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Debbie Reynolds: Ever and always a trouper

CBS News) Debbie Reynolds is a Hollywood performer who's played countless roles during her long career. Yet it's one real-life role that often seems to overshadow all the others. She talks about it with Mo Rocca:

In the pantheon of Hollywood's great triple-threat performers, you can count Debbie Reynolds: acting, singing and dancing for nearly 65 years.

"Is it fair to say that you're the ultimate trouper?" asked Rocca.

"I'm stubborn," she offered. "I'm very stubborn. And I would never give up, ever, about anything."

That can-do spirit came in handy when, at the age of 19, she was cast opposite Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain." Twenty years younger than Kelly, she'd had dance training - no training of any kind."

It took three months of intensive dance lessons, but when the cameras rolled, Reynolds kept in step with co-stars Kelly and Donald O'Connor.

"We danced 10, 12 hours every day. There were no days off," she said.

"You say your feet were bleeding -- what else hurt?" asked Rocca.

"I think your heart hurt -- were you going to be able to do it? Could you keep up? Were you going to fail?" Reynolds said. "And Gene Kelly kind of scared me, because he was the boss, and he was brilliant, and he was a wonderful teacher. He had to teach me. And to be given a little kitty cat, and expect it to be a lion, it didn't happen overnight. I had to work, work, work without question."

And just like her character, Kathy Selden, Reynolds emerged a bona fide "movie star." Funny, since all Mary Frances Reynolds wanted to be was . . . a gym teacher.

But when she won the Miss Burbank beauty pageant in 1948 (she got a free blouse for entering), Reynolds was discovered by a Warner Brothers talent scout.

Reynolds recalled her screen test: "There was a camera there, and they said, 'Look in the camera.' And I said, 'Okay.' And they said, 'Now just talk, just ad-lib.' I said, 'Why would I do that? I don't know what I'm doing here, this is all so silly.'

"And they said, 'Well, you want to be a movie star, don't you?' And I said, 'No. I don't know anything about it. I'm just here 'cause I won this contest, and I got a free blouse and scarf. That's the only reason I'm here. I don't know what you guys are doing wasting your time on me.'

"So Jack Warner saw the test, and he said, 'Well, she's funny. Let's put her under contract, $65 a week.'"

Mary Frances became Debbie, and soon enough was palling around on the MGM lot with Elizabeth Taylor.

"Elizabeth was really a gal, you know? She was a dame," Reynolds said. "She called me a little Girl Scout -- She was right about that, I was just not a sexual, I didn't know anything about that world. I didn't know about the worldly world. And she knew everything about the worldly world, and shared it with me.

"She was funny. She was really a bawdy broad. And I loved being with her. We had a lot of fun together."

And then Reynolds met the crooner Eddie Fisher.

"He was so cute, just adorable," Reynolds said. "He had big brown eyes, and he was a very talented young man. We were both very young -- and I was pretty cute myself!"

America's sweethearts married in 1955. The newlyweds even hammed it up for Edward R. Murrow on "Person to Person."

The marriage produced two children: actress and writer Carrie, and younger brother Todd.

Todd Fisher says of his mother's early movies, like "Tammy and the Bachelor," "Shoot, that's just her. She is an innocent, a true innocent. And she always has been. That's why she gets so horribly screwed over sometimes."

That's ONE way of describing what happened with her first marriage. She and Fisher were close to Taylor and her husband Mike Todd; they were matron of honor and best man at their wedding.

When Todd died in a plane crash in 1958, Fisher rushed to comfort Taylor . . . and never came back.

(More at link)

by Anonymousreply 12907/23/2013


by Anonymousreply 103/31/2013

[quote] "Could there be a doctor in your future?" Rocca inquired.

[quote] "There can't be any man in my future, or woman," Reynolds laughed. "There will be none of that -- marriage and relationships. I want to be allowed to have my own life and my own problems."

Did Debbie just come out?

by Anonymousreply 203/31/2013

Well, she did say she wanted to be a gym teacher.

by Anonymousreply 303/31/2013

Her career was strange. I've never liked "Singing In The Rain". It seemed she was in between generations: first too young, then too old. They didn't know what to do with her, so she played nuns, bumpkins, musicals, fluff. By 1970 her movie career was essentially over.

My favorite movie of hers is "The Rat Race".

She thought marrying that fugly Harry Karl would set her for life financially- but he died leaving her broke and in debt. Imagine having to fuck that for nothing? God's little joke...

Loved her on "Will & Grace".

by Anonymousreply 403/31/2013

I hated Leg Up.

