Debbie Reynolds was an actress, singer, and businesswoman whose career spanned nearly 70 years. At the time of her death, Debbie Reynolds had a net worth of $85 million.
She is best known for her performances in such films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “The Affairs of Dobie Gillis,” “Tammy and the Bachelor,” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” among others. On television, Reynolds starred on “The Debbie Reynolds Show,” while on stage, she starred in a Broadway revival of the musical “Irene.”
Financial Ups and Downs and Ups
In 1960, Debbie married shoe magnate Harry Karl. In 1973, Debbie learned that Harry had gambled away the majority of her personal assets. In 1984 Debbie married a Virginia businessman named Richard Hamlett. With Richard’s support, in 1994 Debbie spent $10 million to buy a casino in Las Vegas. She quickly turned the property into a venue to showcase her extremely valuable memorabilia collection
. The casino venture did not turn out well and Debbie was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1997. Fortunately she was able to make a financial turnaround in the last two decades of her life. She was able to maintain ownership of several properties in Los Angeles, including a massive Beverly Hills estate that is worth at least $20 million.
Early Life and 1950s Movies
Debbie Reynolds was born as Mary Frances Reynolds on April 1, 1932 in El Paso, Texas. Her mother was Maxene, while her father was a carpenter named Raymond. Reynolds is of English and Scottish-Irish descent. Initially, she and her lower-class family lived in a shack in Texas; in 1939, they moved to Burbank, California. As a teen, Reynolds went to Burbank High School, and won the Miss Burbank beauty contest. Subsequently, she was offered a contract with Warner Bros. Studios, and was assigned the stage name Debbie by studio head Jack L. Warner.
At Warner Bros., Reynolds had her first credited role in the 1950 musical “The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady.” However, when the studio stopped making musicals, the actress moved to MGM. There, she became a regular star in movie musicals throughout the decade. Among her credits were “Three Little Words,” “Two Weeks with Love,” “Mr. Imperium,” “I Love Melvin,” “The Affairs of Dobie Gillis,” “Give a Girl a Break,” “Athena,” “Hit the Deck,” “Bundle of Joy,” and “Say One for Me.” Reynolds’ most famous role during the decade was in 1952’s “Singin’ in the Rain,” in which she costarred alongside Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. Also in the 50s, Reynolds starred in such romantic comedies as “Susan Slept Here,” “The Tender Trap,” “The Catered Affair,” “The Mating Game,” “The Gazebo,” and “Tammy and the Bachelor.” In the lattermost film, Reynolds sang the Oscar-nominated and Billboard number-one hit song “Tammy.”
Further Film Career
Reynolds began the 60s with roles in “The Rat Race,” “Pepe,” “The Pleasure of His Company,” and “The Second Time Around.” In 1962, she was one of 14 top-billed stars in the epic “How the West Was Won,” in which she also sang three songs. Following “My Six Loves” and “Mary, Mary,” Reynolds had one of her most acclaimed performances in 1964’s “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”; for her work, she received her first and only Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Next, Reynolds was in “Goodbye Charlie,” “The Singing Nun,” “Divorce American Style,” and “How Sweet it Is!” In the 70s, her film credits included “What’s the Matter with Helen?” and the animated musical “Charlotte’s Web,” in which she voiced the titular role.
After taking a break from the big screen in the 80s, Reynolds returned with a cameo appearance in 1992’s “The Bodyguard.” She was subsequently in “Heaven & Earth.” In 1996, Reynolds had her first leading film role in more than 20 years in Albert Brooks’ “Mother,” playing Brooks’ character’s widowed mother Beatrice Henderson. She followed this with a memorable part in the comedy “In & Out.” Reynolds worked in film more sparingly in the 2000s and 2010s. She made an appearance as herself in the comedy “Connie and Carla,” and played Grandma Mazur in the crime comedy “One for the Money.”
On television, Reynolds is best known for her NBC sitcom “The Debbie Reynolds Show,” which ran from 1969 to 1970. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. However, Reynolds made headlines when she fought with the network over cigarette advertising during the show. She ended up quitting, ending the program prematurely.
Among Reynolds’ other notable television credits are “Aloha Paradise” and “Will & Grace.” On the latter, she played the recurring role of Lulu Pickles from 1999 to 2006; for her performance, she earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Reynolds also lent her voice to ten episodes of the animated children’s show “Rugrats” from 2000 to 2002. Beyond regular series, she was in a number of television movies over the decades, including “Sadie and Son,” “Halloweentown,” “The Christmas Wish,” “These Old Broads,” and “Behind the Candelabra,” in which she played Frances Liberace.
With limited film and television opportunities in the 70s, Reynolds made her Broadway debut in a 1973 revival of the musical “Irene.” For her performance, she received a Tony Award nomination. Following this, Reynolds starred in the revue “Debbie,” and toured in a production of “Annie Get Your Gun.” In the 80s, she was in “Woman of the Year,” and reprised her starring film role in the stage adaptation of “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
Among her other ventures, Reynolds headlined a live show at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas for a decade. On the business side of things, she opened her own dance studio in North Hollywood in 1979. Later, in the early 90s, she purchased the Clarion Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; however, she declared bankruptcy in 1997. Beyond corporate interests, Reynolds was involved for over 50 years with the charitable organization the Thalians, which serves individuals struggling with their mental health.
In 1955, Reynolds married singer Eddie Fisher, with whom she had children including actress Carrie Fisher and a son named Todd. The pair divorced four years later when it was revealed that Fisher had been having an affair with actress Elizabeth Taylor. Subsequently, Reynolds wed businessman Harry Karl; they divorced in 1973. Finally, she married Richard Hamlett, with whom she was with from 1984 to 1996.
In December of 2016, Reynolds’ daughter Carrie Fisher had a medical emergency on a flight from London to Los Angeles, and ended up passing away shortly after. The very next day, Reynolds suffered a severe hemorrhage, and was taken to the hospital where she passed at the age of 84.
|Net Worth:||$85 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Apr 1, 1932 – Dec 28, 2016 (84 years old)|
|Height:||5 ft 1 in (1.57 m)|
|Profession:||Singer, Dancer, Actor|
|Nationality:||United States of America|