It is a story that only could have been told in Hollywood. Maybe that is why Fate dealt a Hollywood hand in causing screen icon Debbie Reynolds to pass on, just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher. All of us are still trying to get over Carrie; now there is Debbie to contend with. I feel most sorry for Carrie's daughter and brother, Todd. The Raving Queen and his readers offer condolences.
Other performers had a far more reaching impact on my life, but there can be no denying Debbie Reynolds was present, at certain spots along the way.
One of my earliest toys, a hand-me-down from daughters of a couple my parents were friends with was The Colorforms Debbie Reynolds Dress Designer kit. This came out during Debbie's "Tammy" phase, and I could not have been more than four or five when presented with it. Of course, I was thrilled. I did not know who this Debbie Reynolds was, but I dressed Debbie in all her fashions. I have to wonder about my parents, whom, in retrospect, I cannot say were THIS forward thinking. Especially when I turned out gay! Maybe they thought because I was a baby, it would not do me any harm. But, this, THIS, darlings, started me on my way! Thanks, Debbie!!!!!!!
Then, several years later, while I was in Fifth Grade, out came the movie of Debbie Reynolds as "The Singing Nun." This was a fictional biopic of Sister Sourire, the Belgian nun, who scored a big hit with the song "Dominique." Debbie sang that, of course in the film, the purpose of which was to cash in on the success of the big nun film of 1965, "The Sound Of Music." It hardly equaled that, but, oh, my God, the scene where Debbie sings the "Alleluia" before the shrine of Mary was emotionally devastating, and brought tears to be eyes. The film, in trying to be exploratory for its time, also introduced to me a new vocabulary word that I had no idea of--abortion!!!!!!!! Can you imagine the furor in my house that evening???????? Debbie scores again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Who could forget Debbie in 1971's "What's The Matter With Helen?" The final scene, with Shelley Winters frantically playing "Goody Goody" on the piano, the look on her face, and Debbie's murdered, costumed corpse, placed stage center!!!!!!!!! This represented Debbie at her best, and it made me want to run away to Hollywood, and open a school for aspiring child performers, like Debbie in this film. I probably would have eventually ended up as a prostitute on the Sunset Strip!!!!! But Debbie saved me from that!!!!!!!!!!!
In 1973, Debbie opened the then brand new Minskoff Theatre on Broadway, with a revival of "Irene." It was a hit, though I did not get to see Debbie in it. I saw another of her MGM colleagues, Jane Powell, when she replaced Debbie. Jane was great, and, fortunately, is still with us.
Debbie was the trouper who carried on. From "Singin' In The Rain," (how could I forget that?) to "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," (an Oscar nomination) to her comic brilliance in "Mother." Debbie was quite something, quite a mother. Not to mention surviving the marital breakup of the last century--when Eddie Fisher left her for Elizabeth Taylor.
And now, Debbie and Carrie have both gone to that galaxy, to await us all, watching over us, as we remember them, here on Earth. As if they could be forgotten, because they can't. As if their like will ever be seen again, because it won't.
Rest In Peace, Carrie and Debbie. I will sign off with two of Debbie's biggest hits, and my favorites!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here are "Tammy," and "French Heels!!!!!!!" Debbie at her best!!!!!!
But wasn't she always, darlings???????????????