I’m writing this with pleasure, as I annunciate the news that Hollywood legend, Debbie Reynolds is set to receive the ‘SAG Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards to be held on Sunday, January 25th, 2015. The award will be presented to Debbie by her daughter Carrie Fisher, for her contribution to film and humanitarian accomplishment.
Born Mary Frances Reynolds on April 1st, 1932, in El Paso, Texas. She was the second child to parents Maxine Harmon and Raymond Reynolds. At the time of Mary’s birth, her father was working as a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1939, she moved with her family to Burbank, California. From a young age, Reynolds was interested in performing, and engaged herself in many activities. In her early teens, she performed with the Burbank Youth Symphony, and in various high school productions, where she was recognized for her remarkable talent. When she was sixteen, she won first prize in the “Miss Burbank” contest, which led to Warner Brothers and MGM offering her a screen test. On a flip of a coin Warner won the toss, and Mary Frances was signed to a contract. Shortly after Mary Frances became Debbie Reynolds.
In 1948, she made an uncredited bit part in “June Bride”, starring Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery, but it wasn’t until 1950, when she made her official screen debut in the musical “The Daughter Of Rosie O’Grady”. Shortly after MGM came calling for a second time, and Debbie auditioned for the “Boop-Boop-A-Doop” girl Helen Kane in the bio-pic “Three Little Words”. The audition was successful, and not only did Debbie Reynolds procure the part, she also attained a contract with MGM. Upon it’s release the film was a prodigious hit, and Reynolds received her first of five Golden Globe nominations. As the 1950’s progressed, Reynolds appeared in several notable movie musicals including her most indelible and renowned film “Singin In The Rain” ( 1952 ). To this day “Singin In The Rain” is endowed as one of the greatest screen musicals of all time. In 1957, she was cast in “Tammy And The Bachelor”. ‘Tammy’, the signature song from the film became a smash hit, earning Reynolds a gold record, and first place on the charts for best selling single by a female vocalist in 1957. She recorded her first album for Dot Records in 1959. The album was titled “Debbie” and was another spectacular achievement for Reynolds.
During the next ten years she made more than twenty five films. One of the most momentous is “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, in which she garnered an Oscar nomination for her pivotal performance. Her first non musical role came in 1956, when she starred in “The Catered Affair”, a Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine vehicle. Reynolds played Jane Hurley, the daughter of Agnes and Tom Hurley. The family is impecunious with Tom only working as a taxi driver. When Jane announces her engagement with Ralph Halloran ( Rod Taylor ), Aggie insists that her and Tom provide her with an elaborate wedding, even though they simply can’t afford it. Although the film is palatable with Bette Davis fans, it was mostly panned by critics. However Debbie obtained a Best Supporting Actress Award from the National Board Of Review for her commendable portrayal of Jane Hurley.
Debbie Reynolds is equally adept to television as she is movies. In 1970, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in “The Debbie Reynolds Show”. She’s also guest starred in an array of different TV series and variety shows. Not only has she transitioned from the big screen to the small screen, she’s made her way to the medium known as live performances. She debuted her first nightclub act at the Riviera Hotel in 1960, and over the years it has evolved into her being a headliner on the casino circuit to concert performances in every American city, and Broadway.
From movies to television, and Broadway, Debbie Reynolds has done it all. In her spare time, She’s highly involved in charity work, and has acquired a plethora of accolades for her charitable endeavors.
With a career spanning sixty six years, it’s only fair that Debbie Reynolds is finally being rewarded for her capacious resume of work, and charitable contributions. Now at the age of 82, Reynolds is a virtuoso of Show business.
Congratulations Debbie. You deserve it.
Written by Crystal Kalyana.