She was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas. How and why and when did she become Debbie Reynolds?
She explained all at the Sunday night event benefiting the USC Cinema School.
Time was when the USC Cinema hosted what were referred to as friendly Town & Gown meetings coordinated by publicist Stanley Musgrove at the university. Every month or so. Guests might include Kirk Douglas talking about filming his classic Ace In The Hole that Billy Wilder wrote and directed. Or Vincente Minnelli discussing the making of The Bad And The Beautiful with Lana Turner. Or Debbie Reynolds reviewing her star turn with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in the 1952 hit, Singin’ In The Rain.
Dinners attended by Hollywood’s Who and the Who, notably Doris and Jules Stein. Mr. MCA and Mr. Universal Studios. He being the Emperor of Tinseltown and Doris Stein, Empress of our then High Society.
When Debbie took the podium after dinner, she mentioned how much she loved working with Singin’ director Stanley Donen. Who’s now 92 and living with the comedian-writer Elaine May. Stanley was one of the first passionate converts for Wolfgang Puck’s Jewish pizza, now legendary.
“Somehow fate arranged an audition with Mr. Jack Warner of Warner Bros.
“My mother Maxine and I were on our way to Burbank to meet him at the studio’s executive offices.
“We struck a gridlock.. A huge crowd had gathered, cars parked everywhere. Traffic helter-skelter. We could not move.
“We phoned the studio, his assistant sounded annoyed.”
Arriving finally, long past their appointmentent, more than an hour late, mother and daughter were ushered into his office. They found him steaming. Blowing his gasket. That you don’t keep the head of a studio waiting an hour!
“Mom explained that a favorite neighborhood dog was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Everyone was grieving.
“After a while he looked at my film clips, etc., and, mumbled that my talents showed promise.
“But you have a terrible name for the marquee and the movies,” he grumbled. “Mary Frances? What the hell kind of a name is that?”
“He made calls, we sat humbled.
“Out of the blue he asked what did I say the name of the dog was?
“Debbie, I told him.
“He lifted his eyebrows. ‘That’s it,’ he yelled. ‘Debbie Reynolds!’”
“We shook hands. Walking to our car, mom and I couldn’t believe I was being named after a dead dog named Debbie.”
Moms and Pops. Uncles and Aunts. Grandparents, too. If there are youngsters in your ife expressing an interest or curiosity about America’s favorite sport, baseball, and know little about it, Erin O’Connor is here to help.
Song Of The Little League Pitcher has beem published by author Erin. A compact edition with catchy lyrics in a poem, fun and entertaining to read, and with delightful cartoon illustrations and coloring pages by Mike Goldstein.
What could be a better gift for the young in heart, hungry to tune in to America’s national pastime that Erin confirms is “an international phenomon.” A mania that takes over lives from springtime until after the World Series in October.
A Californian, Erin’s a former elementary school teacher, Little Leaguer coach and a celebrated massage therapist.
“Song depicts the inner journey of a nine-year-old pitcher and his personal relationships with the game, with coaches and teammates and fans.
Available through Amazon, with a percentage of proceeds donated to the California Little League. Song is dedicated to grandson Luca. Also to her “players extraordinaire“ sons Devin and Donald. And to husband Brooks – a Venice Little Leguer from the 1950s and “a champ.”
This Sunday during the Golden Globe Awards on NBC, we’ll meet three Stallone beauties. Sophia, 20, Sistine, 18, and Scarlet, 14.
The daughters of Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin, his skin-care specialist spouse, will appear collectively as the Miss Golden Globes threesome. Offering the awards to presenters, who, in turn, present them to the winners. Our threesome then escorts the winners backstage.
A coup for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and we anticipate the glamour girls very likely being gossiped about more than many honorees and presenters.
Fox broadcaster Megyn Kelly is shucking her $20 million a year to join NBC. Hosting a five-day-a-week daytime show and a Sunday night interview program for bigger bucks.
Rupert Murdoch is replacing her with the sharp conservative Tucker Carlson, whose Fox performances he praises highly.
As for Megyn, the sages say that you know what you have, but don’t know what you are going to get.
The gents we speak to prefer beautiful Megyn with longer blonde tresses. during those earlier Fox telecasts.
Softer, and more appealing.