Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Hollywood and Theatre Stars React to the Passing of Debbie Reynolds


Just yesterday BroadwayWorld was saddened to report that Carrie Fisher, best known as Star Wars' Princess Leia Organa, died after suffering a heart attack. She was 60.

Now we have learned that her mother, Hollywood icon, Debbie Reynolds, has passed away following a stroke at the home of her son this afternoon. Reynolds was reportedly taken to the emergency room just after 1pm. Her condition upon admittance to the hospital was listed as "fair to serious."

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 young 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.

Read More: How Debbie Reynolds Saved Old Hollywood - click here.

Read Debbie Reynolds' Obituary - click here.

Stars of stage and screen are turning to social media to share their grief over the loss of a legend:

Carol Channing says "She was beautiful and generous. It seems like only yesterday she was having lunch here at the house and we were discussing the possibility of working together in a new show. I have such fond memories of appearing with her here at the McCallum Theater in Palm Springs. So many laughs. My prayers go out to the family."

Rip Taylor appeared with 'Debbie on stage in Las Vegas for several decades. He says "I was blessed to work with this remarkable woman for 45 almost 50 years. That makes for a very rare bond and unique relationship. She was generous to a fault, never caring who got the laugh from the audience. I Will always love her. I am absolutely devastated tonight!"

Rose Marie said "Debbie was a talented actress, a remarkable woman and a great humanitarian. I equally adored Carrie. She had written a pilot for her mother, who had requested that I play a role opposite her. Debbie was such a generous performer, that she practically had Carrie rewrite it, so I would have gotten all the laughs. Unfortunately, it didn't come to pass, but nothing would have thrilled me more. She was a good friend and deserved the title of Hollywood Royalty."

Related Articles

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You