DEBBIE REYNOLDS AND HANS / HANS AND DEBBIE REYNOLDS – 20 YEARS LATER: When you think of the Hollywood classic movies of all time – one of the top five films is 1952’s “Singing In The Rain” starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor. When you think of Hollywood scandals it’s Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds/Liz Taylor.
I first met Debbie Reynolds in 1973 as she was appearing in the Broadway musical “Irene” at the Minskoff theater. Twenty years later, in 1993, we met at her Las Vegas hotel and museum. Now twenty years later again, in 2013, we met again last night!
Debbie Reynolds is truly the Unsinkable Molly Brown! She is the symbol of a survivor. She has made her mark on every form of show business and is still going strong. The epitome of the ingenue, America’s sweetheart, singer, comedian, dancer, television mom to Grace Adler on “Will & Grace” and now….she will play Liberace’s mom in the upcoming HBO biopic of his life. Debbie turned 81 on this past April 1 and loves being born on that day since she says she always has an excuse to act crazy.
She has just released her final memoir “Unsinkable” because she wanted to leave a truthful record behind and “not all the crap that they say about you after you’re gone!” So she dished all the dirt in a witty, heart-on-your-sleeve, brutally honest, always with a wink page turning book, co-authored by the delightful Dorian Hannaway. Her pensions for always marrying the wrong man, her cruel trial at starting a hotel and Hollywood museum in Las Vegas in 1993, being $20 million dollars bankrupted due to the hotel and a con artist (possibly murderous) third husband and recently selling of course one of the most prestigious Hollywood memorabilia collections of all time including Marilyn Monroe’s white halter “Seven Year Itch” dress for $4.6 million dollars, all because she has been the pack rat preserving our film history.
She is sadly doing very limited press appearance for the book. Her only three appearances so far include
– 4/9/13 6:30 PM at the Egyptian Theater – Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.
– 4/13/13 6:00 PM at Barnes & Noble – Grove Drive. Los Angeles, CA.
– and last night at New York’s 92nd Street “Y” to an audience of enthusiastic fans. She did not disappoint. She loves to interact with her audience and is as sharp as a tact.
She is as irreverent, funny and honest as she has ever been, did her classic celebrity impersonations, spoke from the heart about her famous talented daughter Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and even sang a little tune. The sparkle in her eyes, the childlike impish enthusiasm is infectious. The cherry on the icing on the cake of the evening, in partial thanks to the co-author of her book Dorian Hannaway, Debbie signed my coveted Blackglama “What Becomes A Legend Most?” poster.
So Debbie – see you on our duo decennial schedule in 2033???
“WHY DO THEY ALWAYS LOOK LIKE UNHAPPY RABBITS?”: Marilyn Monroe’s (as Miss Caswell) query to Addison DeWitt played by George Sanders when asked to go and meet the theatre producer Max Fabian played by Gregory Ratoff and “go do yourself some good”. She puts back her shoulders and puts on a big smile and goes to do herself ‘some good’ at Margo Channing’s (Bette Davis) ‘blasted party’ for Bill Sampson’s (Gary Merrill) birthday.
Photo taken during the Bryant Park and HBO Film Festival showing of “All About Eve”. Monday, August 13th, 2012. Bryant Park is behind the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. 10,000 people showed up to see Marilyn, 50 years after her death. Marilyn lives eternal.
“FASTEN YOUR SEATBELTS, IT’S GOING TO BE A BUMPY NIGHT!”: ‘All About Eve’ is my obsessive favorite film of all time. I own film memorabilia from the film and had the extreme privilege to meet Celeste Holm in 2011 and even attended her 95th birthday party. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when she signed my original 1950 film poster for me.
Imagine my euphoria to find out Bryant Park’s and HBO’s Film Festival was showing ‘All About Eve’, Monday August 13th, 2012. I would have attended if I had the plague. Approximately 10,000 people showed up to see Marilyn Monroe ascend the staircase on George Sander’s arm and make her entrance in the party scene just after Bette Davis as Margo Channing utters one of the immortal film lines of all time: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” The audience stood up, hooted, hollered, cheered, whistled and applauded. It is a truly unique New York experience and I was in heaven . . .