The Talk: Debbie Reynolds Behind The Candelabra, Unsinkable & Liberace


The Talk: Debbie Reynolds

Since age 16, Debbie Reynolds started a career that has never stopped. From Singin’ In The Rain to The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Reynolds has been an enduring star who received a standing ovation from the hosts and audience. Next up, you can see her in HBO’s Behind The Candleabra.

The Talk: Debbie Reynolds Stroke

The Talk: Debbie Reynolds Behind The Candelabra, Unsinkable & Liberace

Debbie Reynolds talked about her Hollywood history in the new memoir Unsinkable and plays Liberace’s mother in HBO’s mvoie Behind The Candelabra. (s_bukley /


Julie Chen congratulated Reynolds on her New York Times bestselling memoir, Unsinkable. In fall 2012, Reynolds had a minor stroke. “Things are falling apart,” she said, but her sense of humor seems to be intact. “People do get sick, but they get over it, and I’m over it.”

The Talk: Debbie Reynolds & Elizabeth Taylor

Reynolds and first husband Eddie Fisher were tabloid fixtures when he left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Later in life, the two women became friends and Taylor even apologized.

When Taylor passed away, she left Reynolds something in her will. “I think it’s very precious,” she said of being remembered.


Reynolds, now 81, thought it was a sweet gesture. The gift was a set of intricate and beautiful earrings that had the entire panel of co-hosts fawning. She said she has yet to wear them, because she thinks they are too fancy.

The Talk: Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher

In her memoir, Reynolds said that the best thing her marriages produced were her children, Todd and Carrie. Carrie Fisher is an actress and author, whose own book became the movie Postcards From The Edge.

However, Reynolds lost out on the role to play herself in the movie. Reynolds thought director Mike Nichols would love her in the role, but he went with Shirley Maclaine.

The Talk: Debbie Reynolds Movies

Debbie said she also nearly missed out on one of her most famous roles, in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Once again, she was up against Shirley Maclaine. Eventually, she had to drop out of the project, and Reynolds was able to swoop in.

Then came Singin’ In The Rain, but she almost didn’t make the cast of that movie either, in part because she had no idea how to dance. Gene Kelly “was stuck with me,” she said.

The Talk: Debbie Reynolds & Lena Horne

Debbie also had a close relationship with Lena Horne, and they would eat lunch together. Back in the early days, she was not allowed to eat in the studio commissary because of her race.

“Most people that are in show business don’t see color. They see talent,” she said.

As for Bette Davis, Reynolds ran afoul of her on her very first movie. She spied on the filming of a love scene, but Davis spotted her up in the rafters on the closed set.

Get more old Hollywood dirt from Debbie Reynolds in the book Unsinkable.

The Talk: Debbie Reynolds Behind The Candelabra

Reynolds also appears in Behind The Candelabra, as Liberace’s mother. Michael Douglas plays Liberace, and Matt Damon also stars in the HBO movie. In real life, Reynolds knew Liberace’s mother personally.

She did Liberace’s mother’s voice for the ladies on The Talk. You can see her take on the role when Behind The Candelabra premieres on HBO, Sunday, May 26 2013.


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