I thought it was so mean to have "Annie Miller" sing, "I'ma a mediocre dancer who made it BIG!!!"

Mediocre??? Did they see Easter Parade? She was a FABULOUS dancer.

I bet that skit hurt her deeply.

by Anonymousreply 503/31/2013

She would have made a good Nellie Forbush in South Pacific.

by Anonymousreply 603/31/2013

You never liked "Singing In The Rain"? You're dismissed.

Her first book was one of the best celeb autobiographies. And she dished fun dirt too.

by Anonymousreply 703/31/2013

She was great on Broadway in "Irene."

by Anonymousreply 803/31/2013

[quote]You never liked "Singing In The Rain"? You're dismissed.

You refer to "Singin' in the Rain" as "Singing in the Rain"? You're also dismissed.

by Anonymousreply 903/31/2013

[quote]You refer to "Singin' in the Rain" as "Singing in the Rain"? You're also dismissed.'

Honey, I didn't refer to it as anything. I cut and pasted R4 remark.

by Anonymousreply 1003/31/2013

She's writing for the Globe.

by Anonymousreply 1103/31/2013

Mo Rocca!

by Anonymousreply 1203/31/2013

The Unsinkable Molly Brown is fabulous, despite having only about 3 good songs.

by Anonymousreply 1303/31/2013

I loved it that she told Eddie he "wouldn't be enough" for Elizabeth and he just shrugged her off and laughed.

by Anonymousreply 1403/31/2013

She couldn't sing to save her ass!

by Anonymousreply 1503/31/2013

Her prime film career as a leading lady lasted almost 20 years. That is remarkable against most any standards.

by Anonymousreply 1603/31/2013

[quote]Funny, since all Mary Frances Reynolds wanted to be was . . . a gym teacher.

LOL, jokes do tell themselves, don't they?

by Anonymousreply 1703/31/2013

Amazing that she managed to make up with Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps they developed a common contempt for Eddie Fisher.

by Anonymousreply 1803/31/2013

I always thought it was funny that her character in Singin' in the Rain dubbed the singing voice for Lina Lamont, when Reynolds' own singing voice was dubbed by Betty Noyes.

by Anonymousreply 1903/31/2013

I have admired Debbie Reynolds for two reasons:

1) She was one of the first to recognize and to popularize the need to save, preserve and curate Hollywood memorabilia. No make that Hollywood history. She used her own money to purchase a lot of Hollywood material and attempted to showcase that material.

2) She worked hard, very hard to pay off her debts, regardless whether she incurred them or not. She took whatever job that was available, toured the country numerous times. Her work ethic is amazing; I wish more people, myself included, had such an ethic.

by Anonymousreply 2003/31/2013

And Betty Noyes was married to (wait for it)... a Phys Ed Coach!

by Anonymousreply 2103/31/2013

And she is aging beautifully. She may have had work done, she may wear wigs, but she looks like a graceful and gracious version of her younger self.

by Anonymousreply 2203/31/2013

[quote] She worked hard, very hard to pay off her debts, regardless whether she incurred them or not. She took whatever job that was available, toured the country numerous times. Her work ethic is amazing; I wish more people, myself included, had such an ethic.

Yes, so many celebrities would just move their assets and file for bankruptcy but Debbie just kept working. She seems like a genuinely nice person.

I know this is an unpopular opinion but I think Debbie was better looking than Elizabeth Taylor.

by Anonymousreply 2303/31/2013

Do it Debbie's way!:

by Anonymousreply 2403/31/2013

She must have found it rather devastating and/or humiliating if people assumed the character in Postcards from the Edge was based on her.

I suspect that character (in the film, anyway) was closer to the real Shirley MacLaine than to Debbie, in spite of the original authorship.

by Anonymousreply 2503/31/2013

[quote] She must have found it rather devastating and/or humiliating if people assumed the character in Postcards from the Edge was based on her.

Actually she wanted to play the role in the movie, but Mike Nichols said no.

by Anonymousreply 2603/31/2013

Bless her heart. They called her the Iron Butterfly. She has a wonderful heart and a quick wit. And has maintained a great relationship with her children, as wacko as Carrie is. She is one of the last of the greats from the golden era of MGM musicals left. She worked with them all. Knows where all the bodies are buried. She defines the word "trooper." And has her fair share of classic or at least wonderful films under her belt. Two Weeks With Love (singing Abba Dabba Honeymoon with the wonderful Carlton Carpenter), Three Little Words, Singin' in the Rain, I Love Melvin, Hit the Deck, Tammy, The Rat Race, A Catered Affair, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Singing Nun. She is a veritable workhorse. And about as likeable as they come.

by Anonymousreply 2703/31/2013

[quote] She defines the word "trooper."

