Debbie Reynolds: 'Singin In The Rain' Actress Who Was Carrie Fisher's Multi-Talented Mom

By | March 31, 2021

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Debbie Reynolds with her daughter Carrie Fisher, 23 months old, smiles as she leaves the house September 9, 1958 to visit friends in Los Angeles, California. Husband Eddie Fisher and Miss Reynolds later revealed their separation. (Photo by Los Angeles Tim

It's an understatement to say that Debbie Reynolds was a major Hollywood star. As close to a literal rags to riches story as you can find in the groovy era, she was born into a poor Texas family and rose to fame in films like Singin' in the Rain and Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Not just a star on the big screen, Reynolds took to Broadway where she performed with her daughter, Carrie Fisher, before heading t0 Las Vegas and opening a museum. Throughout her life Reynolds was the keeper of the old ways of Hollywood. Aside from collecting memorabilia for her entire life, Reynolds was the kind of star who gave off the pure embodiment of golden age excitement - complete with all the gossip and tragedy that comes along with it.

From her marriage to Eddie Fisher to her final days in Los Angeles, Debbie Reynolds was a real star.

Miss Burbank, By Way Of El Paso

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source: MGM

Debbie Reynolds may be the pinnacle of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but she comes from El Paso, Texas, a place that's about as far from the glitz and glamor of the silver screen as you can get. Born Mary Frances Reynolds in 1932, her father was a carpenter and her mother did laundry for their neighbors to make money. The Reynolds family moved to Burbank, California, when she was five years old and in spite of their lack of funds the family managed to get by.

While Reynolds was at Burbank High School in 1948 she won the Miss Burbank beauty contest and her life changed forever. Shortly afterwards, Jack Warner offered Reynolds a contract with Warner Brothers and even gave her the nickname "Debbie," but MGM had their eyes on her as well.