Debbie Reynolds (born April 1, 1932) is an American actress, singer, and dancer.
Initially signed at age sixteen by Warner Bros., Reynolds' career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) gave her a small but significant part in the film Three Little Words (1950), then signed her to a seven-year contract. In her next film, Two Weeks with Love (1950), she had a hit with the song "Aba Daba Honeymoon". However, it was her first leading role, in Singin' in the Rain (1952), that set her on the path to fame. By the mid-1950s, she was a major star.
Other notable successes include Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), in which her rendering of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the music charts; and The Unsinkable Molly Brown(1964), for which she received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She continues to perform successfully on stage, television and film to the present day.
Reynolds's first marriage, to popular singer Eddie Fisher, produced a son, author/host producer Todd Fisher, and a daughter, actress/author Carrie Fisher, but ended in divorce in 1959 when Fisher fell in love with Reynolds's former (and later) friend Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds's second and third marriages also ended in divorce, each time ruining her financially.
She is a noted collector of film memorabilia, beginning with the landmark 1970 MGM auction. In June 2011, unable to find a suitable home for her large collection, she began auctioning it off.
Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (née Harmon; 1913–1999) and Raymond Francis Reynolds (1903–1986), who was a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. She has Scotch-Irish and English ancestry. Reynolds was a Girl Scout and a troop leader (a scholarship in her name is offered to high-school age Girl Scouts). Her family moved to Burbank, California, in 1939, and she was raised in a strict Nazarene faith. At age sixteen, while a student at Burbank's John Burroughs High School, Reynolds won the Miss Burbank beauty contest, a contract with Warner Bros., and acquired a new first name.
Film memorabilia Edit
Reynolds has amassed a large collection of movie memorabilia, beginning with the landmark 1970 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer auction, and displayed them, first in a museum at her Las Vegas hotel and casino during the 1990s and later in a museum close to the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. On several occasions, she has auctioned off items from the collection.
The museum was to relocate to be the centerpiece of the Belle Island Village tourist attraction in the resort city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but the developer went bankrupt. The museum itself filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009.
Todd Fisher, Reynolds' son, announced that his mother was "heartbroken" to have to auction off her collection. It was valued at $10.79 million in the bankruptcy filing. The Vancouver Sun reported that Profiles in History has been given the responsibility of conducting a series of auctions beginning in June and continuing into December 2011. Among the "more than 3500 costumes, 20,000 photographs, and thousands of movie posters, costume sketches, and props" to be sold are Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat and Marilyn Monroe's white "subway dress", whose skirt is lifted up by the breeze from a passing subway train in the film The Seven Year Itch (1955).
On June 18, 2011, the subway dress was sold for $4.6 million, far in excess of pre-auction estimates of $1–2 million. Another Monroe dress, which she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, fetched $1.2 million, four times the upper pre-sale expectation.