Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Puff Daddy

I fell in love with Eddie Fisher's voice when I was thirteen.  Before I ever laid eyes on him.  He was singing Oh, My Pa Pa at Milwain's as we stared at the black screen, munching on popcorn and waiting for the movie to begin. 

After that, I fought the family to watch his TV show, Coke Time, each Wednesday night, and scanned Photoplay and Modern Screen magazines to find out all I could about the handsome singer. 
"He needs to marry Debbie," I said, "She'd be perfect for him."

"Hollywood's a big place," Pitty Pat said, "They might not even know each other."
Debbie Reynolds was my favorite movie star.  I had pin-ups of her all over one wall of the bedroom I shared with Pitty and Mary Ellen.  I even wrote her a fan letter.  She quickly responded, scribbling me a personal note and including an autographed photo:  "Fun Always, Debbie Reynolds."  (Wish I still had it!)
We were dumbstruck when Debbie and Eddie began dating.

"That's unbelievable!" Pitty said, "It's like you got them together!"

I followed their courtship closely and was thrilled when they tied the knot.  I was appalled, however, with their choice of names when their daughter was born.

"She's so cute," I said, "Debbie should've named her something besides Carrie Frances!"

A few years later, Eddie left Debbie for Elizabeth Taylor, who, strangely enough, was Pitty's favorite movie actress. (She had pin-ups of Liz on another wall of our bedroom).  But Eddie was history by then; Elvis had burst on the scene and rock & roll had arrived. 

Eddie lost Liz to Richard Burton, and he went on to marry Connie Stevens.  They divorced, and he married two more times.  Somewhere along the way he began taking drugs, and he admitted spending his twenty-million-plus fortune on drugs and gambling.  He wrote two books, mostly devoted to trashing Debbie and Liz.  Carrie was so upset that she threatened to change her name to Reynolds.

I'm glad she didn't.  I read today on her blog that she called him "Puff Daddy."

Eddie died a few days ago, at eighty-two.  And although he made many mistakes in his lifetime, it does not change the fact that he was once a handsome and successful young man with a melodious tenor voice.

Rest in peace, Puff Daddy.

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All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley