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Wednesday
Dec282016

Debbie Reynolds, Singer, Actress & Mother of Carrie Fisher, Dead at 84

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Actresses, singer and humanitarian Debbie Reynolds, mother of the late Carrie Fisher, has died, her son, Todd Fisher, confirms to ABC News.  She was 84.  Reynolds was hospitalized with an apparent stroke December 28, the day after her daughter Carrie passed away at age 60.  “She wanted to be with Carrie,”  Todd told Variety.

Born Mary Frances Reynolds, she was a star of movie musicals -- such as Singin' the Rain -- in the '50s and scored hit records as well: her version of the song "Tammy," from the 1957 movie Tammy and the Bachelor, was the top-selling single by a female vocalist in 1957.  She released several albums and headlined in Las Vegas.

Reynolds was nominated for an Oscar in her role in 1964's The Unsinkable Molly Brown and continued to act in both TV and movies until her death. In her more than 40 films, Reynolds starred alongside some of the legends of Hollywood -- Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Bob Fossee and Fred Astaire.

"Fred Astaire was my dream dancer," Reynolds told ABC News earlier this year. "I loved Fred Astaire's way of dancing. He led you into the dance. Once in a picture together he said, 'Don't worry about anything, just go with me.' He had long fingers and you just melted into his body."

In 1969, she starred in her own TV series, The Debbie Reynolds Show.  Among her more high-profile TV roles was playing Grace's mom Bobbi on Will & Grace, which won her an Emmy.  She got a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Albert Brooks' 1996 film Mother. She also played Dan's mother Audrey on Roseanne, and Liberace's mom in the award-winning 2013 movie Behind the Candelabra.  In addition, Reynolds provided the voice for characters in several animated films, including Rugrats in Paris: the Movie and the Penguins of Madagascar.

A documentary called Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds is due to premiere on HBO in March of 2017.

Reynolds was married three times.  Her first husband, singer Eddie Fisher, was the father of her children Carrie and Todd.  That marriage ended in 1959 when Fisher had an affair with Reynold's good friend, Elizabeth Taylor, not long after Taylor's husband Mike Todd died.  This caused a major Hollywood scandal; it even led to the cancellation of Fisher's TV show.  In 2011, Reynolds told Oprah Winfrey that she and Elizabeth Taylor had had finally made up.

Reynolds was married to businessman Harry Karl from 1960 to 1973, and then to real estate developer Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996.

The entertainer also was known for her vast collection of movie memorabilia, and her work with children and adults with mental health issues.  In 2015, she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars.

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