It is with great sadness to announce that just one day after the world lost Carrie Fisher, Fisher’s mother, Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, has passed away at the age of 84.
Reynolds was a renowned actress, dancer, and singer. She was made an icon during the 1950’s and millennials will best remember her as the friendly maternal witch Aggie Cromwell in Disney’s Halloweentown film series, which consisted of four installments from 1998 to 2006.
Mary Frances Reynolds was born on April 1, 1932 in El Paso, Texas. A Girl Scout in her childhood, her life would change forever when the family moved to Burbank, California, where after being awarded Miss Burbank High School, was approached by Warner Brothers, who signed her to star in her debut role, an uncredited role in June Bride. WB founder Jack Warner was the one who changed her name to “Debbie”.
Debbie would soon get the breakout role with her third film appearance, Three Little Words, which garnered her a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer. She got to showcase her singing and dancing skills in the iconic Singin’ in the Rain opposite Gene Kelly, who was actually her dance teacher and served as a coach on the set.
In 1957, Debbie starred in Tammy and the Bachelor and that film spawned a gold record for her with the song “Tammy”. In 1964, her starring role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown would earn her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She would transition to television two years later in the titular role of The Singing Nun. She would also have a sitcom, The Debbie Reynolds Show, that lasted one season.
In 1973, she provided the voice of the lovable titular spider in the classic animated feature film Charlotte’s Web, based on the novel by E.B. White. She continued success in film and television, including playing Aggie Cromwell in the four Halloweentown films, with the final film being a cameo appearance.
Aside from her entertainment career, Reynolds was also a collector of film memorabilia and owned and operated a hotel in Las Vegas at one point.
Debbie is survived by her son Todd Fisher and granddaughter Billie Lourd, the daughter of Carrie Fisher.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Debbie Reynolds. As a final tribute, here is Debbie in the 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor, singing her hit song “Tammy”.
Rest in Peace, Debbie Reynolds.