Debbie Reynolds tragically died of a stroke on Wednesday, December 28 at the age of 84, just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher passed away, but her legend lives on.
The iconic Singin In The Rain star was known for much so more than being the Star Wars actresses’ mother, and to remember her Us Weekly has listed 10 thing you may not have known about her.
1. Her career was kick started at 16-years-old when she won the Miss Burbank beauty pageant in California in 1948. She was spotted by Warner Bros scouts and offered a $65 a week contract. She later admitted she’d only entered the competition because of the free scarf and blouse being offered to contestants.
2. She was born Mary Frances Reynolds, but Jack Warner changed her name saying: “Debbie is a cute name for a little girl.” Reynolds revealed years later that she didn’t actually like being called Debbie.
3. She was made a star by her role in the 1952 movie Singin In The Rain but said of the part, that left her feet bleeding as she tried to keep up with her co-star Gene Kelly: “Singin’ In The Rain and childbirth are two of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life.”
Debbie Reynolds photographed at her Los Angeles home in 2012.
4. Her first husband Eddie Fisher – Carrie’s father – left her for her good friend Elizabeth Taylor in 1958. The outpouring of public sympathy increased her fame, due to Taylor’s femme fatale reputation compared to Reynolds’ girl next door image.
5. Reynold’s forgave Taylor later in life. They rekindled their friendship and even starred in the 2001 TV movie These Old Broads, written by Carrie Fisher.
6. Reynolds was married three times. Her husbands were actor Eddie Fisher, millionaire businessman Harry Karl and real estate developer Richard Hamlett. She blamed her last two for leaving her in financial ruin.
7. She was also a businesswomen. In 1979 she opened her dance studio in North Hollywood. She released an exercise video called ‘Do It Debbie’s Way’ in 1983 and also produced another called ‘Couples (Do It Debbie’s Way.)
8. In 1992 she bought the Clarion Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and renamed it the Debbie Reynolds Hotel. But she was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1997. She blamed her third husband for mismanaging the property.
9. Despite her lengthy career she never won an Academy Award. She was nominated for best actress in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, but didn’t win. At the 2016 Academy Awards she was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
10. She lived next door to her daughter Carrie Fisher in Beverly Hills, California before she died.