Tribute: Debbie Reynolds R.I.P.
Only a day after we paid tribute to Carrie Fisher following her passing we find ourselves reflecting on the career of her mother, Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, who passed away after suffering a stroke.
Debbie Reynolds started her long career in the 1950s and worked as an actress, singer, dancer and later a humanitarian and film historian. Best known for Singing in the Rain she was an icon of the Golden Age of Hollywood and continued stage work up until recent years.
Born Mary Frances Reynolds in 1932 in Texas, USA. While at a young age her family moved to California. Her first steps into the industry began with winning a beauty contest at age 16 and then signing a contract with Warner Brothers. It was at this time Jack Warner gave her the stage name ‘Debbie’. Reynolds started featuring in musicals, which were popular at the time, and age 20 costarred with Gene Kelly in Stanley Donen’s Singin’ in the Rain.
Over the next 20 years Reynolds continued to collect accolades. Her recording of the song ‘Tammy’ achieved a Gold Record and her performance in The Unsinkable Molly Brown scored her an Academy Award nomination. She continued to work on stage and film up until 2013 and featured in a documentary with her daughter Carrie Fisher in 2016 (to be released next year).
Reynolds was also recognised for having collected and displayed thousands of items of Hollywood memorabilia, including Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch and Charlie Chaplin’s bowler hat.
Favourite Role: Being a big, burly horror fan everyone finds it weird that I love movie musicals. Personally I can’t comprehend why people are so adverse to them. We all like movies, we all like music, what’s the problem? Anyway, my favourite musical is undoubtably Singin’ in the Rain, as it is many other people’s favourite. It a fun satire of Hollywood and a listen in film history. Debbie Reynold’s stars as Kathy Seldon, a stage actor who crosses paths with film megastar Don Lockwood. She eventually gets dragged into his life, providing a voice to his on-screen partner Mina Lamont. It’s little wonder this was a star making role for the young Reynolds that is fondly remembered to this day.
Rest in Peace, Debbie Reynolds.