Debbie Reynolds Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (53)  | Personal Quotes (10)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in El Paso, Texas, USA
Died in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA  (following a stroke)
Birth NameMary Frances Reynolds
Nicknames Princess Leia's Mom
Aba Dabba
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (Harmon) and Raymond Francis Reynolds, a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Her film career began at MGM after she won a beauty contest at age 16 impersonating Betty Hutton. Reynolds wasn't a dancer until she was selected to be Gene Kelly's partner in Singin' in the Rain (1952). Not yet twenty, she was a quick study. Twelve years later, it seemed like she had been around forever. Most of her early film work was in MGM musicals, as perky, wholesome young women. She continued to use her dancing skills with stage work.

She was 31 when she gave an Academy Award-nominated performance in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). She survived losing first husband Eddie Fisher to Elizabeth Taylor following the tragic death of Mike Todd. Her second husband, shoe magnate Harry Karl, gambled away his fortune as well as hers. With her children as well as Karl's, she had to keep working and turned to the stage. She had her own casino in Las Vegas with a home for her collection of Hollywood memorabilia until its closure in 1997. She took the time to personally write a long letter that is on display in the Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and to provide that museum with replicas of Garland's costumes. The originals are in her newly-opened museum in Hollywood.

Nearly all the money she makes is spent toward her goal of creating a Hollywood museum. Her collection numbers more than 3000 costumes and 46,000 square-feet worth of props and equipment.

With musician/actor Eddie Fisher, she was the mother of filmmaker Todd Fisher and actress Carrie Fisher. Debbie died of a stroke on December 28, 2016, one day after the death of her daughter Carrie. She was survived by her son and granddaughter, up-and-coming actress Billie Lourd.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ray Hamel and Dale O'Connor <daleoc@worldnet.att.net> and Anonymous

Spouse (3)

Richard Hamlett (25 May 1984 - 1996) ( divorced)
Harry Karl (25 November 1960 - 1974) ( divorced)
Eddie Fisher (26 September 1955 - 12 May 1959) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Most of her roles contained musical performances.
Short stature.
Strong sultry voice.

Trivia (53)

Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for her Las Vegas hotel. [July 1997]
Mother of Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher.
She appeared as Dan's mother, fresh out of the mental ward, during an episode of the sitcom Roseanne (1988). When she later appeared on Roseanne Barr's talk show, she revealed that during the filming of that episode, while she and Roseanne were wrestling in the back yard, Roseanne, quite unknowingly, accidentally broke one of her ribs.
In 1984, with friends like Shelley Winters and Terry Moore, she made a rather restrained exercise video for "women of a certain age".
Won the 1948 Miss Burbank contest and was offered a screen test by Warner Bros. the day after her win. She initially entered the contest because everyone who entered received a silk scarf, blouse and free lunch.
Ex-mother-in-law of Paul Simon.
She made her first appearance at the Hollywood Collectors & Celebrities Show on April 6th and 7th, 2002, at Beverly Garland's Holiday Inn in North Hollywood, California.
In 1975 she sold the Beverly Hills mansion she had lived in with Harry Karl. The house was reputed to be worth over $1,000,000. The buyer was Jim Randall, an industrialist who made aircraft rivets. When he married Marisa Berenson, the wedding was held in the redecorated home and his best man was his friend George Hamilton.
Considered herself a "movie-oholic" and has an extensive collection of memorabilia, with over 4,000 costumes from the silent screen period to the 1970s. She had been known to gather posters from her collection of 3,000 and drive to homes of actor pals for autographs. In the 1990s she turned her collection into a Las Vegas movie museum, but had to shut it down in 1997 because of financial problems. Recently she had looked into the possibility of opening up a hall of fame museum in Hollywood near Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
At one particularly low point in her career, she confessed to literally living in her car, a Cadillac.
Opened the Hollywood Motion Picture Collection near the Kodak Theatre. The collection, which was collected and preserved primarily by Reynolds herself, features over 3,000 costumes including Carmen Miranda's turbans, a pair of Judy Garland's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz (1939), John Wayne's guns and Marilyn Monroe's windswept dress from The Seven Year Itch (1955). [April 2002]
Made her Broadway debut in 1973 in the revival of "Irene". Although the reviews for the show itself were mixed, hers were all raves and she wound up with a Tony Award nomination the following year for Best Actress in a Musical. The production ultimately ran some 20 months. In 1976, she appeared in a one-woman, short-run (10 days - 14 performances) review named "Debbie!" at the Minskoff Theatre. Her only other Broadway appearance to date came when she succeeded Lauren Bacall in "Woman of the Year" in 1983.
In one of her guest appearances on Will & Grace (1998), she entered a room humming a bit of "Good Morning", which was a song she sang in her most famous musical, Singin' in the Rain (1952).
Was a member of the International Order of Job's Daughters. Is a past honored Queen of Bethel No. 97, Burbank, California.
Had planned to go into the education field (teaching physical education) before she won the Miss Burbank contest.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6654 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 13, 1997.
Was a Majority Member in California.
In 1969 she followed Doris Day and some of her contemporaries in launching a sitcom bearing her name. When the debut episode included an advertisement for cigarettes, a direct violation of one of her contractual stipulations, she made such a fuss about it that NBC ended up canceling the series.
Is portrayed by Judith Jones in Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (1995).
President of The Thalians, an organization for the treatment of mental health at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Ruta Lee is the chairman. Both have been actively involved in building this celebrity run organization for over 30 years.
Her first appearance on Will & Grace (1998) was in the episode entitled "The Unsinkable Mommy Adler", a play on the title of the movie The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). She played both title roles.
Although she wanted to be in show business, the Reynolds' family church, the Nazarene, forbade acting. However, Reynolds' father saw her talent and gave his support, seeing it as a means of paying her college costs. Her mother then gave her support knowing that there would be no "evil" going on in her movies. She mother knew her daughter had talent, but didn't understand why it was happening to her own daughter.
Was close friends with Hugh O'Brian. Serenaded O'Brien and his bride Virginia at their wedding on June 25, 2006.
Her father entered her in a beauty pageant once when she was very young. She wore a bathing suit that her mother had mended that morning and a pair of her sister's high heels.
In 1964 she went into the hospital business, purchasing Oceanside Hospital in Oceanside, CA, for $1,000,000 with plans to turn it into a profitable business venture.
She dedicated the Holland-America Line cruise ship the MS Veendam. [January 1996]
Campaigned for the role of Doris Mann in Postcards from the Edge (1990), but Shirley MacLaine was cast instead.
One of the few actresses to have danced with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly on screen. Other actresses who have done this include: Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, Vera-Ellen, Rita Hayworth and Leslie Caron.
Played the French horn in high school and was a member of the Burbank Youth Symphony.
Secondary school studies in Burbank.
Was friends with Jane Powell; they shared the same birthday.
Was a Girl Scout.
In the process of relocating her museum to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. A new Hollywood Motion Picture Museum is being constructed there by Debbie and her children Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher. It opened in April 2005. [July 2004]
She reconciled with old nemesis Elizabeth Taylor to work on the made-for-TV movie These Old Broads (2001), written by Debbie's daughter, Carrie Fisher, with Taylor, Shirley MacLaine and Joan Collins. Debbie and Taylor were friends until the late 1950s when Debbie's then-husband, Eddie Fisher, began having an affair with Liz, then left Debbie and married Taylor. When they began working on "These Old Broads" together, Taylor told Debbie, "I owe you a lot". Debbie said, "I just got a lump in my throat when she said that".
She had English, some Scottish, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), and German, and distant French, ancestry.
Her singing of "I Want To Be Loved By You", in the film Three Little Words (1950), was dubbed by Helen Kane.
Is one of 26 actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination for their performance in a musical; hers being The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). The others, in chronological order, are: Bessie Love (The Broadway Melody (1929)), Grace Moore (One Night of Love (1934)), Jean Hagen (Singin' in the Rain (1952)), Marjorie Rambeau (Torch Song (1953)), Dorothy Dandridge (Carmen Jones (1954)), Deborah Kerr (The King and I (1956)), Rita Moreno (West Side Story (1961)), Gladys Cooper (My Fair Lady (1964)), Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), and Victor Victoria (1982)), Peggy Wood (The Sound of Music (1965)), Carol Channing (Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)), Kay Medford (Funny Girl (1968)), Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl (1968)), Liza Minnelli (Cabaret (1972)), Ronee Blakley (Nashville (1975)), Lily Tomlin (Nashville (1975)), Ann-Margret (Tommy (1975)), Lesley Ann Warren (Victor Victoria (1982)), Amy Irving (Yentl (1983)), Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge! (2001)), Queen Latifah (Chicago (2002)), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago (2002)), Renée Zellweger (Chicago (2002)), Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls (2006)), Penélope Cruz (Nine (2009)), Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables (2012)), and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods (2014)).
Grandmother of Billie Lourd.
Mother-in-law of Catherine Hickland.
She died only one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher.
Became pregnant by her 2nd husband Harry Karl in 1961 and 1963; on both occasions she suffered stillbirths.
Her personal favorite film of hers was The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964).
Was Elizabeth Taylor's Matron of Honor at Taylor's wedding to Mike Todd.
Graduated from Burbank High School in Burbank, California in 1950; Vic Tayback graduated from Burbank High School in 1949.
She was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2014.
Daughter of Raymond (1903-1986), born in the state of Texas, and Maxene (née Harman) Reynolds (1912-1999), born in the state of Oklahoma.
Maternal granddaughter of Owen (1885-1951), born in the state of Kansas, and Maxie (née Dykeman) Harman (1889-1976), born in the state of Missouri.
Ironically, at the time of her own death, she was scheduled to attend Zsa Zsa Gabor's funeral.
When Reynolds was going through her highly publicized divorce from Eddie Fisher, news crews were camped out around the clock on Reynolds' front lawn. To ingratiate herself to reporters (and engender public sympathy for her role as the "wronged wife") Reynolds would regularly grant interviews in front of the house, often with diaper pins on her blouse and her two toddler aged children, Carrie and Todd Fisher, in her arms.
In the movie version of her daughter Carrie Fisher's autobiographical novel Postcards from three Edge, the character thought to be based on Debbie Reynolds was played by Shirley MacLaine.
As a result of the publicity (and sympathy) generated by her humiliating divorce from Eddie Fisher (who abandoned her to marry her best friend Elizabeth Taylor) Reynolds ranked #5 among the Top Ten Box Office Stars list for both 1959 and 1960.
Appeared in one film nominated for Best Picture Academy Award: How the West Was Won (1962).
On the British game show QI, after Host Stephen Fry confirmed with Carrie Fisher that on the set of Singing in the Rain, Gene Kelly rehearsed Debbie until her feet bled. Fisher then revealed "She also said that Gene Kelly french kissed her and she vomited.".

