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Debbie Reynolds' vicious feud with Liz Taylor after superstar stole her husband


Hollywood movie icons Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds will fondly be remembered for their famous films.

But perhaps more fascinating is their bitter personal celebrity feud which boiled over outside of the film studio after Taylor fell in love with Reynolds’ husband.

Taylor’s fantastic turn as Cleopatra won her many admirers, while Reynolds’ heart-warming performance in Singin’ In The Rain firmly established the duo’s rightful places in Hollywood folklore.

However, what started out as a fun sisterhood friendship quickly spiralled into a dark web of disappointment and betrayal.



1958: American singer Eddie Fisher, wearing a tuxedo, stands with arm around his wife, American actor Debbie Reynolds (R) and smiles while looking at British-born actor Elizabeth Taylor, smoking a cigarette, Las Vegas, Nevada. The next year Fisher left Reynolds and married Taylor. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Reynolds was married to singer Eddie Fisher, while Taylor was married to American film producer Mike Todd.

But when Todd was tragically killed in a plane crash, Taylor was comforted by Fisher.

A secret romance blossomed and in turn the love triangle rocked the movie business.

It wasn’t until Reynolds rang Taylor’s hotel room one day and Fisher answered the phone that she discovered the affair was real and not rumour.



British born actor Elizabeth Taylor and her forth husband American singer and actor Eddie Fisher arrive at a formal event, c. 1962. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Image Type singer actress Roles & Occupations film actress Film colour Picture Attribute T419597 photograph


Eddie Fisher and his wife Debbie Reynolds who arrived over here for Mr Fisher’s appearance at the London Palladium the 10th June. They arrived on the Queen Elizabeth early Tuesday morning and they travelled up to London by road. This is Eddie Fisher’s second engagement at the Palladium. 4th June 1957.

“Suddenly, a lot of things clicked into place,” revealed Reynolds to the Daily Mail in 2010.

“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 left Reynolds for Taylor just a month after the death of Todd and she recalled: “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.”



American actress, singer and dancer Debbie Reynolds, circa 1955. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)


UNITED STATES – CIRCA 1953: (FILE PHOTO) British-born actress Elizabeth Taylor in a red bathing suit with sequins on the front in 1953. The British born actress had suffered from numerous health problems since 1997 and was most recently hospitalized in Los Angeles at the beginning of February this year for congestive heart failure, a condition she has had since November 2004. Taylor first graced our screens at the age of 12 in “National Velvet'” and went on to receive two Oscars for her performances in “Butterfield 8” (1960) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966) and appeared in more than 50 films. She was married eight times and most famously married Richard Burton a second time in 1975 which lasted less than a year. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

To make matters even more complicated, Reynolds and Fisher had two children, Carrie and Todd.

Daughter Carrie famously went on to earn worldwide recognition as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films.

And ironically it was Carrie’s film These Old Broads that saw the Hollywood icons reunited for their last ever TV performance before Taylor died a month after the programme being broadcast in March 2011, aged 79.

The film, which also cast Shirley MacLaine and Joan Collins, included a plot line that very much mirrored the real-life events experienced by her mother.



Four of Hollywood’s most legendary stars (L-R) Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Collins pose in this undated publicity photograph promoting their new ABC television movie “These Old Broads,” a two-hour comedy written by Carrie Fisher, Reynolds daughter. The movie will be telecast February 12 in the United States. RETUERS/Timothy White/ABC/Handout

Taylor stole Reynold’s ex-husband but the women were able to remain friends.

Speaking candidly in a HBO special Wishful Drinking, Fisher didn’t hold back regaling her father’s sordid affair.

“Naturally, my father flew to Elizabeth’s side, gradually making his way to her front,” said Fisher.

“He first dried her eyes with a handkerchief, then he consoled her with flowers, and he ultimately consoled her with his penis.”

Fisher sarcastically added: “Now this made marriage to my mother awkward, so he was gone within the week!”



LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 25: Actress Debbie Reynolds, recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, poses in the press room during the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


LOS ANGELES – MAY 30: Actress Elizabeth Taylor leaves the CNN building after appearing on “Larry King Live” on May 30, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

However, after a chance meeting on the trans-Atlantic cruise ship Queen Elizabeth in 1996 Taylor and Reynolds, who had both remarried, reformed their friendship.

Reynolds revealed to People magazine in 1983: “I never felt bitter about Elizabeth.

“A man doesn’t leave another woman unless he wants to go.

“You know, when Mike Todd died, I sent Eddie to help Elizabeth.

“I don’t think she really loved Eddie. He was an interim during her mourning period.”

Taylor was famously married seven times, most notably with fellow actor and frequent co-star Richard Burton, the couple coined ‘Liz and Dick’.



Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

Amazingly the scandal and Taylor’s infidelity only served to make them bigger draws at the box office.

And during the final years of their lives the pair’s friendship grew event stronger.

When Taylor died in 2011 she bequeathed Reynolds a pair of “spectacular” sapphire earrings and a matching bracelet and necklace.

Reynolds passed away in 2016, a day after the death of her and Fisher’s daughter, Carrie.





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