I watched my first Debbie Reynolds movie when I was about eleven or twelve years old. The movie was Bundle of Joy starring Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. They were married in 1955, and Debbie was pregnant with her first child when the movie was filmed. Carrie Fisher was born on October 21, 1956. Todd Fisher was born about a year later. Carrie became a writer and actress. She is best known for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars. Todd became a filmmaker.
I remember that we drove about thirty miles to the next town to see the movie, but I do not remember who drove the car or paid for the movie. I just remember that I was star-struck from the beginning. Debbie and Eddie made a handsome couple and seemed to have the perfect marriage. Watching them together caused the younger me to dream of love and marriage.
Debbie and Eddie were married for four years before they divorced in 1959 when Eddie became involved with Elizabeth Taylor. (They married, but Elizabeth dumped Eddie for Richard Burton.) By that time I was about fourteen years old, old enough to know that Eddie was in the wrong. Debbie might have easily forgiven her husband and best friend for destroying her marriage, but I had a difficult time forgiving his betrayal!
Debbie married two more times. Her second marriage was to Harry Karl, the shoe mogul of Karl’s Shoes. He was a gambler who spent Debbie’s fortunes for his bad habit. Her third marriage was to Richard Hamlett, a real estate developer who also spent her money. Debbie never married again. Eddie passed away a few years ago after a series of marriages.
A mother’s worst nightmare is to lose a child, and Debbie lost her only daughter, Carrie, on December 27, 2016. Carrie suffered a massive heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. The next day Debbie was with her son Todd at his home in Beverly Hills. They were discussing funeral arrangements for Carrie when Debbie became ill and was rushed to Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She passed away about three hours later from a possible stroke. Debbie was 84 years old and still a beautiful woman.