Um, it's "trouper." A trooper patrols the interstate.

by Anonymousreply 2803/31/2013

I thought her dancing in Singin' in the Rain was wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 2903/31/2013

I thought Loretta Young was The Iron Butterfly.

by Anonymousreply 3003/31/2013

I was lucky to work as an extra on In & Out. During extremely long shooting days in the church the director Frank Oz would do his Miss Piggy and Yoda voices for the little kids on one side of the church and Debbie Reynolds would do her Vegas act for us older people on the other side. She was fabulous. Incredibly professional.

by Anonymousreply 3103/31/2013

The adorable, talented and very pretty Debbie Reynolds on "What's my Line?"

Her accent goes from bad French to bad Hungarian to bad Yiddish, but she is funny and having fun.

Before my time, for real, but I love these clips.

She is charming.

by Anonymousreply 3203/31/2013

Too bad she didn't apply that work ethic to being a mother.

by Anonymousreply 3303/31/2013

[quote]She couldn't sing to save her ass!

She had a Number One Hit song for five weeks. That's when you had to haul your ass out to the record store and buy it and before Auto-Tune. DO YOU?

by Anonymousreply 3403/31/2013

R31, I remember a story from the set of "Will & Grace" when Debra Messing was pregnant and having health issues, and Debbie was doing an appearance as Bobbie Adler. Taping night Deb got sick and couldn't go on with the taping. While they were waiting to see if they would be able to continue or not, Debbie went out and did her act to keep the audience entertained. That's just what you did in her generation of entertainers. The show must go on.

by Anonymousreply 3503/31/2013

Interesting. I fucked around with Mo Rocca. He left me bleeding... not my feet.

by Anonymousreply 3603/31/2013

Debbie and Carrie did an Oprah show together. Oprah was recapping their lives for the audience and when she got to the part of Debbie being married to Eddie Fisher, Debbie turned to the mostly female audience and mimed a well known symbol for someone having a small dick.

She dangled her pinky finger and wiggled it up and down as the audience roared. Oprah missed it, because she was blathering on and on in her O way. It took me by surprise because I was under the impression that Eddie was hung like a mule.

Maybe Debbie was just getting in one final dig at him.

Debbie belongs to a club of women who dug themselves out of a financial hole after their husbands died or left them. Edie Adams did the same thing after Ernie Kovacs died in a car accident and left his family in a world of debt. Edie went to work and rebounded after several years. Paid off all their debts in full. Doris Day did the same after Marty Melcher left her holding an empty bag when he died.

by Anonymousreply 3703/31/2013

I thought she was sublime in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." That movie was beautiful. It's based on a true story, and while the real Molly Brown wasn't even called Molly in real life, the story of the real person is quite amazing and should be in our schools' history books. The film character has to be exaggerated to make it a fun musical, but the real Mrs Brown was pretty much responsible for setting up America's juvenile justice system. Before her, children were always imprisoned with adults and tried as adults.

by Anonymousreply 3803/31/2013

Her guest appearance on the "Golden Girls" puzzles me. They gave her such a small amount of screen time on the show. But, you could see that she would have made a great replacement "Girl" if they decided to go that way after Bea left.

by Anonymousreply 3903/31/2013

She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture -Comedy/Musical for "Mother' but lost to Madonna in "Evita". She deserved but was snubbed by The Oscars of course because it was a comedic role.

by Anonymousreply 4003/31/2013

She's interviewed in the Carol Channing documentary and breaks down when she talks about Carol reuniting with and marrying a childhood sweetheart. I think it's the first time I ever saw her with a real human emotion. She always seems very professional and 'ON' which is, I guess, the way MGM schooled her.

Always loved her, always will.

Saw her on bway in Woman of the Year. Awful show and she was killing herself trying to keep it open.

I agree that she would have been great in South Pacific.

Oh, and she gets major points for not trashing Liz Taylor.

by Anonymousreply 4103/31/2013

[quote]My favorite movie of hers is "The Rat Race"

Mine, too, R4.

