award
nomination for the 1964 musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."
She is survived by her son, Todd Fisher, an actor and
producer. Her daughter Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia in the "Star
Wars" fame, died a few days after suffering a heart attack.
At the peak of her stardom, Reynolds was drawn into a
scandal when her husband, singer Eddie Fisher, began an affair
with actress Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds and Fisher divorced in
1959 and he married Taylor.
Reynolds and Taylor, who eventually divorced Fisher, made
peace years later and appeared together in the 2001 television
movie "These Old Broads," written by Carrie Fisher.
In a 2010 interview with Rage Monthly, Reynolds reflected on
her philosophy of life.
"I always go by a five-year plan," she said. "I get through
today and I'm not going to get upset for five years.
"I always picture a long tunnel and at the end of the
tunnel, there's a light. I know I can make it to that light and
I'll take five years to get there. NowI've gone through many
tunnels. So, I just keep trying. I never give up."
Mary Frances Reynolds was born on April 1, 1932. She was 16
and in the Miss Burbank beauty contest when she was discovered
by a talent scout. Warner Brothers changed her name to "Debbie,"
and she had a bit part that year in "June Bride."
She was signed by MGM in 1950 and that year, in "Two Weeks
with Love," Reynolds performed the hit duet "Aba Daba Honeymoon"
with Carleton Carpenter. She also made her feature acting debut
in 1950 in "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady."
It was 1952's "Singin' in the Rain," however, that
catapulted Reynolds to stardom, playing opposite Gene Kelly and
Donald O'Connor and recording the original soundtrack album for
Her fame grew with leading roles in "Susan Slept Here" with
Dick Powell, "The Tender Trap" with Frank Sinatra, "The Catered
Affair" with Bette Davis, "Bundle of Joy" with then-husband
Fisher, "The Mating Game" with Tony Randall, "It Started with A
Kiss" with Glenn Ford, and "The Pleasure of His Company" with
Reynolds' song "Tammy" from her 1957 movie "Tammy and the
Bachelor" hit No. 1 on the singles charts. That year, she became
a regular on "The Eddie Fisher Show" broadcast by NBC.
She performed in nightclubs, hosted TV specials, and in
1968 had her first TV series, the NBC sitcom "The Debbie
REYNOLDS GOES LIVE
The 1970 film "What's the Matter with Helen?" turned out to
be the last big screen acting role she would have for some 20
"I didn't stop making movies. They stopped making me,"
Reynolds told The New York Times in 1996.
Reynolds performed on cruise ships and in nightclubs and
took to the stage in New York and London. Her 1973 revival of
the musical "Irene" earned her a Tony Award nomination. The same
year she gave voice to Charlotte in the animated feature
Her second marriage, to shoe businessman Harry Karl, ended
in the early 1970s after he gambled away most of her money.
Financial reasons compelled her to keep working.
In 1984 she married her third husband, real estate developer
Richard Hamlett, and they bought a Las Vegas hotel and casino,
where she also performed. That marriage ended amid the financial
collapse of that property and Reynolds filed for bankruptcy
protection in 1997.
"There are good men, including my father and my son Todd,
but I happened to marry idiots, which is why I gave up years
ago. I have very bad taste in men," she told the Yorkshire Post
in a 2010 interview.
Reynolds' theatrical performances took her to the West
Coast, then in 1981, she returned to Broadway to take over the
lead in "Woman of the Year."
That year brought another TV show, the short-lived series
"Aloha Paradise." By 1983, Reynolds had a recurring role in the
TV series "Jennifer Slept Here, starring Ann Jillian.
The next year she created and starred in an exercise video,
"Do It Debbie's Way," and four years later produced the exercise
video, "Couples (Do It Debbie's Way)."
Reynolds starred in her first TV movie, "Sadie and Son," in
1987. The following year brought her written memoir, "Debbie: My
Life." She then toured nationally with "The Unsinkable Molly
In 1992 she made a cameo appearance in the movie "The
Bodyguard" and the next year she had a supporting role in
"Heaven and Earth."
The 1996 Albert Brooks comedy "Mother," brought Reynolds
back to the big screen in a lead role.
The rest is history: "Halloweentown" movies for Disney, a
recurring role in the sitcom "Will & Grace," more TV movies and,
in 2012, a role in the feature film "One for the Money."
(Reporting and writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Bill Trott,
Toni Reinhold and Leslie Adler)