Tag Archives: Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

Just one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds succumbed as well. It sounds like the official cause of death will read stroke, but the truth is likely closer to a broken heart.

I knew Debbie Reynolds before I knew her daughter. Fisher gained stardom in a galaxy far, 002-singin-in-the-rain-theredlistfar away from the household I grew up in, but my love for Singin In The Rain is nearly timeless. She was just 19 when she saw the soaring success of that movie, but she followed it up with many other notable roles, including in movies such as Bundle of Joy, The Catered Affair, How The West Was Won, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Mother, and In & Out. She was also on Broadway, in cabaret, and reached a whole new generation through her work on television (Will & Grace, Halloweentown).

Debbie and Carrie infamously had a rocky relationship, some of which was portrayed in Carrie Fisher’s book\script Postcards From The Edge. Needing to find her own identity, Fisher sought distance from her famous mother’s shadow and the two were estranged for a decade, while Fisher dealt with addictions and mental illness.

The pair have since reconciled, and were never more closely bonded than they were before their deaths. During a sitdown with Oprah a few years ago, Reynolds said: “I would say that Carrie and I have finally found happiness. I admire her strength and survival. I admire that she is alive, that she has chosen to make it. It would have been easy to give up and give in and to keep doing drugs. I always feel, as a mother does, that I protect her. I want happiness for my daughter — I want Carrie to be happy.”

Carrie responded: “What I say about being happy is that I am ‘also happy.’ I’m happy among other things. Happy is one of the many feelings or experiences that I will have throughout a day. I think happy has been sort of made into this Hallmark card of a word, and I don’t know what that means. So I will just say that I enjoy my life, I make choices, I do what I want to do. I am a strong person, I’m not afraid of almost anything, and that’s a lot because of your example.”

We weren’t ready to lose either one of them, but wherever they are, at least they’re together.

Debbie And Carrie


Opening of "Irene" - March 13, 1973


21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Press Room


Postcards From the Edge

FISHER-1-articleLargeDirector Mike Nichols helps Carrie Fisher brings her best-selling confessional novel to the big screen. Based on her own life (her mother is the fabulous Debbie Reynolds), Carrie writes about a middle-aged troubled movie star (another Oscar-nominated performance by Meryl Streep) who survives rehab only to be relegated to house-arrest with her overbearing, scene-stealing Hollywood-icon mother (Shirley MacLaine).

The thinly veiled rivalry between mother and daughter makes for some pretty unsettling tumblr_nimcjrvp631qzheh0o1_500confrontations. Fisher and Nichols are both Hollywood elite themselves, which means there’s plenty of in-jokes and winks to paper over the lack of depth in the plot. There are no real insights into addictions or family drama here, but there’s an emotional wallop that just may get you, if the sight of MacLaine’s shapely legs in a slitted red dress don’t get you first.

Melodrama has never looked so good: cinematographer Michael Ballhous does career-defining work here, while Nichols does his usual smug, detached thing over in the corner. Do either of these things save it from the inevitable clichés? Not really, but you’re more disposed to forgiving them.

If you can look past the scandal-free safety of the film, there’s a secondary cast to make up the difference: Dennis Quaid as the sleazy boyfriend, Gene Hackman as her demanding director, Richard Dreyfus as her sensitive doctor, and was that Annette Bening I saw? IMDB says you bet your balls it was! She’s whoring it up with cynicism and wit.

If you were a fan of the book, you’ll notice the film has lost its acerbic edge. It’s all about the comedy here, and even an almost-lethal trip to the ER for a good old-fashioned stomach-pumping can’t quell the chuckles. MacLaine and Streep shine through showbiz and show tunes, and if it’s a little shallow, it’s also a good dose of fun.




Marnie’s mom is so mean! Marnie loves ghosts and goblins and all she wants to do is trick-or-treat with her friends, but as usual, Mom (Judith Hoag) says no. Halloween is forbidden at their house. But this year it’s saved by a visit from Grandma (Debbie Reynolds), who has a bag full of candy and decorations; she indulges her three grandkids with treats and stories about Halloweentown, the magical place she claims to come from. Marnie (Kimberly J. Brown) overhears her mother and grandmother talking not-quietly-enough in the kitchen for such a big secret: their family has the witch gene and if Marnie was growing up in Halloweentown, her magic apprenticeship would nearly be over. So of course she’s going to sneak out and catch Grandma’s flying bus back to the Halloween dimension. What she doesn’t count on is little brother Dylan (Joey Zimmerman) and little sister Sophie (Emily Roeske) following. Now they’re all in Halloweentown, only Halloweentown isn’t what it once was. There’s an evil presence lurking about, and townspeople have been disappearing.

This movie was a Disney channel offering back in 1998, and it’s available to stream on Disney+. The great thing about Disney+ is that if you like this, you don’t have to look too far for all 3 sequels of the Halloweentown quadrilogy – they’re all right here, and though the lead actress eventually gets recast, Ms. Debbie Reynolds appears in all four. And that’s why we’re watching, right? To see Debbie Reynolds strutting through town square past goblins and pumpkin-heads like a super model, her cape billowing behind her. Even a hokey Disney movie cannot diminish her presence.

If you have kids I’d love to know how a 2020 audience feels about the “practical effects” in this film (that’s the nice way of saying it was super low budget, and the makeup/prosthetics/wardrobe they used weren’t even as good as the standard Halloween costumes you’d buy off the rack for a kid today. We’re used to fully CGI characters being superimposed over actors in green suits, so I wonder if bulbous noses still seal the deal.

Halloweentown is a harmless movie, it has witches and warlocks but mostly the good kind. It involves tween girls getting their broom licenses and grandma using instant witches’ brew instead of making it from scratch. It’s a non-scary Halloween offering, and those are relatively scarce these days. But thanks to various streaming devices, we don’t have to board a magic school bus to take us back in time, we can simply click from the comfort of our own homes.

magic is simple: you want something and then you let yourself have it

marnie’s little attitude, dylan’s an asskisser