And R36, you saying Mo Rocca is a top?!?

by Anonymousreply 4203/31/2013

A friend of mine was in IRENE with Debbie. He later danced in her night club act. Always spoke highly of her.

by Anonymousreply 4303/31/2013

Was she even considered for the film of South Pacific? She was certainly a bigger star than Mitzi Gaynor in the mid-50s and would have been a natural in the role.

by Anonymousreply 4403/31/2013

Why was Mitzi Gaynor cast in South Pacific?

by Anonymousreply 4503/31/2013

She was cheap.

by Anonymousreply 4603/31/2013

Loved her scene on "Wiil and Grace" where she exited the scene, accidentally locked her shawl in the door and (still in character) expertly re-opened the door and yanked the shawl back out. Eric broke out laughing and Debra looked out at the audience desperately trying to keep it together.

by Anonymousreply 4703/31/2013

[all posts by ham-fisted troll a removed.]

by Anonymousreply 4803/31/2013

How accurate was the alcohol dependence of "Doris" in Postcards?

by Anonymousreply 4903/31/2013

R39 she played the role on Golden Girls that was originally set for Lucille Ball. Lucy was ill. She was going to be on 2 episodes as the new roommate that replaced Dorothy when she remarries Stan. Debbie could only do one episode so they had to change story.

by Anonymousreply 5003/31/2013

You're an idiot, R49, and a bitchy one at that.

by Anonymousreply 5103/31/2013


I suppose you believe it just twirled up!

by Anonymousreply 5203/31/2013

LOL, R52!!

by Anonymousreply 5303/31/2013

Can someone please tell me what was wrong with Mitzi Gaynor in "South Pacific"? I asked on the official thread and got no answer. I thought she was wonderful and perfectly suited to the role.

by Anonymousreply 5403/31/2013

R54, you didn't get an answer because it's just plain bizarre that there's a Mitzi Gaynor Troll on DL.

by Anonymousreply 5503/31/2013

[quote][R54], you didn't get an answer because it's just plain bizarre that there's a Mitzi Gaynor Troll on DL.

It doesn't surprise me at all that there is a Mitzi Gaynor troll on DL. Where else would there ever be one?

by Anonymousreply 5603/31/2013

Two of Debbie's best films are I LOVE MELVIN and GIVE A GIRL A BREAK. Two cheerfully unpretentious MGM musicals - notably not from the Freed Unit.

MELVIN was her fist film after SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and she she has far more chemistry with Donald O'Connor than she did with Kelly. Lots of great location shooting in NYC and Central Park and a nifty score by Mack Gordon & Josef Myrow.

GIVE A GIRL A BREAK is fabulous: Debbie with Fosse & the Champions. Great score by Ira Gershwin & Burton Lane.

by Anonymousreply 5703/31/2013

[quote] MELVIN was her fist film

Debbie was such a nasty pig.

by Anonymousreply 5803/31/2013

In the late 80s, I saw her onstage with Donald O'Conner in "Debbie and Donald Together Again." It was a great show. I have the "Irene" Broadway Cast Album. She's had some great songs in that show. Also enjoyed her in "How The West Was Won." The moron who thinks Debbie's voice was no good is probably a fan of Taylor Swift.

by Anonymousreply 5903/31/2013

OK - r51, and r52 lost me.

by Anonymousreply 6003/31/2013

That Debbie clip at the link in OP's message shows that Debbie is finally beginning to age. She will be 81 tomorrow.(Born April 1 1932.) I thought she always looked young for her age, but you can see that she is getting older looking now. The voice is sounding "old" too.

by Anonymousreply 6103/31/2013

r32 linked "Tammy" as proof that she could sing. It's mediocre at best, but at least it isn't the wretched spectacle she made of herself on Will & Grace. She's likable and a decent comedic actress and all that, but she really should've realized her limitations as a singer and gave that up long ago.

by Anonymousreply 6203/31/2013

I know Debbie was wronged by Eddie and Liz but she handled it poorly. The pathetic photo op's where she's got diaper pins on her collars and all that kind of shit seemed beneath her.

by Anonymousreply 6303/31/2013

I honestly think she was a good mother, Todd turned out ok. Don't forget Carrie's mental problems were exacerbated by her heavy drug use. By all accounts, she was hell on wheels.

by Anonymousreply 6403/31/2013

I liked her'60s sitcom (with Tom Bosley!) Too bad it didn't last long.

by Anonymousreply 6503/31/2013

Debbie is brilliant in Goodbye Charlie as a womanizer who is shot by a jealous husband and is reincarnated as a woman. The way she stands and sits like a man not yet adjusted to this strange turn of events is hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 6603/31/2013

I like her well enough but I think she ruined the film version of MARY, MARY not for lack of talent but for miscasting. I see why they chose her. It's a light witty comedy about a divorced couple who reconcile and Reynolds was the most famous divorced woman in the USA at the time. From a commercial standpoint it's a no-brainer.

