Tuesday, April 01, 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEBBIE REYNOLDS
Happy 76th birthday to a great show lady and Hollywood legend: the one and only Debbie Reynolds. My favorite role of hers was "The Singing Nun" and "Singing In The Rain"Debbie was quite a star in hey day during the 1950s and chalked up several hit records despite an only intermittent career as a recording artist. I love all of them! Her song "Aba Daba Honeymoon" (featured in the 1950 film Two Weeks With Love as a duet with Carleton Carpenter) was a top 3 hit in 1951. She is also remembered for her smash recording of the theme song "Tammy" which earned her a gold record and was the best-selling single by a female vocalist in 1957 and was number one for five weeks on the Billboard pop charts. Debbie also scored two additional top 25 Billboard hits with "A Very Special Love" in 1958 and 1960s "Am I That Easy To Forget", a pop version of Skeeter Davis' country hit (interestingly, Davis' real first names are also Mary Frances). During the 1950s, this amazing lady starred in numerous movies, such as Bundle of Joy (1956), with her then husband, Eddie Fisher, recorded hit songs (most notably "Tammy" from her 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor, playing opposite Leslie Nielsen, the first of the series of Tammy movies), and headlined in major Las Vegas showrooms. Her starring role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) led to an Oscar nomination, but she lost to Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins. She played Jeanine Deckers in The Singing Nun. In what Debbie called the "stupidest mistake of my entire career", she made big headlines in 1970 after instigating a fight with NBC over cigarette advertising on her TV show. NBC canceled the show in January of the same year. In April of 1970-- on this very date, no less, Debbie got her way. Richard Nixon signed an executive order banning all cigarette and tobacco advertising on television-- and that, dear friends was NO April fool! Debbie is still making appearances in film and television, one of the few actors from MGM's "golden age of film" (along with Mickey Rooney, Lauren Bacall, Margaret O'Brien, Jane Powell, Rita Moreno, Leslie Caron, Dean Stockwell, Angela Lansbury, Russ Tamblyn and June Lockhart) who are still active in film making. From 1999 to its 2006 finale, she played the recurring role of Grace's ditzy mother Bobbi Adler on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. She also plays a recurring role in the DCOM TV movie series Halloweentown as Aggie Cromwell. Reynolds made a guest appearance as a presenter at the 69th Annual Academy Awards Debbie has several CDs on the market of both vintage performances and later recordings. So Happy Birthday, dear lady. We still adore you!