Personal Quotes (10)

Singin' in the Rain (1952) and childbirth were the two hardest things I ever had to do in my life.
I stopped making movies because I don't like taking my clothes off. Maybe it's realism but, in my opinion, it's utter filth.
[asked what her favorite film is] I think one of my favorite films is Dark Victory (1939) with Bette Davis. Why? She was so wonderful in that film. And . . . maybe I just want a good cry once in a while without having to go through a divorce.
Daddy had got us rooms in a motel until he could find us a house. There were not a lot of places available for a young family on our budget. Daddy went around to dozens of places. Nobody wanted kids. Finally, he found one in the hills south of Glendale. As usual, the landlady asked if he had kids. "Yep,' he replied. "A boy and a girl". "Well, whatta you going to do about them?" she wanted to know, implying that she didn't allow children. "I'm gonna take 'em out and drown them in the Los Angeles River, and come back tomorrow". That was my father--ask a silly question and just wait. She must have had the same sense of humor--we moved in the next day.
I do 20 minutes every time the refrigerator door opens and the light comes on.
[on the death of Tony Curtis] Nobody had a better time than Tony. He loved the ladies. He loved art. He loved this business more than anything. He was a great looking guy, handsome. We were all very close friends when we were young, a long, long time ago. But he had a wonderful life. He had a full life. He was a great, marvellous actor.
I only had radio growing up, so I loved going to the movies. I always had a thing for a fairy-tale ending.
[on Carrie Fisher] People used to call her "Debbie Reynolds' daughter," now they call me "Princess Leia's mother!"
[on the announcement that daughter Carrie Fisher is in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)] She's very excited about it . . . she's been on a diet ever since, because you know they have to be up to par, so she looks terrific, she's lost 40 pounds.
Upon the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher one day earlier while planning her funeral at her son Todd Fisher's house, Debbie Reynolds said to her son, "I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie".

Salary (1)

Bundle of Joy (1956) $150,000

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