Approximately 24 hours after the sudden death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, wholesome ingénue of the ’50s and ’60s, but working actor, and beloved Hollywood Icon through her ’80s, Debbie Reynolds passed away from an apparent stroke. However, many believe she died from a broken heart at 84 years of age on Dec. 28.
Reynolds was a gifted singer, dancer, actor, author, business woman, film historian and philantropist and may have been best known for her breakout role in Singin’ in the Rain (1952) with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Conner, as well as turns in Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) for which she received an Academy Award nomination, The Singing Nun (1966) and more recently co-starring in Mother (1996) and In & Out (1997). She was also known for her voiceover work as the title character in Charlotte’s Web (1973).
As successful as she was and continued to be as a performer, she is equally well known for her personal life. Reynolds had been married and divorced three times and the love triangle involving her then-husband Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor was a constant source of celebrity gossip.
Reynolds was a celebrated philanthropist with mental health being one of her main areas of interest and she often cited her love of being a lifelong Girl Scout and supported the organization.
She was also a successful business woman. She opened up the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio I North Hollywood in 1979, which still thrives today. She has an impressive collection of movie memorabilia and received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2015. In 2016, she earned the Academy Award’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
She released her autobiography titled, Debbie: My Life in 1988. An updated version called Unsinkable: A Memoir was released 2013. A documentary starring her and daughter titled Bright Lights came out in October 2016.
Reynolds is survived by her son Todd Fisher and her granddaughter who is Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd.
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