Eddie Fisher was the first husband of Debbie Reynolds, who passed away on Wednesday as a result of a stroke, according to TMZ. Reynolds’ death came just one day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died at age 60.
Eddie Fisher was a pop sensation in the 1950s, and began singing professionally at age 12. His first hit song, “Thinking of You”, was followed by singles like “Wish You Were Here” and “Oh My Pa-Pa.”
Read on to learn more about Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds’ first husband.
1. Fisher and Reynolds Were Married for Four Years
Eddie Fisher was married to Debbie Reynolds from 1955 to 1959.
According to a 2015 article in Express, Reynolds was a “23-year-old virgin” when she married the teen idol.
After her marriage with Fisher ended, Reynolds went on to marry two more times– first to Harry Karl from 1960 to 1973, and then to Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996. In a candid interview with Express in 2015, Reynolds discussed her marriages, and why she believed they failed. “My three husbands all left me for another woman and obviously I wasn’t a very sexual lady. My husbands all repeatedly said the same thing – that I was not a very passionate woman.”
Eddie Fisher was born in Philadelphia in 1928. Nicknamed “Sonny Boy”, he began singing at a young age, and entered many youth talent contests. Biography.com reports the entertainer as saying, “My mother entered me in every amateur contests she heard about and I usually won.” After becoming somewhat of a local star in Philadelphia, he decided to drop out of high school and pursue a music career.
Fisher was mostly successful in the 1950s, with 17 songs in the Top 10 between 1950 and 1956. In 1960, after a very public divorce from Reynolds, Fisher was dropped by his label, RCA Victor, and recorded on his personal label, Ramrod Records. His last-ever album was recorded in 1984.
2. He Allegedly Left Debbie Reynolds for Her Best Friend, Elizabeth Taylor
In the 1950s, Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher were one of Hollywood’s most famous couples, as were Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, producer Mike Todd. Taylor and Reynolds were close friends, and met as classmates at MGM, according to People. Reynolds previously told the outlet, “I went to MGM when I was around 17, and Liz was there too, but she was already a star.”
Fisher was the best man at Todd’s wedding, and Debbie was Elizabeth’s matron of honor. In 1958, Todd died in a plane crash. Afterwards, Fisher and Taylor started seeing one another romantically, which incited Reynolds’ divorce from Fisher in 1959.
Reynolds later told People that she blamed Fisher more than Taylor for the separation. “He obviously chose to leave, didn’t he? She didn’t lasso him. She was just beautiful Elizabeth Taylor. And he wanted her, and he wanted to be her lover, so he left and he was. He was the selfish one. She just gave him what he wanted.”
Reynolds and Taylor rekindled their friendship after both ended up on the same cruise ship without the other knowing. The two stayed friends until Taylor’s death in 2011.
3. He Is Carrie Fisher’s Father
With Debbie Reynolds, Fisher had Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher. On Tuesday, Carrie Fisher died at age 60 after going into cardiac arrest on a transatlantic flight four days prior.
Eddie Fisher had two other children from different marriages: Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher. Joely is an actress, perhaps best known for her work as Paige Clark on Ellen and Joy Stark in the Fox sitcom, ‘Til Death. Tricia Leigh Fisher is also an actress, and has made guest appearances on shows like Our House, Growing Pains, Ellen, Wild Card, 7th Heaven, and ‘Til Death.
4. He Was Married Five Times
Fisher was married three more times after his marriage with Elizabeth Taylor ended in 1964. From 1967 to 1969, he was married to Connie Stevens. From 1975 to 1976 he married Terry Richard, and from 1993 until her death in 2001, Fisher was married to Betty Lin.
According to Philly Magazine, Fisher had also been intimate with German actress and singer Marlene Dietrich, who was 27 years his senior. On top of that, he was rumored to have affairs with Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Juliet Prowse, Kim Novak, Ann-Margret and Judy Garland.
5. He Died in 2010
Eddie Fisher died on September 22, 2010, from complications from hip surgery at 82. In a statement, his family said, “Late last evening the world lost a true America icon. One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch.”
According to a CNN article published shortly after Fisher’s death, the singer has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame– one for recording and the other for TV.