Popular 1950’s singer Eddie Fisher has died. The 82-year old singer passed away September 22nd of hip surgery complications, according to the Washington Post. The protege of Eddie Cantor, Fisher had been
married to Debbie Reynolds in the 50’s and divorced her to marry Elizabeth Taylor in a high-profile scandal of the time. He was married five times, his last wife Betty Lin having died in 2001, according to IMDB.com. Eddie was the father of actresses Carrie Fisher, Tricia Leigh Fisher, Joely Fisher and actor Todd Fisher. He had a number of hit songs in the 1950’s, including “Oh, My Papa,” and “Count Your Blessings”, as reported by the Voice of America.
The Fishers have been an entertaining clan for decades, as have those who marry into the family. Debbie Reynolds is probably most memorable in her role as Kathy Selden in “Singin’ in the Rain”, a film that featured an amazing dance sequence with her, comedian Donald O’Connor, and Gene Kelly. Her daughter is less well-known for song and dance; Carrie Fisher shined in the Star Wars trilogies as Princess Leia Organa. And as for Fisher’s ex-wife Elizabeth Taylor, she helped make “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” a memorable production, with Burl Ives and Paul Newman. In a way, I’ve known and admired the work of many of Eddie Fisher’s family without having seen much of the man himself for years.
But Eddie deserves a lot of credit for his long career and body of work, both as a singer and as an actor. The press focused for a long time on his affair, marriage to Taylor, and her eventual exit to marry Richard Burton and in doing so his personal life has eclipsed and stopped the progress of much of his career. In 1960, he starred with Taylor in “BUtterfield 8”, a movie that would earn her an academy award. Before that, he was the $1 million spokesman for Coca Cola, with a singing career that made producers think he could be the next Frank Sinatra. In the late 50’s, he even had his own short-lived show, “The Eddie Fisher Show”.
To enjoy Eddie’s work, one should check out his performances of “Oh, My Papa” found here and “Count Your Blessings” here, both on YouTube. His singing was smooth, deep, and instantly transports the listener back to a by-gone musical era. His talent will be missed my music lovers of all ages.
Voice of America, “1950s US Singer Eddie Fisher Dies”
Matt Schudel by Matt Schudel, “1950s singing star was brought low by scandalous love life” Washington Post
IMDB.com “Eddie Fisher (I)”
CapCapello, “Eddie Fisher – Oh My Papa ” YouTube
willown01, “Eddie Fisher – Count Your Blessings – 1954” YouTube