El Paso

Actress Debbie Reynolds dies; Hollywood star was born in El Paso

Reynolds last visited the Sun City in 2010

Debbie Reynolds dies; Hollywood star...

EL PASO, Texas - Actress Debbie Reynolds, the sunshiny star of the 1952 classic "Singin' in the Rain," has died. She was 84.

Her son, Todd Fisher, said Reynolds died Wednesday, a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died at age 60.

"She's now with Carrie and we're all heartbroken," Fisher said from Cedars-Sinai, where his mother was taken by ambulance earlier Wednesday.

He said the stress of his sister's death "was too much" for Reynolds.

Reynolds had a Borderland connection.  She was born  in El Paso.

Reynolds spent her early childhood in the Sun City before her family moved to California. The actress returned to El Paso in  2010 for an appearance at the Plaza Classic Film Festival.

Festival director Doug Pullen interviewed the Hollywood star shortly before that appearance.

"I think she lived in a few different places, but her main residence was on Magnolia Street," Pullen said.

Pullen said Reynolds told him she still had memories of her family's home in El Paso.

"She referred to that house being on the east side of El Paso. And now it's probably downtown central," Pullen said.
Reynold's family left El Paso and moved to Los Angeles.

"She came back occasionally to visit family. And in fact, I think something she said in that interview at that time was, it got to be too sad because she was coming back for funerals. So, when she came here in 2010 for the film festival, it was the first time in 50 years she had been here," Pullen said.

Pullen asked Reynolds if there were any emotions coming back to El Paso.

"She was kind of neither here no there about it because it had been so long. But she came up to me as she was leaving the reception, and said you remember when you asked me about that  and I said yes. She said 'I  miss my family,' and she started to tear up," Pullen said.

Fans of Reynolds in El Paso are paying tribute to the actress on social media. The El Paso County Historical Commission posted on Facebook, your home town will always remember you, Debbie! Rest in peace.

Reynold's last tweet spoke of her daughter Carrie Fisher who had been hospitalized after a heart attack.

"Carrie is in stable condition. If there is a change, we will share it. For all her fans and friends, I thank you for your prayers and good wishes."

"It is like a punch in the gut. We didn't know these people, but we did in a way, because they lived their lives so publicly," Pullen said.

Reynolds was not yet 20 when she won a starring role in the Gene Kelly musical "Singin' in the Rain." She was also known for her Oscar-nominated role in another musical, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." She was also nominated for a Tony Award in 1973 for her performance in the Broadway musical "Irene."

She had two children with the late crooner Eddie Fisher, who left her for Elizabeth Taylor. The messy divorce made tabloid headlines in the late 1950s.

Fisher, who starred as Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, died Tuesday at age 60, days after suffering a medical emergency on a flight from London to Los Angeles.

In a November interview with for the NPR show "Fresh Air," Carrie Fisher spoke of her admiration for her mother, who she said had some recent health setbacks.

"She's an immensely powerful woman, and I just admire my mother very much," Carrie Fisher said. "There's very few women from her generation who worked like that, who just kept a career going all her life, and raised children, and had horrible relationships, and lost all her money, and got it back again. I mean, she's had an amazing life, and she's someone to admire."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


comments powered by Disqus