But she's wrong for the part. They say Debbie studied Barbara Bel Geddes' performance on Broadway and did her best to copy it on film. She doesn't quite pull it off. Mary is supposed to be cool and detached, bookish, and a pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker. Debbie simply brings too much of the pert, spunky, all-American girl that she is to the role. The Mary in MARY, MARY is something of a Rhoda. But Debbie Reynolds is more of a Mary Richards, which is the wrong kind of Mary for MARY, MARY.

by Anonymousreply 6703/31/2013

One of my early memories is of some show she did where at the end she would address the camera in a formal gown.

I remember being astonished that there could be so many different dresses available that she could do this in every show. How small we think the world is when we're little.

by Anonymousreply 6804/01/2013

I adore Debbie Reynolds and I'm a huge fan of hers. I can't wait to read her new autobiography. Also, I'm not trying to trash her in the least.But, I have something someone told me about Debbie.

I worked with this lady who was friends with a Las Vegas show girl. Her friend did a show with Debbie Reynolds. When everyone was rehearsing for the show, everyone took a break sitting around talking etc. Debbie was sitting there and who walked into the room was a well known Vegas prostitute who did everything anyone asked her to do and she had sex with a lot of famous people. Candy sat down across from Debbie playing footsie with her leg ,and after a little while, Debbie said to Candy, Ok, lets go upstairs ,which was like a bedroom. She said off they went and they were there for a while. Do you think Debbie is bisexual because she had children?

by Anonymousreply 6904/01/2013

Odd how she and Doris were both robbed by their respective husbands ..... they just didn't control their own finances then?

by Anonymousreply 7004/01/2013

Well, in Doris Day's case her husband hired an account who ripped both her and her husband off. Doris found out about the accounted stealing her money when her husband died.Apparently her husband was negligent and clueless about businesses,and her husband did not know that the account ripped them off.The accountant stoled 20 million dollars from Doris in the 60s which was an enormous amount of money back then. Apparently, Doris fought in court to retrieve some of the money back,which she gained some years later.

by Anonymousreply 7104/01/2013

It's interesting that before being married to Dodo Day, Marty Melcher was married to Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters for 3 years.

According to Wiki: "Shortly after his death, Day discovered Melcher had committed her to a CBS situation comedy, The Doris Day Show, without consulting her, and that not only had he lost the millions she had earned throughout their marriage because of poor investments, but he had left her seriously in debt as well. She sued his business partner Jerome B. Rosenthal and was awarded nearly $23 million for fraud and malpractice following a 99-day trial. Rosenthal declared bankruptcy, and in August 1977 Day settled with his insurers for $6 million that was paid in twenty-three annual installments."

by Anonymousreply 7204/01/2013

Seriously? She didn't get fully paid until 2000??

by Anonymousreply 7304/01/2013

Debbie Reynolds in "Mother" was amazing. When she's given the proper restraints she can turn in a good performance. Her over-the-top stuff on Will and Grace was fun because god knows that series needed someone to explain why Grace was such a self-involved mess and Bobbie Adler was entertaining.

by Anonymousreply 7404/01/2013

r58: I love you.

by Anonymousreply 7504/01/2013

[quote]I know Debbie was wronged by Eddie and Liz but she handled it poorly.

As her film career tapered off, Debbie used that divorce as her major claim to fame.

I heard the NPR interview with her on this latest PR round. She talked about Liz and then later complained that she gets asked to do all these interviews so she can be asked about Liz. The interviewer shot back saying that wasn't quite fair since she includes the divorce story in her book.

Debbie didn't really respond, but you could just about hear Shirley McLaine saying "Well" from Postcards

by Anonymousreply 7604/01/2013

[quote] It seemed she was in between generations: first too young, then too old. They didn't know what to do with her, so she played nuns, bumpkins, musicals, fluff. By 1970 her movie career was essentially over.

Exactly. And yet she clings on like grim death, and has done for the better part of half a century. Even as a very young kid in the late 1960s, I could tell that she was well past prime, as were the days of the actress/singer/dancer.

by Anonymousreply 7704/01/2013

[quote]I honestly think she was a good mother, Todd turned out ok. Don't forget Carrie's mental problems were exacerbated by her heavy drug use. By all accounts, she was hell on wheels.

