Such sad and sudden news, the death of DEBBIE REYNOLDS, one day after the death of her daughter,CARRIE FISHER.
Debbie brightened many an MGM musical in the 1950s. Happy, smiling, instantly recognisable. She had a long and memorable showbusiness career, performing even in her 80s.
Debbie joined Warner Brothers in 1948 (aged 16), after winning a beauty title, Miss Burbank.
Warners didn’t keep her long – IMDB lists her as uncredited in JUNE BRIDE, and then she did SWEET ROSIE O’GRADY (1948).
I guess Warners didn’t see Debbie’s youthful potential . She was snapped up by MGM and appeared in TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE (1950). Debbie got to sing the catchy number, “Abba Dabba Honeymoon” with CARLETON CARPENTOR. ( This song was written in 1914.)
Also in 1950, she played Helen Kane in THREE LITTLE WORDS. Helen Kane dubbed her famous song, “I wanna Be Loved By You” and Debbie and CARLETON CARPENTOR performed it.
Another big success for Debbie.
A very glamorous looking Bette Davis in this poster!
Debbie had a huge hit with the title song, “TAMMY”.
Debbie on the set of THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY, with FRED ASTAIRE.
Debbie’s THIS IS YOUR LIFE in 1961.
Debbie was reunited with Gower Champion when she came to Broadway in 1973 in the lovely 20s musical, IRENE. It was a great success.
With Patsy Kelly as her mother in IRENE.
Cant you just see Debbie as a rootin’ tootin’ Annie Oakley.
Debbie took Raquel Welch’s place in the stage musical WOMAN OF THE YEAR (which had starred Lauren Bacall on Broadway.)
Debbie had great success with her nightclub act and there are some great clips on YouTube. In 1978, in Las Vegas, she was introduced on stage by LIBERACE. ( and years later she would play Liberace’s mother in the Michael Douglas film.)
Debbie had the gift of mimicry. There’s a video of her on the Larry King show in 1996, and she does terrific impersonations of Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Mae West – and Liberace!!
I also found on You Tube a 2011 interview Debbie and Carrie did with Oprah. Both were open and candid and obviously very happy in each other’s company. ( They had had an estrangement for 10 years.)
They sang together, with Debbie doing ‘You Made Me Love you’ and Carrie showing a surprisingly strong singing voice with ‘Happy Days Are Here Again.’
HBO have the rights to the 2015 documentary on Debbie and Carrie, BRIGHT LIGHTS,STARRING CARRIE FISHER and DEBBIE REYNOLDS. I hope it is screened soon.
Note: Dec 31st. The cable network,HBO are screening the documentary on Jan. 7th, 2017. Hope it’s world wide soon.
Carrie helps Debbie choose an outfit for an upcoming stage appearance . Love the Cary Grant portrait to the left.
What a career she had. She also had a short lived TV series in 1969 which she reportedly walked away from because one of the major advertising sponsors was a cigarette company.
We will also remember Debbie for her great efforts to preserve Hollywood history, buying a unique collection of memorabilia at the 1970 MGM auction.
It would be a fine tribute if the Hollywood museum she always wanted finally came into being.
I’ve kept SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN to the last because it will surely be the film Debbie will be forever remembered for.
I have to admit that I do not know how the 19 year old Debbie , with no dance experience and very little film experience , came to be chosen for the lead female role in this Gene Kelly musical.But, what perfect casting.
Boy, was she a quick learner. Three months of dance lessons. The trio of Kelly, O’Connor and Reynolds were perfection. Tons of credit must be given to the teenage Debbie for learning so much during this film ( and great credit to Gene Kelly and the MGM experts who helped her.)
Never did you feel she was an ingenue with little experience.