CBC Digital Archives

Debbie Reynolds on private life

They are some of the brightest stars in old Hollywood, leading ladies who lit up the silver screen with their beauty, wit and talent. From Canada's Mary Pickford, the biggest star of the 1920s, to 1960s favourite Audrey Hepburn, CBC Digital Archives presents interviews with the best-loved actresses of the golden age of movies.

Since starting her family in 1956, Debbie Reynolds - star of the 1952 movie musical Singin' in the Rain - has slowed down her work pace. But in 1962 she's got two back-to-back film shoots, leaving no time for a break to enjoy her family. In this CBC Radio interview, Reynolds says she has accepted that as a movie star she must give up her privacy. "Once you do accept in your heart that you're not going to have any privacy, then you find your happiness," she says. 
• Debbie Reynolds was born in Texas in 1932. She was a beauty contest winner at age 16 and won a movie contract at the same time. Her first movie was in 1948, and she worked steadily through the 1950s. Her work in the 1964 movie The Unsinkable Molly Brown earned her an Academy Award nomination, but she lost to Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins.
  • In 1955 Reynolds married singer Eddie Fisher, and the pair had two children together. The pair's marriage broke down in 1959 when Fisher left Reynolds to marry actress Elizabeth Taylor. Reynolds became a top-ten box office draw the same year.

• Reynolds's daughter, Carrie Fisher, is also an actress. Her best known role was as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars movies. Fisher is also a novelist and screenwriter.

• Reynolds was nominated for an Emmy award in 2000 for her guest-actress portrayal of Bobbie Adler, Grace's mother on the sitcom Will & Grace. As of 2009 she was still working, doing voice-overs for documentaries and cartoons and, according to her website, performing a nightclub act. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: Nov. 1, 1962
Guest(s): Debbie Reynolds
Host: Maria Barrett, Bill McNeil
Interviewer: Tony Thomas
Duration: 4:46
Movie poster, Singin’ in the Rain, produced by Loew’s.

Last updated: February 21, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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