Carrie used drugs to self medicate because back in the seventies Mental Illness was barely diagnosed. Remember, they used to throw people into asylums who suffered from Bi-Polar. When I was a young teen in the 70's I had my fist panic attack and my mother took me to the hospital because the symptoms were like a heart attack and the doctor actually yelled at me to calm down or he wouldn't do a electrocardiogram.

[quote]she ruined the film version of MARY, MARY

Sorry, the writer and director ruined Mary, Mary. The script wasn't funny and the director might as well have set a camera in front of a stage and shot it, very play like.

by Anonymousreply 7804/01/2013

Also love her in The Gazebo, a hilarious and somewhat forgotten macabre comedy she made with Glenn Ford in the late 1950s (or early 1960s?).

Glenn Ford was so sexy and surprisingly funny for an actor mostly remembered now for film noir and westerns. He's never much gotten his due on DL.

by Anonymousreply 7904/01/2013

RE 74 - I agree, Debbie is actually an excellent actress, in the right role / circumstances. In " A Catered Affair", a young Debbie completely holds her own alongside Bette Davis - no easy feat. She is very good, as is a young, and hot, Rod Taylor.

by Anonymousreply 8004/01/2013

Is the correct spelling trouper or trooper?

I can see it working either way.

by Anonymousreply 8104/01/2013

Poor Carrie Fisher got her father's looks, not her mother's. She's the original Alexa Ray Joel.

by Anonymousreply 8204/01/2013

Happy birthday to Debbie! 81 years young! Keep twirling your skirt!

by Anonymousreply 8304/01/2013

[quote]Poor Carrie Fisher got her father's looks, not her mother's. She's the original Alexa Ray Joe

Except that Eddie Fisher was quite a handsome dude in his youth and Billy Joel has been ugly since the womb.

Carrie was pretty good-looking until she started gaining the weight.

by Anonymousreply 8404/01/2013

For a glimpse at the young Eddie Fisher at the height of his crooning career (pre-Debbie/Eddie/Liz), watch this clip of him on What's My Line?

If it's any indication of his attractions, you'll note that he was quite adorable and exceptionally well-mannered.

by Anonymousreply 8504/01/2013

[quote]Poor Carrie Fisher got her father's looks, not her mother's. She's the original Alexa Ray Joel.

You are so not heterosexual.

by Anonymousreply 8604/01/2013

Happy Birthday Debbie!

What's My Line? clip

by Anonymousreply 8704/01/2013

[quote]It's interesting that before being married to Dodo Day, Marty Melcher was married to Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters for 3 years.

That is interesting. And whats more, Patty Andrews died just 2 months ago, and NOT ONE PEEP FROM DATALOUNGE ABOUT IT!!! The fuckin Andrew Sisters, and no fuckin threads??!!!

by Anonymousreply 8804/01/2013

There WAS an Andrews Sisters thread. I know because I posted on it!

by Anonymousreply 8904/01/2013

I posted on the Patty Andrews thread and the Andrews Sisters thread. R88 must have been playing in the sauna at the gym for the month those threads were around.

by Anonymousreply 9004/01/2013

In the fairly recent book of the collected letters of John Gielgud, Mr. Gielgud describes in detail his time as director of the Broadway bound musical "Irene" (1973) starring Debbie Reynolds. Although it became apparent that Gielgud was in way over his head directing a big stage musical ( he was broke and wanted a job that would paty royalties), he practically gushes about how talented Debbie was, and how great her work ethic was. He was of course replaced at some point with Gower Champion who turned "Irene" into a big hit, and yet he claimed that the best thing about the whole fiasco was getting to know and work with Debbie! I was rather surprised.

by Anonymousreply 9104/01/2013

Why surprised, R91? Debs likes the gay men.

by Anonymousreply 9204/02/2013

[quote]Loved her scene on "Wiil and Grace" where she exited the scene, accidentally locked her shawl in the door and (still in character) expertly re-opened the door and yanked the shawl back out. Eric broke out laughing and Debra looked out at the audience desperately trying to keep it together.

Me too! And I love that they kept it in! I've loved Debbie forever. In my 'dialing the phone with a pencil' days I would play the "Irene" and "The Singing Nun" albums over and over.

by Anonymousreply 9304/02/2013

[quote]I remember being astonished that there could be so many different dresses available that she could do this in every show


If you're a man, please let us know when did you buy your very first pencil to dial with.

by Anonymousreply 9404/02/2013

i've met debbie. she's a doll. sweet, down to earth. loves people. super nice and cool. very funny too.

by Anonymousreply 9504/02/2013

I've told this story here before. I was kid on Long Island. My Mother was a big movie fan. Debbie Reynolds was bringing her nightclub act to the Westbury Music Fair. It is a theater in the round. Rip Taylor was the opening act, Carrie was in the show, she sang "I Got Love" from the Broadway show "Purlie". I told my Mother years later, If I wasn't gay going in, I sure was coming out.

