Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher once had a picturesque marriage. They were both famous for acting and singing, and the public referred to the couple as “America’s Sweethearts.” However, their marriage became newsworthy for negative reasons in the mid-1950s. Fisher left Reynolds to marry Elizabeth Taylor, causing an infamous love triangle between the celebrities.
Years after the scandal, Reynolds shared why she believed Taylor took an interest in Fisher.
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher were close to Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband
Reynolds and Taylor’s history runs deep. The starlets met in high school and signed to Metro Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) at the same time. Although Reynolds admitted to People that she was “in awe” of Taylor being her classmate, they eventually formed a genuine friendship.
Taylor and Reynolds became more connected in 1957. That February, the Cleopatra star married producer Mike Todd. By then, Reynolds had already married Fisher in 1955. Fisher and Todd were best friends, and the foursome spent plenty of time together. Naturally, Taylor made Reynolds her matron of honor, and Fisher was Todd’s best man at their wedding. Shortly after the marriage, Reynolds became pregnant with her and Fisher’s second child. They named their son, Todd Fisher, after Todd.
In 1958, tragedy struck Reynolds, Taylor, and Fisher. They learned that Todd died in a plane crash. Reynolds told The Daily Mail in 2010 that when she allowed Fisher to see Taylor during her grief, they started seeing each other behind her back.
“I was the last to find out about the affair,” Reynolds said. “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.”
Why Debbie Reynolds thought Elizabeth Taylor married Eddie Fisher
Soon after she learned of their affair, Fisher moved out of his home with Reynolds to move in with Taylor. Reynolds primarily raised their two children- Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher, by herself while she worked on movies. She spent one year separated from Fisher until Reynolds granted him a divorce in 1959. Fisher married Taylor the same day his divorce from Reynolds was finalized.
Reynolds spoke to Entertainment Tonight about the affair in 1988. She told the outlet that Fisher “always wanted to be Mike Todd,” which was why he pursued Taylor when Todd died. As for Taylor’s reasoning, Reynolds believed she saw something familiar in Fisher.
“I feel that Elizabeth needed desperately a replacement of Mike Todd, and in Eddie, that’s what she had,” Reynolds said. “She didn’t intend to go out and destroy me or any other woman. That’s what she needed at that time, and naturally, that’s a little bit selfish. But isn’t the end of every love affair selfish? Or the beginning, selfish?”
Debbie Reynolds never blamed Elizabeth Taylor for marrying Eddie Fisher
Eventually, Taylor and Fisher’s marriage ended. In 1964, Taylor divorced Fisher and began dating actor Richard Burton. Reynolds and Fisher stayed in contact for the sake of their children. The Singin’ in the Rain star and Taylor also became friends again in later years.
Reynolds shared with ET that she doesn’t regret the way her marriage ended. She said the relationship was starting to go south when Fisher and Taylor got together.
“Their marriage wasn’t any good for them, that fell apart,” she said. “The ending of ours, later years, I mean, I really owe Elizabeth a favor for breaking that whole situation. But I don’t blame her for the break; I blame Eddie for the break. Maybe I stick with women.”