DEBBIE REYNOLDS TRIBUTE

Such sad and sudden news, the death of DEBBIE REYNOLDS, one day after the death of her daughter,CARRIE FISHER.

Debbie  brightened many an MGM musical in the 1950s. Happy, smiling, instantly recognisable. She had a long and memorable showbusiness career, performing even in her 80s.

M

Phyllis Kirk. Debbie, Jane Powell. TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE.

Debbie joined Warner Brothers in 1948 (aged 16), after winning a beauty title, Miss Burbank.

Warners didn’t keep her long – IMDB lists her as uncredited in JUNE BRIDE, and then she did SWEET ROSIE O’GRADY (1948).

I guess Warners didn’t see Debbie’s youthful potential . She was snapped up by MGM and appeared in TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE (1950). Debbie got to sing the catchy number, “Abba Dabba Honeymoon” with  CARLETON CARPENTOR. ( This song was written in 1914.)

Also in 1950, she played Helen Kane in THREE LITTLE WORDS. Helen Kane dubbed her famous song, “I wanna Be Loved By You” and Debbie and  CARLETON CARPENTOR performed it.

M

Fred Astaire, Red Skelton, Debbie. THREE LITTLE WORDS

 

M

With CARLETON CARPENTOR . Three Little Words.

 

M

Helen Kane coaches  Debbie.

 

M

With Gower Champion. GIVE A GIRL A BREAK.

 

 

M

With DONALD O’CONNOR.

 

 

M

With BOBBY VAN.THE AFFAIRS OF DOBIE GILLIS.

 

 

M

HIT THE DECK, WITH Tony Martin, Ann Miller,Vic Damone, Jane Powell, Russ Tamblyn.

 

 

M

THE TENDER TRAP

Another big success for Debbie.

 

 

M

 

 

M

A very glamorous looking Bette Davis in this poster!

 

M

Bette Davis as Debbie’s mother in THE CATERED AFFAIR.

 

 

M

Debbie had a huge hit with the title song, “TAMMY”.

 

M

With LESLIE NIELSEN .

 

 

M

 

M

With Robert Wagner.

 

 

M

THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN

 

N

With Gregory Peck. HOW THE WEST WAS WON

 

 

M

Debbie on the set of THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY, with FRED  ASTAIRE.

 

With Dick Powell.

With Dick Powell.

Debbie’s THIS IS YOUR  LIFE in 1961.

 

M

Debbie was reunited with Gower Champion  when she came to Broadway in 1973 in the lovely 20s musical, IRENE. It was a great success.

M

With Patsy  Kelly as her mother in IRENE.

 

M

Cant you just see Debbie as a rootin’ tootin’ Annie Oakley.

 

M

Debbie took Raquel Welch’s place in the stage musical WOMAN OF THE YEAR (which had starred Lauren Bacall on Broadway.)

 

 

M

Debbie had great success with her nightclub act and there are some great clips on YouTube. In 1978, in Las Vegas, she was introduced on stage by LIBERACE. ( and years later she would play Liberace’s mother in the Michael Douglas film.)

Debbie had the gift of mimicry. There’s a video of her on the Larry King show in 1996, and she does terrific impersonations of Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Mae West – and Liberace!!

 

I also found on You Tube a 2011 interview Debbie and Carrie did with Oprah. Both were open and candid and obviously very happy in each other’s company. ( They had had an estrangement for 10 years.)

They sang together, with Debbie doing ‘You Made Me Love you’ and Carrie showing a surprisingly strong singing voice with ‘Happy  Days Are Here Again.’

HBO have the rights to the 2015 documentary on Debbie and Carrie, BRIGHT LIGHTS,STARRING  CARRIE FISHER and DEBBIE REYNOLDS.  I hope it is screened soon.

Note: Dec 31st. The cable network,HBO are screening the documentary on Jan. 7th, 2017. Hope it’s world wide soon.

M

In the  documentary .

 

M

Carrie helps Debbie choose an outfit for an upcoming stage appearance . Love the Cary Grant portrait to the left.

 

What a career she had. She also had a short lived TV series in 1969 which she reportedly walked away from because one of the major advertising sponsors was a cigarette company.

We will also remember Debbie for her great efforts to preserve Hollywood history, buying a unique collection of memorabilia at the 1970 MGM auction.

It would be a fine tribute if the Hollywood museum she always wanted finally came into being.

 

 

I’ve kept SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN to the last because it will surely be the film Debbie will be forever remembered for.

I have to admit that I do  not know how the 19 year old Debbie , with no dance experience and very little film experience , came to be chosen for the lead female role in this Gene Kelly musical.But, what perfect casting.

Boy, was she a quick learner. Three months of dance lessons. The trio of Kelly, O’Connor and Reynolds were perfection. Tons of credit must be given to the teenage Debbie for learning so much during this film ( and great credit to Gene Kelly and the MGM experts who helped her.)

Never did you feel she was an ingenue with little experience.

 

 

M

 

image

 

image

 

Advertisements

5 responses »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s