Anyway, at the end of the show, there was an announcement that anyone who wanted to meet Debbie, she'll be at the stage door. No exaggeration, the line wrapped around the building. When we got up to her, she was sitting at a card table with a box of 5X7 headshots. She gave me and my two brothers a photo each, personalized, she signed the program and my younger brother, he was about eight, had a broken leg and was in a cast and on crutches, and she was so concerned if he was ok having waited so long and she signed his cast too. So with just our family, she autographed five things. This after a two hour show and she could have easily walked out the stage door, waived and gotten into the car off into the night. That's a movie star.

by Anonymousreply 9604/02/2013

R96, that is a wise entertainer who knows that by giving time and attention to her fans, she is making them fans of hers for life.

by Anonymousreply 9704/02/2013

I helped her carry some things from a taxi into an apartment on the UWS. I told her I did not know she kept a place in NY.

Borrowed apartment, she was here to do a voiceover, very nice, offered me tea.

by Anonymousreply 9804/02/2013

I guess Shirley MacLaine could learn a thing or two about how to treat people.

Debbie also writes an advice column and is very wise and witty.

by Anonymousreply 9904/02/2013

[quote]my fist panic attack.

Who would have thought a Debbie Reynolds thread would feature so much fisting?

by Anonymousreply 10004/02/2013

[quote]I know this is an unpopular opinion but I think Debbie was better looking than Elizabeth Taylor.

Back on the meds, toots.

by Anonymousreply 10104/02/2013

I could never take too much of DR, she is always so phony. Barf.

by Anonymousreply 10204/02/2013

[quote]Back on the meds, toots.

Don't you mean off the meds? Well no, I'm not. I've never thought Taylor was the great beauty she's so oft proclaimed to be. Everyone on the Sophia Loren thread thinks I'm crazy, too.

by Anonymousreply 10304/02/2013

She came out to me years ago. And came onto me. And...came on me.

by Anonymousreply 10404/02/2013

Some perspective is in order, 103. Liz Taylor had sex with Marilyn Monroe, her chief rival for Most Beautiful In The World. Debbie rebounded from the Eddie Fisher debacle by fucking...Agnes Moorehead. One is A+++list the other is a solid C.

by Anonymousreply 10504/02/2013

R69, Joanne Woodward suggested in an interview that Debbie was into women in the 70's.

I think it was semi well-known that Debbie was bi.

by Anonymousreply 10604/02/2013

I never understood the supposed beauty of Liz Taylor either. She was simply too fleshy, and without defined cheek bones. Pretty, yes, in a European way. But she was no knockout. And her body---oy vey--how in the world sis she let herself go like that?

Still, I admire her for her acting ability--I think she was brilliant as a little girl actress and fantastic in her adult roles.

by Anonymousreply 10704/02/2013

Happy Birthday Debbie!! Now, do any of you remember her Hotel/casino in Las Vegas?

That was a camp fest if I ever saw one. You know, I loved how she displayed so much old Hollywood paraphernalia but the hotel itself was tiny, and man, were those slots tight! Couldn't win a thing!

The casino walls were mirrored and had glitter glued on parts, giving a Hollywood shimmering affect. they left the doors open which let in too much of a draft, as I remember.

That draft was mighty hard on those retirees who didn't anything 'cause those slots were really tight!

by Anonymousreply 10804/02/2013

Or, Debbie your tights were too slotted.

by Anonymousreply 10904/02/2013

I enjoyed her in that movie that paired her with Gregory Peck - How the West Was Won. She played a pretty tough broad in that.

But I liked her in most anything. My mother adored her - so it probably rubbed off on me.

by Anonymousreply 11004/02/2013

R 96 Thanks for sharing that.

I love her natural humor. You never know what she's going to say but you know it's going to be good

by Anonymousreply 11104/02/2013

I remember parking myself at a slot machine for three hours because the locals told me that Debbie would come down into the casino and talk to people.

I tried to sit at a machine that was directly under a huge photograph of Debbie and Gene but some woman wasn't havin' that and proceeded to tell me that it was her spot and told me to get up.

