Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds’ Hollywood feud is as compelling as a movie

The golden age of Hollywood was full of star battles.from betty davis and Joan Crawford arrive Frank Sinatra and marlon brando, these off-screen dramas are often as compelling as anything on film. One of these notorious feuds was a years-long conflict between the two sides. Elizabeth Taylor and debbie reynolds. When third parties suddenly sow discord among famous actresses, as is often the case in Hollywood movies, they find themselves thrust into a white-hot spotlight of media frenzy and speculation.

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How did Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds’ friendship begin?

Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown, Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden, Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood huddle together in 'Singin' in the Rain'
Image via Loew Company

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Without a doubt, Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds are two of the most recognizable and prolific performers of this generation who got their start in the entertainment industry at a young age. Taylor signed a strict contract with MGM as a teenager and worked steadily for years, while Reynolds later joined the studio at age 17. It didn’t take long before the two actresses became fast friends, and according to Reynolds, “We went to school together when she was in between films. I was just a beginner, and I was different from her in every way, But we get along because I’m in awe of Taylor going to school with Elizabeth. If anyone says they’re not, then they’re lying. Or blind.”

In the early 1950s, as the Korean War intensified, Reynolds traveled overseas to entertain U.S. troops and befriend acting partners Eddie Fisheris a talented singer who has been working professionally since the age of 12 and has written several hit songs. They fell in love and married in 1955, and Reynolds gave birth to their first child, carrie fisher, the following year. In 1957, Elizabeth Taylor married for the third time, with the Oscar-winning film producer Mike Todd During the ceremony, Reynolds and Fisher served as bridesmaid and best man, respectively. But just a year into their marriage, tragedy struck when Todd was killed in a plane crash in New Mexico. Decades later, Carrie Fisher used her trademark irreverent humor to reveal that her father tried to comfort a grieving Taylor and “rushed to her side and gradually moved in front of her”.

How did Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher’s romance begin?

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) starring Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor and Bull Ives
Image via MGM

If there’s one thing tabloids love, it’s exploiting personal scandals for public consumption. Not long after Mike Todd’s untimely death, Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher gave the media the story they craved. The two stars began dating, and after divorcing Reynolds in 1959, Fisher married Taylor.according to Todd FisherReynolds and Fisher’s second child was named after Taylor’s ex-husband, and the tabloids picked up the story and were quick to malign Taylor and his father.

In his 2018 memoir, My Daughters: A Lifetime with Carrie and DebbieTodd Fisher writes: “Eddie was declared a philandering, opportunistic loser, while Elizabeth was branded a bad girl, a home-wrecking slut. Debbie, the good girl, innocent, Unsuspecting victims and single moms, loved embraces and sympathy from all over the world.” For his part, Reynolds managed to make a big difference as controversy ensued involving her former husband and friends. Media contact was avoided. Reynolds kept his head down, focusing on his job and raising his two kids, but things weren’t going so well for Fisher.

How did the scandal affect Eddie Fisher’s career?

Elizabeth Taylor in
Image via 20th Century Fox

After five years of marriage, Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher divorced.A few years ago, while co-creating “1963” Cleopatrathe actress had another affair with the British actor Richard Burton, the couple married and divorced twice over the next fifteen years. One of the most talked about projects of their era, the two stars continued their high-profile careers despite the dramatic publicity and Burton’s notorious alcoholism. Eddie Fisher, however, was not so lucky.

From the news of his romance with Taylor, Fisher found himself on the chopping block. While Taylor incurred a degree of public judgment, the damage to Fisher’s reputation and career was enormous. His infidelity to Reynolds made him the object of wrath, tarnished his image and negatively impacted his star power. Todd Fisher elaborated on this, writing, “People are outraged. My dad canceled his contract because of the morals clause…it literally ruined his career.” Beyond the bad press, this The singer’s reputation also began to decline with the development of music at that time. Fisher’s signature crooning tunes quickly became a thing of the past as rock ‘n’ roll climbed the charts, and as his popularity waned, his interest in drug use increased.

Why Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds finally reconciled?

Singin' in the Rain - 1952
Image via MGM

They say time heals everything, and in the case of Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds, time not only repaired their broken friendship, but arguably made it stronger than ever. In 1966, they unexpectedly found themselves in close quarters on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship.Recalling the sudden encounter, Reynolds said The Hollywood Reporter“I looked up and saw the mass of luggage passing me, the bird cages, the dog cages, the nurses, and I realized that Elizabeth and I were in the same boat.” Suddenly realizing this, Reynolds almost dropped the idea altogether. A cruise, though she went on at her husband’s urging.

As fate would have it, these two estranged women were not only on the same boat, but on the same floor. Reynolds tried to make amends and sent a letter to Taylor’s room, which must have been a nerve-wracking act. The bold move paid off, according to Reynolds, “She sent me a note saying we should have dinner, end it all, and have a good time. We had a great evening, full of Laugh.” The two former friends take a leap of faith in each other, and their fractured relationship seems to be rekindled as quickly as it broke apart eight years ago. Their newfound friendship would last for decades until Taylor’s death in 2011.

Unlike many bitter fights between leading Hollywood actors, the rift between Taylor and Reynolds ended with forgiveness and compassion. They even worked together again in the 2001 TV movie, these old brods, co-written by Carrie Fisher. Todd Fisher said the two actresses shared words before filming a scene, an example of art imitating art, with their characters caught up in a love triangle. “I’m sorry for what I did to Eddie,” Taylor told Reynolds.”Elizabeth is still so emotional about it, it caught Mom off guard,” Fisher said of the tender moment. Despite the heartache she endured, Reynolds couldn’t bring herself to harbor such resentment, which she expressed eloquently. Thoughts on the matter: “You have to see what life is all about, is it worth it? And, yes he worth? Friendships may be more valuable. “

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