Debbie Reynolds

RIP TAYLOR WAS A FRIEND IN DEED TO DEBBIE REYNOLDS

We have to put in a nice word on the passing of Rip Taylor. Rip and Debbie Reynolds were best friends and when she purchased a run-down hotel in Las Vegas in the 90’s she invited press people (including this Star gossip columnist) for a free weekend to see Debbie’s collection of movie costumes on display, and stir up some publicity. Rip knocked himself out showing everyone around and making sure they had a good time – because he wanted Debbie’s venture to succeed. Sadly the hotel failed, but we never forgot Rip Taylor’s extreme efforts for his friend Debbie.

Photo Credit: BACKGRID-USA

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WHO DIDN’T LOVE DEBBIE REYNOLDS?

Is this the week of heartbreak or what? We’re still miserable from the loss of Carrie Fisher yesterday and apparently her mother Debbie Reynolds was so distraught that she suffered a stroke. At her son Todd Fisher’s house, while making funeral plans for her daughter Carrie! Back in the 90’s, we were lucky to have spent a weekend with Debbie Reynolds at her doomed Hotel in Las Vegas. Debbie and her best friend Charles Nelson Reilly were desperately trying to save the hotel from bankruptcy. She invited press people for a free weekend to see the Hollywood Memorabilia Museum she had installed there. She and Charles entertained and wined and dined us nonstop throughout the weekend. We DID love the museum and wrote about it. But nothing could save the mismanaged, dated hotel. Debbie had a lot of disasters in her life- financial and otherwise- but she remained an enthusiastic and positive sweetheart. We will never forget her.

(Above, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and Albert Brooks (her costar in the wonderful “Mother”) at Debbie’s second Walk of Fame star ceremony in 1997)

Photo Credit: AKM-GSI

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DEBBIE REYNOLDS ONCE HAD THE MOST IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF HOLLYWOOD MEMORABILIA EVER ASSEMBLED

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For many decades, Debbie Reynolds dreamed of opening a Hollywood museum and through the years she amassed an enormous collection of movie costumes and memorabilia. She approached the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences several times and tried to convince them to join her in the project but they turned her down for some reason. Back in the 90’s Debbie opened a small costume museum in Las Vegas and invited us to see it. It was a movie fan’s dream and only hinted at the rest of her collection. Sadly her little museum went bankrupt and Debbie had most of her money invested in her collection. She had no choice and had to auction off two thirds of the collection. NOW the Academy announces they are building a Hollywood museum! Debbie COULD donate what’s left of her collection to the Academy but she won’t. She told the Hollywood Reporter that she was “hurt” by their earlier rebuffs. Shame on the Academy for not having the foresight to realize the importance of her collection!
(Avove, Debbie’s last two auctions)

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DEBBIE REYNOLDS WAVES GOODBYE TO A LIFETIME COLLECTION, BUT SHE’S IN THE MONEY NOW!



Debbie Reynolds’ Hollywood costume auction this weekend was a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. It was nice to see Debbie solving her financial problems after being robbed blind by not one, but two good-for-nothing husbands. But it was undeniably sad to see her dream of opening a Hollywood museum go up in smoke. She acquired most of her massive collection at the big MGM sale around 40 years ago and has been storing and caring for them ever since. Sadder still is the fact that most of the collectibles were purchased by foreigners and will be taken out of the country. A Saudi Arabian voice on the phone paid 4.6 million for Marilyn Monroe’s white “Seven Year Itch” subway dress. A man from a Japanese museum quietly purchased Judy Garland’s “Wizard of Oz” dress and ruby sequin slippers for $910,000 and $510,000. One of our personal favorites- Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from “Mildred Pierce” only pulled in $22,500- maybe THAT will stay in the US.

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ELIZABETH TAYLOR WAS A GREAT MOVIE STAR, NOT A GREAT PERSON

We’ve had it up to HERE with the tributes to Elizabeth Taylor. Let’s get real about Liz. Sorry, but she simply wasn’t worthy of all that admiration. She had a pretty face but other positive qualities were rare and far between. When she was a teenager Liz started stealing other women’s husbands. (We still admire Debbie Reynolds for forgiving her.) The acquisitive actress married seven men and finagled as many diamonds out of them as she could manage. And bragged about it. She loved her pets but never bothered to house break them – they messed her carpets – and OTHER people had to clean up. She had health problems but casually checked into a hospital whenever she wanted a rest. Of course her health would have been much better if she had controlled her urges to overeat, drink, smoke, and take drugs – and she never exercised a day in her life. Self-control was not Elizabeth’s strong factor. In 1983, she admitted to being hooked on painkillers and sleeping pills for 35 years. While filming, she expected to find a “gift” in her dressing room every morning or she might not be in the mood to work. We mean jewelry, not flowers. She kept people waiting for hours with no apology. Liz expected her friend Michael Jackson to shower her with diamonds and jewelry stores are still suing his estate for money he owed for her gifts. Granted, she WAS a dear friend to Rock Hudson when he needed one, but her involvement with AIDS charities brought her a grand lifestyle and prestige – private jets and five star hotel suites around the world for her and her entourage, incredible gifts, paid for by the charity. Style icon? Only if you like turbans and caftans. When Edith Head stopped dressing her, she lost her glamour. Let’s celebrate her film career- not her private life.

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CARRIE FISHER’S “WISHFUL DRINKING” ON HBO – WORTH STAYING HOME FOR

For decades we’ve been writing gossip about Carrie Fisher, who gained fame playing Star Wars Princess Leia, and before that we remember READING gossip about her parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher and the Elizabeth Taylor love triangle. Carrie married a musician, Paul Simon, and an agent, Bryan Lourd, who decided he was gay. All the while Carrie was battling substance abuse and manic depression. She says she still gets a refined version of electroshock therapy on a regular basis to keep herself sane! Her life story and cast of characters is fascinating and hilarious. Debbie Reynolds’ daughter turned out to be a smart and funny writer and her latest book Wishful Drinking has evolved into a one-woman show. And what a show it is. World of Wonder did a brilliant job of producing a documentary on Carrie’s show for HBO that airs this Sunday, December 12. Don’t miss it – it’s the next best thing to seeing her in person and you’ll love the way she has fun with all her family dramas. Carrie Fisher may be damaged goods, but she is indeed, a treasure.

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WHO WOULD YOU RATHER TAKE ADVICE FROM? IVANA TRUMP OR DEBBIE REYNOLDS?

Nobody seemed to pay attention when Ivana Trump quietly gave up the advice column, “Ask Ivana,” she had been writing for the Globe tabloid for fifteen years. (Could it have anything to do with that foul-mouthed airline tantrum that got her booted from a Delta flight?) Hollywood publicist Edward Lozzi immediately pitched his client, Debbie Reynolds, for the job and Globe jumped at the chance to hire Debbie – for MORE money than they paid Ivana. (Estimated in the high five figures) Debbie actually writes her own answers to readers seeking advice, and mail has increased. Hard-working Debbie’s been performing her one woman show in England and still managed to meet her weekly deadlines.

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