TheaterMania Logo
Home link
Obituaries

Actress Debbie Reynolds Has Died at 84

Reynolds' daughter, Carrie Fisher, died unexpectedly earlier this week.

Actress Debbie Reynolds has died.
(© Joseph Marzullo)

Actress Debbie Reynolds, Tony nominee and mother of the recently deceased Carrie Fisher, has died following a stroke. Reynolds was 84 years old.

Born in 1932 in El Paso, Texas, Reynolds moved to Burbank, California, with her family as a child. Her performance career kicked off in 1948 when, at the age of 16, she won a local beauty contest. She began appearing in film, especially movie musicals in the 1950s, with credits including Two Weeks With Love (1950), Three Little Words (1950), and, most famously, Singin' in the Rain (1952), opposite Gene Kelly.

Reynolds would go on to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). Her later screen career included a recurring role on television's Will & Grace that earned her an Emmy Award nomination, and a guest appearance on 2013's Behind the Candelabra, as the mother of Liberace, along with many other roles.

Reynolds appeared on the Broadway stage three times, making her debut in the 1973 musical comedy Irene, which earned her a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. That production also featured Reynolds' daughter Carrie Fisher in her Broadway debut and George S. Irving, who won a Tony for his performance, both of whom died earlier this week.

In 1976, Reynolds returned to Broadway to star in a short engagement of her self-titled revue, Debbie. Her final Broadway appearance was in the 1981 Kander and Ebb musical Woman of the Year as a replacement for Lauren Bacall in the role of Tess Harding.

Reynolds married singer Eddie Fisher in 1955. The couple had two children — Carrie and a son, Todd (who survives her) — before their divorce in 1959. She later married and divorced businessman Harry Karl and real estate developer Richard Hamlett.

Reynolds and her daughter had a famously tempestuous relationship, which is immortalized in Fisher's semiautobiographical novel Postcards From the Edge. The book was turned into a film in 1990, directed by Mike Nichols and starring Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

Reynolds' son Todd reportedly stated earlier this evening, "She wanted to be with Carrie."

Loading...
Loading...