I just dumped more and more quarters into that damn machine and when I needed more there wasn't a change booth or nothin' only a change machine. That was a tad low-rent, I thought.

There was only one person working that tiny casino floor and it was the janitor. No waitress ever came by with drinks, ever.

Both the front door and the back door were open and even thought it was Vegas the draft was gettin' to me. And this old lady's smoke was blowing in my face.

I endured this for three full hoours and Debbie never came down to meed and greet anyone, but I was later told that it was because she was busy rehearsing. Debbie performed at her casino EVERY NIGHT and that was really something!

by Anonymousreply 11204/02/2013

[quote]Or, Debbie your tights were too slotted. by: Patsy Kelly

In her first book Debbie tells how Patsy was in "Irene" with her and they were out of town for thr tryout and after the show Patsy would get drunk and actually run around the halls of the hotel naked except for a fur coat.

by Anonymousreply 11304/02/2013

I remember that casino R112. . .wasn't it the old Wagon Wheel or something like that. It was falling apart. Somewhere down near the old Vegas strip. Debbie publicized it on Larry King and he was basically telling her she was nuts to do it, but she did. Vanity Fair came out and did a scathing article on the condition of the place, but I went and saw her show.

It was freaky. A small auditorium, with small, curtained side stages and a larger stage in the front. All of the sudden the lights dimmed, the front curtain came up and there was Debbie! She looked great. She did her Zsa Zsa impression. And then she did a whole thing where she talked about the great old movies and then a side curtain would go up and there would be mannequins dressed in the costumes from well-known films. It was a short presentation, and then Debbie invited us to go out and look at all the other memoribilia, and disappeared.

In her book Shockaholic, her daughter talks about Harry Karl being an absolutely disgusting man. He liked to fart all the time and tell gross sex jokes.

I love Debbie Reynolds. I can't believe she's 81. She looks great and I agree, the work she's had done is subtle and I'm glad that she can work whenever she wants to. She's a real star. I don't care if she's performing in a Denny's, you get the full act, plus the signing of photos afterwards. She's kind of like Joan Crawford that way, but nicer.

by Anonymousreply 11404/02/2013

Poor Debbie. The sign from her casino.

by Anonymousreply 11504/02/2013

I can remember a story she told in the 1960s where some British actor told her she should change her name to Deborah Reynolds to be taken seriously as an actress.

by Anonymousreply 11604/02/2013

[quote]Poor Debbie. The sign from her casino

Yeah, but unlike the sign, she's still standing. Here she is as Liberace's Mother.

by Anonymousreply 11704/02/2013

She's mentioned that in hindsight she wishes her professional name had been Frances Reynolds.

by Anonymousreply 11804/02/2013

There was a gossip site that said Debbie Reynolds had a fling with Doris Day.

by Anonymousreply 11904/02/2013

Debbie's a hoot! Her website has an amazing collection of Hollywood memorabilia for sale.

by Anonymousreply 12004/02/2013

R120, thanks a million! That is a fantastic website. If I had the money and the space, I would love to buy the royal throne for $10,000. Also, those two small decorative chairs and Debbie's antique parlor set.

by Anonymousreply 12104/02/2013

Does anyone know if Debbie still owns the dance studio bearing her name in North Hollywood? That studio's been there for years and has been a valuable rehearsal space for the community. I'm sure lots of people who've walked through those doors have gone on to fulfill their dreams. Good for Debbie.

by Anonymousreply 12204/03/2013

Yesterday, with two hours sleep, she was interviewed by Lara Spenser on GMA. Poor Debbie couldn't stay focused on the questions and kept babbling. Lara had to cut her off for a break, but Debbie was still a hoot.

by Anonymousreply 12304/03/2013

[quote] Who would have thought a Debbie Reynolds thread would feature so much fisting?

Debbie has punched a lot of pussy in her day!

by Anonymousreply 12404/03/2013

R120 The Frank Sinatra wax head is scary.

by Anonymousreply 12504/03/2013

She seems a very sweet woman and i suspect that she is also really sweet.

A lady who knows the meaning of forgiveness and the meaning of friendship.

by Anonymousreply 12604/03/2013

Nice story about Elizabeth and Debbie. And what Elizabeth left Debbie in her will

by Anonymousreply 12704/27/2013

According to the second volume of her autobiography, "Unsinkable," Tony Curtis started the rumor that she was a lesbian ... and a lousy lay in bed

by Anonymousreply 12807/23/2013

I never understood the appeal of this old, drunken dyke.

by Anonymousreply 12907/23/2013
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