Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor are two of the most beloved actresses of all time. But did you know they were once at the center of one of Hollywood’s biggest and most scandalous love triangles?
Debbie — who sadly passed away at age 84 on Wednesday, Dec. 28 after suffering a stroke — married Eddie Fisher in 1955. The duo had two children together, late actress Carrie Fisher and actor Todd Fisher, 58.
The couple divorced in 1959 when the Singin’ in the Rain star found out her husband was having an affair with her best friend, Elizabeth. Liz’s third husband, Mike Todd, passed away in a plane crash shortly before she began an extra-marital affair with Eddie.
Elizabeth, Eddie and Debbie in January 1958.
“When he left, I raised the children. He never sent any money, so I found it a little scary,” Debbie said in a previous interview with People of her split with Eddie.
At the time, Liz’s affair with Eddie became one of the biggest public scandals in Hollywood history with the Cleopatra star labeled as a “homewrecker” by the media.
Elizabeth — who passed away at age 70 in March 2011 from congestive heart failure — and Eddie tied the knot in May 1959 in Las Vegas. The actress later admitted she married the singer due to overwhelming grief from having lost her husband Mike.
After beginning an affair with Richard Burton in 1962, the Oscar winner divorced Eddie in 1964 and wed Richard just nine days later. Debbie married her second husband, businessman Harry Karl, in 1960.
Debbie and Eddie in 1955 (left) and Elizabeth and Eddie in 1960 (right).
Though Liz and Debbie stopped speaking for years after their highly-publicized love triangle, Debbie once admitted she primarily blamed Eddie — not her former best friend — for their messy split.
“He obviously chose to leave, didn’t he? She didn’t lasso him. She was just beautiful Elizabeth Taylor,” she said. “And he wanted her, and he wanted to be her lover, so he left and he was. He was the selfish one. She just gave him what he wanted.”
Elizabeth and Debbie later reconciled their friendship before Liz’s 2011 death. “I’m very religious. I believe that things happen and you have to go along with them. You don’t have to be angry and become an ugly person,” Debbie said of forgiving Elizabeth. “You don’t have to become what the the people are who are attacking you. Love blinds all. I just had to grow up and realize that.”