Eddie Fisher was a crooner perhaps best known for his glamorous wives. In the 1950s, Fisher bridged the gap between Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley as a teen singing idol. For years after, he still ranked high in terms of record sales. During the '60s and '70s, he headlined in Las Vegas.
In his heyday, he hosted his own TV show, before he won tabloid notoriety with his divorce from Debbie Reynolds.
Known as America's sweetheart, Reynolds, only 26, was abandoned by Fisher for another woman. Not just any woman, but the most beautiful woman in the world: Elizabeth Taylor — Cleopatra incarnate.
At the time, the story was considered in Hollywood to be the scandal of the century. It permanently destroyed Fisher's career, and at the same time catapulted Taylor to femme fatale superstardom.
Taylor was the widow of his good friend Mike Todd, who had died in a plane crash, and the couples had been friendly. Reynolds was left to care for the couple’s young children.
"All those romances took too much energy," said the graying singer in 1990, when he had recently undergone a liposuction operation to avoid having to go on stage with a potbelly.
"I was only married three times [to Reynolds, Taylor and Connie Stevens] for a total of 6 1/2 years," Fisher once said. "But living with a woman is just like marriage."
He later married twice more, first to Terry Richard, whom he divorced after a year, and then to Betty Lin, from 1993 until her death in 2001. Over the years he also was involved with Judy Garland and Ann-Margret.
"It's good to be romantic," Fisher said. "But before you do anything, you've got to work. Romance is for kids. There are times when everything is perfect, but it doesn't last."
His relationship with his children was often distant. Actress Carrie Fisher, his daughter with Reynolds, said her father's tell-all 1999 book, "Been There, Done That," actually prompted her mother and her to make peace with Taylor.
"My father's book was very upsetting for all of us, and it made all of us better friends," Carrie Fisher said in 2001. "I understand on a certain level that he really felt like he lost his career because he left my mother for Elizabeth Taylor, but what he did [in writing the book] was something you don't do. He was incredibly unkind."
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