A Singer In The 50s Eddie Fisher Became A Teen Idol Starring In His Own Radio

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Fisher died Wednesday at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery, his daughter Tricia Leigh Fisher told the Associated Press.Between 1950 and 1956, Fisher recorded dozens of songs that made the top 40 and four that reached No. 1 on the pop charts.Fisher's boyish good looks and natural charisma also helped him land roles on television shows and in such feature films as "Butterfield 8," "Nothing Lasts Forever" and "Bundle of Joy.But he may be best remembered for his failed marriages to Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor and Connie Stevens.Fisher was born in Philadelphia on Aug. 10, 1928.

In 1950 he recorded his first hit, "Thinking of You." In 1951, he had his first million-seller, "Any Time.he is "golden sound," as Fisher described it in his 1999 memoir, "Been There, Done That," catapulted him "from the streets of Philadelphia to the White House. Harry Truman loved me. Ike loved me.Fisher created a tabloid scandal in 1958 when he left Reynolds, then just 26, for Elizabeth Taylor.The move, considered in Hollywood at the time to be one of the century's biggest scandals, helped torpedo Fisher's career and launch Taylor toward superstardom.Fisher would later acknowledge that he had been battling what would become a years-long addiction to drugs, including methamphetamine and cocaine.

In 1962, he suffered a breakdown after the collapse of his marriage to Taylor, who then married Richard Burton.Suddenly, a lot of things clicked into place,' she recalls. 'I could hear her voice asking him who was calling - they were obviously in bed together. I yelled at him, "Roll over, darling and let me speak to Elizabeth".Fisher slammed the receiver down and rushed home for a face-to-face confrontation. 'I'm sorry,' he told her. 'Elizabeth and I are in love and I want a divorce.'Debbie replied: 'If you marry her, she will throw you out within 18 months'.And Elizabeth did get rid of him, just as I had warned, when she met Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra,' Debbie says now.

Debbie currently touring Britain with her one-woman show, which opens in London's West End next week - recalls her first marriage without bitterness.'I might not have been as surprised were it anyone else. But how it all happened was rather scandalous in that they didn't take more care to avoid hurting me. I understand when I look back on it. Who would pass by Elizabeth? No woman living was as beautiful as her. And Eddie had even tried to act like Mike Todd, smoking big cigars.

I was the last to find out about the affair.There had been hints in the papers and I had noticed that when I turned up at functions or parties on my own my friends were whispering.Although I didn't want to find out the truth, I had to face up to it. Even so, it was a great shock to find them together. It left me shattered.The shock of discovering the affair, she says, was the day she lost her innocence.I was a virgin when I married Eddie, but Elizabeth had been married three times. I was devastated because I had two children.

Now, at the age of 78, she is at last enjoying a good relationship with her actress daughter Carrie Fisher (who played Princess Leia in Star Wars), although it wasn't always easy.For a long time, as a little girl, she was jealous of having to share me with so many other people. Why couldn't I be like other girls' mothers and bake cookies in the kitchen all day, instead of going out making movies? There was a definite resentment.'Then, when she went into acting, she realised that I'd taken the hard option, not the easier one of staying home.'It's good that we are such friends now that I haven't got a lot of time left.'Debbie is planning on staging an exhibition of her collection of Hollywood movie memorabilia in London's Royal Albert Hall next year.


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