Debbie Reynolds, who died of a possible stroke on December 28, was considerably wealthier than her famous daughter Carrie Fisher.
Reynolds, 84, fell ill while planning her daughter’s funeral with her son, Todd Fisher, and was rushed to a hospital, where she tragically died.
The mother and daughter were together worth millions, but, despite Carrie’s legendary turn as Princess Leia, Reynolds was richer.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Debbie Reynolds Was Worth at Least $60 Million
The Richest puts Debbie’s fortune at around $60 million.
Some sites, though, put Reynolds’ net worth as high as $85 million. One site pegged Reynolds’ net worth at an astonishing $275 million and noted that People With Money Magazine had named her the richest celebrity one recent year.
The site attributed Reynolds’ wealth to “smart stock investments, substantial property holdings, lucrative endorsement deals with CoverGirl cosmetics,” adding that she owned restaurants, a football team, a vodka brand, and perfume.
Who will be Debbie’s heir? The two most obvious possibilities are Carrie’s daughter and her granddaughter, Billie Lourd, and Debbie’s surviving child, Todd Fisher.
2. Debbie’s Daughter, Carrie Fisher, Was Worth Far Less
In contrast, Carrie Fisher was worth only about $5 million, according to most sites that gauge celebrity net worth.
Carrie lost out on millions in her teens when she signed away her likeness as part of the Star Wars franchise. That meant that she didn’t benefit from Princess Leia’s image being used on everything from posters to lunch boxes.
3. Debbie Reynolds Starred in Many Hollywood Movies
Debbie Reynolds is best known for her role in 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain, but she starred in many other Hollywood films. USA Today said she also played a “backwoods sweetheart in 1957’s Tammy.”
She was just in her teens, said the newspaper, when she was known as an “MGM ingenue.” Debbie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1965 movie, The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
In later years, Reynolds had numerous television appearances and even found work as a voice actress for Hollywood animation films.
4. Reynolds Was an Entrepreneur Who Owned a Hotel & Wrote a Memoir
Like her daughter, Carrie, Reynolds did not make her fortune from one talent or venture. She was also an author, writing the memoir, Unsinkable, which chronicled her life, including the painful scandal in which her husband and Carrie’s father, Eddie Fisher, left her for Elizabeth Taylor, shocking the nation.
For years, Debbie owned the Clarion Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, but the hotel closed in 2014. Debbie owned it for five years. “Reynolds wound up filing for bankruptcy in 1997 and selling the property at auction a year later to the World Wrestling Federation,” said The Las Vegas Sun.
Throughout the years, she had everything from an exercise video to a dance studio to an advice column.
5. Reynolds Had a Series of Wealthy Husbands Who Took Advantage of Her
Debbie Reynolds was married three times. In addition to the hotel bankruptcy, Reynolds had other money problems throughout her life. One of her husbands gambled away her money.
In addition to Eddie Fisher, who famously left her for Elizabeth Taylor, Reynolds was married to Harry Karl, described as the president to the “largest independently owned retail shoe store chains in the country.” They lived in a lavish home called “The Embassy,” said Footwear News.
The New York Post said, though, that Karl “squandered” $100 million of Reynolds’ money.
Carrie Fisher said of the home, “It looked more like a place where you’d get your passport stamped more than a house,” said Footwear News.
Reynolds’ third and final marriage to Richard Hamlett ended just as unhappily. The New York Post said he also played games with her money: “He had retooled their finances in nefarious ways. He had backdated deeds to their shared properties transferring the estate to his girlfriend and his brother so that they wouldn’t be included in his holdings when it came to determining divorce settlements.”
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