Sad news to report as Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds has passed away. Reynolds was taken to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon following what is believed to be a stroke. This all all happened one day following the death of Reynolds’ daughter – actress and writer Carrie Fisher. Todd Fisher, Reynolds’ son, commented to Variety, ““She wanted to be with Carrie.” Reynolds was 84 years of age.
Reynolds’ career in Hollywood spanned the silver screen, television and Broadway. An Oscar-nominee, Emmy nominee and 5-time Golden Globe nominee, Reynolds was a celebrated actress, singer and philanthropist. Just last year, the screen legend received both the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award (an award she accepted with her daughter by her side) as well as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On the screen, perhaps her most memorable turn was her immortal turn as romantic lead Kathy Selden in the classic Hollywood musical Singin’ in the Rain. Directed by Stanley Donan and lead Gene Kelly from a screenplay by Adolph Green and Betty Comden, Singin’ in the Rain chronicled a silent film production company making the not-so smooth transition to sound. The film helped make Reynolds a movie star. The film is now fondly remembered as one of the greatest Hollywood musicals of all time; it ranked as the top film in AFI’s 100 Years of Musical list. Aside from Singin’ in the Rain, Reynolds appeared in films are varied as The Catered Affair (1956) – in which she appeared opposite Bette Davis, Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), How the West Was Won (1962), The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) – for which she received her lone Oscar nomination and Divorce American Style (1967). More recent screen credits include Albert Brooks’ Mother (1996) – for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination and Frank Oz’s In & Out (1997).
Personally, Reynolds’ Hollywood life was marked by rocky relationships and financial burdens. She became a tabloid fixture when husband Eddie Fisher left her for Elizabeth Taylor in 1958. While her second husband, Harry Karl, allegedly wiped all of her money through gambling. Her relationship with Carrie Fisher was notably strained throughout time – Fisher based their real-life relationship through her memoir and eventual film Postcards from the Edge. However, Reynolds was also highly regarded for her philanthropy – she was among those to found Thalians, a charitable organization armed with raising awareness and treating those suffering from mental health issues. She was also a noted collector of famed Hollywood iconography. Among past possessions included Marilyn Monroe’s pleated white dress from The Seven Year Itch and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.
Reynolds is survived by her son Todd and her granddaughter Billie Lourd.