Entertainer Debbie Reynolds dies at 84, one day after her daughter’s death
In a tragic turn of events, Debbie Reynolds, one of the great American entertainers of Hollywood and Broadway, has died, just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, passed away. Reynolds was 84. Little is known about the cause of death, though early reports suggest she was rushed to the hospital with the symptoms of a stroke. Reynolds loved her children, and was highly supportive of them. She always spoke proudly and openly of Carrie Fisher’s great talent, and writing ability. Friends describe Reynolds as kind, loving and charitable. She was known to use her fame and good fortune to help others.
Reynolds, a strikingly beautiful young woman with considerable talent, was discovered in 1952 by scouts while participating in a beauty contest. She was a triple threat as a singer, dancer and actress. Her first movie, ‘Singing in the Rain’, with the great Gene Kelly, was an enormous success, and catapulted her to stardom. She’s best known for her excellent work in ‘Singing in the Rain,’ and her outstanding performance in ‘The unsinkable Molly Brown,’ which earned her an Oscar nomination.
In 1959 she endured a public humiliation with great dignity when her first husband, Singer Eddie Fisher, left her for Elizabeth Tailor, who was one of her closest friends at the time. This and other breakups left her in difficult financial straits, but over the years her love of collecting Hollywood memorabilia paid dividends, earning her millions in auction sales.
As her career developed, she turned away from an active movie career, but enjoyed a long run on broadway, along with television appearances, including a recurring role on ‘Will and Grace.’ And she never stopped singing. Always the consummate entertainer, the multi-talented Reynolds was also known for outstanding impressions of popular celebrities, including Barbara Streisand, Catherine Hepburn, and Betty Davis.
Photo: San Francisco Chronicle / SFGATE.com