BWW Exclusive: Debbie Reynolds Recounts Highs and Lows of Her Epic Career on Stage and Screen in Vintage Interview
Our world got little bit darker last week when we lost one of our brightest stars- Debbie Reynolds, who sadly passed away at the age of 84. We invite you to remember the legend of stage and screen as she recalls how she 'fell into show business,' explains her love for old Hollywood, and reveals how one show saved her life. Below, check out the interview with Richard Ridge from Reynolds' 2000 concert performance at Paper Mill Playhouse, plus watch clips of the unsinkable star in action.
Reynolds' career began unexpectedly in 1948 when she won a beauty contest at the age of 16. Two of the contest judges were scouts from Warner Brothers and MGM. When they heard Reynolds' show-stopping rendition of Betty Hutton's "I'm Just a Square in a Social Circle," they took an interest in the talented singer. With their help, Reynolds eventually became a triple-threat star. She soon made her screen debut with June Haver and James Baron in "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady." A subsequent performance in a Busby Berkley musical, "Two Weeks with Love," convinced Louis B. Mayer to choose Reynolds for the lead female role opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O'Conner in "Singin' in the Rain," which received several Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations and was ranked No. 1 on the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 musicals of all time.
The actress went on to star in more than 25 films, including her Academy Award nominated role in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." Her career skyrocketed and in addition to appearing as a leading lady in musicals and comedies, she performed on television and in nightclubs, recording smash hit songs such as "Tammy," "Am I That Easy to Forget" and "Cocktail Hour." Reynolds had a recurring role in the sitcom "Will and Grace" and recently appeared in the 2012 comedy "One for the Money," which also starred Katherine Heigl. In addition to her Oscar nomination, she is the recipient of five Golden Globe nominations, two Emmy Award nominations and one Tony Award nomination.