When Debbie Reynolds was only sixteen, she entered the Miss Burbank Beauty Contest and won. Talent scouts from Hollywood approached her and she was signed by Warner Bros. She made her film debut as a teenage extra in June Bride starring Bette Davis.
Haven't you seen Singin' in the Rain (1952)? It's a wonderful musical also starring Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor, as Debbie's friends. She portrays Kathy Sheldon who interestingly enough dubs over the voice of silent movie star Lina Lamont (played by Jean Hagen) who was never meant to be in talkies. You'll see and hear why. This is interesting because it was Debbie Reynolds who was dubbed over in her earlier film Three Little Words. Singin' in the Rain made with MGM was truly Debbie's first big break and the rest was stardom.
Watch this and then see these other four films.
Three Little Words (1950) Debbie portrayed Helen Kane - the boop-boop-e-doop girl, wearing a black wig and a sailor outfit. Even though her vocals of "I Wanna Be Loved by You" were dubbed over by the actual Helen Kane, Debbie charmed studio executives with her performance that they gave her voice lessons, diction lessons, acting lessons, ballet lessons, tap lessons, as well as showing her anything else she needed to become a successful actress.
The Tender Trap (1955) This film had Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm in the cast. The best line in the show is from Celeste when she mimics Debbie and gets annoyed that her boyfriend (Sinatra) is falling for Debbie.
The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) In this musical, Debbie becomes a hero when she heads off in a lifeboat as the Titanic is sinking and keeps the rest of the people in the boat feeling safe.
The Singing Nun (1966) This musical is both cute and fun to watch.
*Contributed by: "Emily Omar" Date: Thurs, Nov 17 2005 / 16:19:49 PST
1964 Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role: THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN