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Debbie Reynolds Still Burned by Husband-Swiping Elizabeth Taylor


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Debbie Reynolds Still Burned by Husband-Swiping Elizabeth Taylor

By Dino Sossi Posted Apr 23rd 2010 05:00PM


From 'Singin' in the Rain' to crying through the pain. Although she has lived a life full of laughter and longing, Debbie Reynolds is still soldiering on, even overcoming the heartbreaking loss of her husband Eddie Fisher to her good friend, Hollywood supernova Elizabeth Taylor.


In a Daily Mail interview, Reynolds recalled her husband picking up the phone when she called Taylor, despite the fact that he was on tour. "I could hear her voice asking him who was calling -- they were obviously in bed together. I yelled at him, 'Roll over, darling, and let me speak to Elizabeth,'" she said. "Suddenly, a lot of things clicked into place."


The Reynolds-Fisher wedding two years previous was a show business extravaganza. She was a world famous actress and singer -- the proverbial all-American girl. He was a handsome crooner with smash records, a TV show, major tours and a huge audience in Las Vegas -- a potential rival to Frank Sinatra as Chairman of the Board in popular music.


Following the disclosure of the affair, the t?te-?-t?te between the married couple soon turned explosive. "Elizabeth and I are in love and I want a divorce," demanded Fisher. "If you marry her, she will throw you out within 18 months," retorted Reynolds.


And she was right. "Elizabeth did get rid of him, just as I had warned, when she met Richard Burton on the set of 'Cleopatra,'" Debbie recalled.


The affair was especially difficult given her relationship with Taylor. "Elizabeth had been recently widowed when her husband Mike Todd had died in a plane crash," recalled Reynolds. "We had all been good friends. Eddie had been best man at their wedding and I had been a bridesmaid. We saw a lot of each other and I never suspected that she was going to entice my husband away."


But her biggest regret, though, remains her inability to help friend Marilyn Monroe. Dr. Billy Graham, the evangelist, warned Reynolds that Monroe was in danger; however, having suffered a miscarriage, Reynolds couldn't contact the starlet. Monroe overdosed on drugs and died the following day.


"For all her fame and beauty, men took advantage of her," said Debbie. Reynolds believes Monroe was murdered because of her affairs with President John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby, which threatened their political careers.


Faced with the twilight of her career, the MGM star is now looking back at a life lived in the Hollywood spotlight. Hers has been a life full of dizzying highs and staggering lows. The highlights? Her number one record, 'Tammy,' and role in the iconic 'Singin' in the Rain,' opposite Gene Kelly. The lows? The betrayal by Fisher and Taylor, three divorces and bankruptcy.


But her business is now in order, finally, at the age of 78. At the top of her list of accomplishments is the loving relationship she has developed with her daughter, Carrie "Princess Leia" Fisher of 'Star Wars' fame.


"For a long time, as a little girl, she was jealous of having to share me with so many other people," regretted Reynolds. "Why couldn't I be like other girls' mothers and bake cookies in the kitchen all day, instead of going out making movies? There was a definite resentment."


It took Carrie's own experiences in acting for her to realize the difficulty of a life plying the boards of a sound stage. "When she went into acting, she realized that I'd taken the hard option, not the easier one of staying home," said Debbie, relieved. "It's good that we are such friends now that I haven't got a lot of time left."


Reynolds is currently in London's West End with her touring one-woman show 'Debbie Reynolds Alive And Fabulous.'

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