Debbie Reynolds was born as Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Raymond Francis Reynolds and Maxine N. Harman.Her family moved to Burbank, California, in 1939. At 16, Debbie Reynolds won the Miss Burbank Beauty Contest, a motion picture contract with Warner Brothers, and acquired her new first name.
Reynolds appeared in small roles in two Warner Brothers movies and signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Cast in Three Little Words, starring Fred Astaire and Red Skelton, Reynolds's second MGM film appearance in Two Weeks With Love, received strong notices. She then appeared in the flop Mr. Imperium opposite Lana Turner.Over Gene Kelly's initial opposition and her lack of ability to tap dance, Reynolds played the female lead in Singin' in the Rain. Reynolds went on to star in numerous movies, such as Bundle of Joy (1956), with her then-husband, Eddie Fisher (singer) and record hit songs (most notably "Tammy" from her 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor, the first of the series of Tammy movies) and headline major Las Vegas showrooms. Her starring role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) led to an Oscar nomination, but she lost to Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins.
As of present day she was still making appearances in film and television, one of the few actors from MGM's "golden age of film" (including Anita Page, Mickey Rooney, Lauren Bacall, Cyd Charisse, Margaret O'Brien, Jane Powell, Rita Moreno, Leslie Caron, Dean Stockwell, Van Johnson, Angela Lansbury, Russ Tamblyn and June Lockhart) who was still active in filmmaking. From 1999 to its 2006 finale, she played the recurring role of Grace's domineering mother Bobbi Adler on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. She also plays a recurring in the DCOM TV movie series Halloweentown as Aggie Cromwell.
Reynolds has been active in the Thalians Club and has also displayed her large collection of movie memorabilia, first in a Las Vegas resort during the 1990s and later in a museum close to the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, California. She has on several occasions auctioned off items from the collection. In 2006, Reynolds is set to open another museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, close to the Dollywood theme park.