Without knowing the history behind Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher’s relationship, one might look at this photo and see a young couple destined to last a lifetime. The reality is that Debbie and Eddie didn’t last a lifetime. Their marriage barely lasted 4 years before a notorious scandal tore them apart: Fisher had an affair with Reynolds’ best friend, movie star Elizabeth Taylor.
Actress Debbie Reynolds (“Singin’ in the Rain”) and American singer Eddie Fisher wed in 1955. They had two children, one of whom was “Star Wars” legend Carrie Fisher. Fisher and Reynolds were extremely close to Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, Mike Todd, going so far as to name their second child Todd in order to commemorate their seemingly unbreakable bond.
Everything changed when Taylor’s husband was killed in a horrific accident in 1958. Fisher rushed to the widow during her time of need but ended up giving her more than just his consolation. Their affair left Reynolds heartbroken and alone with two young children.
Eddie Fisher married Elizabeth Taylor in 1959, mere months after he and Reynolds filed for divorce. His name was dragged through the dirt and NBC swiftly canceled his comedy series “The Eddie Fisher Show.” Fisher and Taylor split in 1964 after Taylor had an affair while filming “Cleopatra.” Oh, the irony.
Reynolds and Taylor eventually reconciled and remained close until their deaths in 2016 and 2011, respectively. When asked how she was able to forgive Taylor after the affair, Reynolds had the perfect response:
“You have to look at what life is all about, and is it worth it? And, is he worth it? The friendship was perhaps worth more (…) I was bright enough to know that I respected my friendship with Liz, and I felt that we both had something more to do with it other than being angry with each other.”
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher’s romance wasn’t destined to last a lifetime. However, despite everything, Reynolds was able to emerge from the carnage with a relationship that was meant to last forever: a friendship.