Debbie Reynolds (born Mary Frances Reynolds; April 1, 1932) is an American actress, singer, and dancer. She is also a collector of movie memorabilia. Reynolds was also an MGM contract star.
Reynolds was born 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. 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 16, while a student at Burbank's John Burroughs High School, Reynolds won the Miss Burbank Beauty Contest, a contract with Warner Brothers, and acquired her new first name.
Debbie Reynolds regularly appeared in movie musicals during the 1950s and had several hit records during the period. Her song "Aba Daba Honeymoon" (featured in the 1950 film Two Weeks with Love as a duet with Carleton Carpenter) was a top-three hit in 1951. After a small role as Marjorie Main's niece in MR. Imperim (1951), MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer cast Debbie in the studio's now- legendary musical spoof of 1920s Hollywood, Singin' In The rain (1952), much to the chagrin of star Gene Kelly who wanted a professional dancer in the part. Given three months to learn to dance well enough to keep up with Kelly and co-star Donald O'Connor, Debbie (at age 19) pulled off the impossible and kept step with the two seasoned pros, if not always as effortlessly as they made it seem.
Once again, her comic timing proved her saving grace, this time as a self-assured flapper and aspiring actress (temporarily working as a chorus girl) who disdains moviedom until she accidentally falls in love with silent screen star Kelly and gets a job dubbing the voice of his romantic leading lady (Jean Hagen) who is having serious trouble making the transition from silent movies to talking pictures. In Bundle of Joy (1956) she appeared with her then-husband, Eddie Fisher.
Her recording of the song "Tammy" (from her 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor) earned her a gold record, and was the best-selling single by a female vocalist in 1957. It was number one for five weeks on the Billboard pop charts. In the movie (the first of the Tammy film series) she co-starred with Leslie Nielsen.
Reynolds also scored two other top-25 Billboard hits with "A Very Special Love" (1958) and "Am I That Easy to Forget" (1960) — a pop-music version of a country-music hit made famous by both songwriters Carl Belew (in 1959), Skeeter Davis (in 1960), and several years later by singer Engelbert Humperdinck. During these years she also headlined in major Las Vegas, showrooms.
Her starring role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) led to a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then portrayed Jeanine Deckers in The Singing Nun (1966).
She continues to make appearances in film and television. From 1999 to its 2006 series finale, she played Grace Adler's ditzy mother Bobbi on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace (1998–2006), which earned her a Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000. She also plays a recurring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie Halloweentown film series as Aggie Cromwell. Reynolds made a guest appearance as a presenter at the 69th Academy Awards in 1997.
Reynolds has been married three times. She and Eddie Fisher were married in 1955. They are the parents of Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher. A public scandal ensued when Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor fell in love, and Reynolds and Fisher were divorced in 1959. Her second marriage, to millionaire businessman Harry Karl, lasted from 1960 to 1973. At its end, she found herself in financial difficulty because of Karl's gambling and bad investments. (Under the community-property laws of California, both spouses in a marriage are legally responsible for debts incurred by either.) Reynolds was married to real-estate developer Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996. They purchased Greek Isles Hotel & Casino, a small hotel and casino in Las Vegas, but it was not a success. In 1997, Reynolds was forced to declare bankruptcy.
She has amassed a large collection of movie memorabilia 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. 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
Reynolds was hospitalized in October 2012 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles because she had an adverse reaction to medication she was taking. She canceled appearances and concert engagements for the next three months.
She resides in Los Angeles next door to her daughter Carrie.
(Info edited from Wikipedia & reelclassics.com)
(Info edited from Wikipedia & reelclassics.com)