Just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher's death, Debbie Reynolds, the dancer who rose to stardom in Singin' in the Rain and earned an Oscar nomination for The Unsinkable Molly Brown, died at the age 84.
When you can sing in the rain, you are blessed. Singing in the Rain is a movie that Debbie Reynolds is associated with. When sorrow (rain) hits you, to be able to sing again is a pretty special. This is also the message in the famous Christian hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”. People around the world are shocked by the news of Debbie Reynolds death following the death of her daughter. The rain has struck. Perhaps these two songs can bring some relief to the pain we all share in the deaths of Carry Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
MARY FRANCES "DEBBIE" REYNOLDS (April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016) was an American actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, and humanitarian. Her breakout role was the portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. However, it was her first leading role in 1952 at age 19, as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain, that set her on the path to fame. By the mid-1950s, she was a major star. Other notable successes include The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), Susan Slept Here (1954), Bundle of Joy (1956 Golden Globe nomination), The Catered Affair (1956 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress Winner), and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), in which her performance of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the music charts In 1959, she released her first pop music album, entitled Debbie.
She starred in How the West Was Won (1963), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), a biographical film about the famously boisterous Molly Brown. Her performance as Brown earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other notable films include The Singing Nun (1966), Divorce American Style (1967), What's the Matter with Helen? (1971), Mother (1996 Golden Globe nomination), and In & Out (1997). Reynolds was also a noted cabaret performer. In 1979 she founded the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood, which still operates today.
In 1969 she starred in her own television show The Debbie Reynolds Show, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. In 1973 Reynolds starred in a Broadway revival of the musical Irene and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance in A Gift of Love (1999) and an Emmy Award for playing Grace's mother Bobbi on Will & Grace. At the turn of the millennium, Reynolds reached a new younger generation with her role as Aggie Cromwell in Disney's Halloweentown series. In 1988 she released her autobiography titled, Debbie: My Life. In 2013, she released an updated version titled Unsinkable: A Memoir.
Reynolds was a noted businesswoman, having operated her own hotel in Las Vegas. She was also a collector of film memorabilia, beginning with items purchased at the landmark 1970 MGM auction. She served as president of The Thalians, an organization dedicated to mental health causes. Reynolds continued to perform successfully on stage, television, and film into her eighties. In January 2015, Reynolds received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2016 she received the Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. In the same year, a documentary about her life was released titled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
On December 28, 2016—one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher—Reynolds was hospitalized following a medical emergency, which her son Todd Fisher later described as a "severe stroke". She died later that afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.