Debbie Reynolds had a wonderful time performing at Casino Regina in the summer of 2009. The Hollywood legend who died at 84, just one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher last week, came to ‘Rider Nation’ .. because she needed the money quite frankly.
The perky little girl who was born poor in El Paso Texas on April Fools Day 1932, lived a life which begs to be turned into a movie all its own, or at least a big musical on Broadway. She married popular crooner Eddie Fisher in 1955, and daughter Carrie was born a year later.
Then came a son Todd, named after Eddie’s pal Mike Todd, who was married to Elizabeth Taylor. Then Mike was killed in a plane crash, and Eddie left Debbie and the kids, and moved in with Liz.
Debbie’s career, which began opposite Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain when she was 19, continued to flourish in the 1960’s, while Eddie became a second rate lounge singer, and a ‘whatever became of ?’
Debbie unfortunately continued to make the worst possible choices when it came to men. In 1960, on the rebound from Eddie, she married Harry Karl, a shoe salesman who married a string of younger women and gambled away their money as well as his own.
The third and final man to put a ring on Debbie’s finger was Richard Hamlett, and after she divorced him in 1996, she had to file for bankruptcy because hubby had persuaded her to buy the most unsuccessful hotel and casino in the history of Las Vegas.
In one of her books, Debbie described a low point when she was literally living in her Cadillac on the streets of Beverly Hills. It’s a truly incredible story, with an unbelievably sad ending that neither she nor daughter Carrie deserved.
What a lousy fade out to 2016.
I’m Roger Currie