Debbie Reynolds was undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s most iconic and talented stars. She had a career that spanned almost seven decades and effortlessly warmed her way into the hearts of millions of fans.
In honor of her legacy and contribution to the movie industry, here are 10 interesting things about Debbie Reynolds that set her apart from your everyday Hollywood entertainers.
1. Debbie Reynolds Breakthrough Film
The first time Debbie Reynolds was on film, she played an uncredited role in the 1948 June Bride. In the movie, she was Boo’s girlfriend at the wedding. However, in 1950 The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady would be her first credited role where she played Maureen O’Grady at the age of 17. The director, David Butler, had ensured the script was written specifically for Debbie Reynolds.
Yet her breakthrough movie was the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain, where she played Kathy Selden.
2. Debbie Reynolds’s Acting Career Began After Winning Miss Burbank in 1948
After winning the Miss Burbank beauty pageant, she got a contract with Warner Bros. It was with this contract she got featured in her first film, albeit an uncredited role. However, what’s most surprising is she said she only joined the beauty pageant because they offered a free scarf and blouse.
3. Warner Bros. & MGM Scouts Had to Flip a Coin to Get Debbie Reynolds
After watching her win the Miss Burbank beauty pageant, both production company’s scouts who were present were willing to sign Debbie Reynolds immediately. The scouts agreed to flip a coin to decide and Warner. Bros won the coin toss. Debbie Reynolds remained signed on to Warner Bros. for the next two years before moving over to MGM.
4. Debbie Reynolds was Not Always Debbie Reynolds
In the world of showbiz and make-believe, it’s not uncommon to have entertainers take on a new name. Debbie Reynolds was not exactly born with that name. The actress was born Mary Frances Reynolds on April 1, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, U.S. When she got signed on to Warner Bros., the studio head at the time, Jack L. Warner, felt Debbie Reynolds was a better stage name. Debbie Reynolds later revealed she wasn’t particularly a fan of the name “Debbie.”
5. Debbie Reynolds Featured in Over 50 Films in Her Lifetime
There are not many Hollywood actors and actresses that can boast of such an impressive résumé. Debbie Reynolds starred in over 50 Films, not including those with partial television credits. She was a force to be reckoned with as she made special appearances in more recent television shows. These include 12 episodes on Will & Grace and the voice role of Granny Squirrel in Penguins of Madagascar.
6. Debbie Reynolds Married Three Times
Debbie Reynolds first got married to Eddie Fisher in 1955 and divorced four years later in 1959. Reynolds The divorce was a result of the cheating scandal that followed the revelation that Eddie Fisher was unfaithful. Reynolds married Harry Karl the next year in 1960 but was again divorced in 1973. She married her last husband, Richard Hamlet, in 1984 and divorced in 1996.
7. Debbie Reynolds was Once One of the World’s Biggest Collector of Film Memorabilia
When Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer held its auction in 1970, Debbie Reynolds purchased a large collection of their memorabilia. Some of the items included the white subway dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in 1955, The Seven Year Itch movie, as well as Charlie Chaplin’s bowler hat. However, it was later auctioned off, with the last auction held in May 2014.
8. Debbie Reynolds’ First Husband Cheated on Her With Her Best Friend, Elizabeth Taylor
Hollywood has always been filled with lots of scandals, but in 1959, cheating scandals were as big as they could get. Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher had a lovely marriage that most people admired, but when news broke out of infidelity, the world was in shock. Moreso, Eddie Fisher cheated on his wife with her best friend Elizabeth Taylor.
The silver lining for Reynolds was it moved fans to love and respect her even more, thereby growing her fame and reputation. Reynolds later admitted on the Oprah Winfrey’s Show in 2011 that she got a chance to reconcile with her former best friend, Elizabeth Taylor, before Taylor’s death.
9. Debbie Reynolds Died A Day After Her Daughter, Carrie Fisher
There was no doubt that Debbie Reynolds shared a close relationship with her first child and daughter, Carrie Fisher. On December 23, 2016, Fisher suffered a medical emergency onboard a Los Angeles-bound flight from London. Fisher died four days later. The next morning, Debbie Reynolds was rushed to the hospital and passed away in the afternoon from intracerebral hemorrhage with hypertension being a contributing factor.
10. Debbie Reynolds Only Had Two Children
Although Debbie Reynolds married three times, she only had children with her first husband, Eddie Fisher. Carrie Frances Fisher was born on October 21, 1956, and would die on December 27, 2016. Reynolds’ second and last child is Todd Emmanuel Fisher, born February 24, 1958. Reynolds’ only granddaughter at the time of her death was Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher’s only daughter before her death.
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