Debbie Reynolds will be honored during the Jan. 25 broadcast of the SAG-AFTRA Awards. Here is part of the official press release:
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 18, 2014) – Debbie Reynolds – actor, singer, dancer, author, champion for the preservation of the artifacts of film history and for the understanding and treatment of mental illness – has been named the 51st recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.
Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the union’s highest accolade will be presented to the Oscar, Emmy and Tony-nominated Reynolds at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 8 p.m. (ET).
SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard praised Reynolds’ artistry over her very accomplished career, saying, “I’m thrilled that SAG-AFTRA is presenting our Life Achievement Award to Debbie Reynolds. She is a tremendously talented performer with a diverse body of screen and stage work, live performances and several hit records. Her generous spirit and unforgettable performances have entertained audiences across the globe, moving us all from laughter to tears and back again. Congratulations, Debbie, on your life achievements.”
Star of more than 50 motion pictures, two Broadway shows, two television series, as well as dozens of television, cabaret and concert appearances here and abroad, the 82-year-old Reynolds is celebrating her 66th year in show business.
Born Mary Frances Reynolds on April 1, 1932, in El Paso, Texas, she moved with her railroad worker father, mother and brother to Burbank, Calif., in 1939 and as a young teen performed with the Burbank Youth Symphony and in high school plays.
At 16, she entered the Miss Burbank contest in hopes of receiving a free blouse and scarf, and not only won the title, but was seen by talent scouts from Warner Brothers and MGM, who flipped a coin to decide which studio would offer her a screen test. Warner won the toss. Mary Frances gained a studio contract and, courtesy of Jack Warner himself, a new first name, and a robust career that continues to this day.
Among her more famous movies, of course, is “Singin’ in the Rain,” opposite star and co-director Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. She filmed “One for the Money” in Pittsburgh in summer 2010 alongside Katherine Heigl.