Photoplay Tells Debbie Reynolds—Confess, Or Take The Consequences
Here’s a switch on that old parlor favorite, “Truth or Consequences.” Ever the eager beaver when it comes to getting all the facts from filmdom’s famous faces, Photoplay hit upon using it to coax more and better answers from the stars. How? Simple: Whenever a question is bypassed, a forfeit must be paid—in pictures, yet! Debbie Reynolds wasn’t the least perturbed at the prospect. “Sure, I’m game,” said she. “It sounds like great fun.” And, as you’ll see from this result, it was!
Q. Are you at all temperamental?
A. Oops! Guess I’d better come clean on that one. I’ll admit there are moments in my life when I lose my temper.
Q. Of what are you most afraid?
A. Sleeping in the dark. That’s something I never could get used to.
Q. What was your most embarrassing moment?
A. I don’t have to stop and think about that—I’ll never forget it. It was supposed to be a great moment for me. There I was at last, playing my French horn at a concert, and I had a solo. But just before I was supposed to start my solo, my gum went down the horn. Embarrassed? I just wished the floor would open right up and swallow me!
Q. Which pictures have you seen most often? How many times?
A. “The Pirate,” six times; “Camille,” four times; “Waterloo Bridge,” four times. I thought “The Pirate” was a wonderful musical—Judy Garland and Gene Kelly were great. And you can see from the others that I go for a good sentimental movie—the kind where you have to bring a dozen hankies!
Q. Who are your two favorite living stars—male and female?
A. I’m afraid I just have too many favorites to mention.
(“Sorry, Debbie, but we suspect you’re hedging. We know you’re so soft-hearted that you just don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. But you didn’t answer, so you’ll have to take the consequences,” we said. “For this, you’ve got to take that rose, and make like a fiery, lovelorn señorita in one of those old silent movies.”
“Okay, okay,” said Debbie, laughing. She could hardly keep a straight face, but with our photographer snapping away, she did it!)
Q. Here’s an easy one—what were baby Carrie’s first words.
Q. Which is the item in your scrapbook that you prize the most?
A. There are two. My marriage certificate, and my baby’s birth certificate.
Q. What types of newspaper items and columns interest you the most?
A. Current events. With so many important things happening in the world today, I try to keep up with them as much as I can.
Q. What do you feel when reading articles about yourself?
A. I’m only human. If the articles about me are good, it makes me very happy. If they’re bad, I’ll admit I can’t laugh it off. I feel pretty sad.
Q. What is an extravagance you can’t resist?
A. Shoes! I have loads of ’em—more, I’m sure, than I’ll ever wear out. But pretty shoes will get me every time—especially if they’re on sale. Sales are something else I can’t resist.
Q. What’s your favorite slang expression?
Q. Do you put your hair up at night?
A. To be honest, that’s a chore I hate! And I only do it when I have to.
Q. What conduct marks did you usually receive in school?
A. All right, I’ll confess—a minus average. Guess I was born the cut-up type.
Q. Has there been any personal mannerism you’ve had to fight to overcome?
A. And how! Temper, temper, temper!
Q. What mannerism or style of grooming have you changed to please Eddie?
A. I used to love bright colors in my clothes—reds, blues, everything. But Eddie didn’t like to see me in them. He likes me to wear soft, subdued shades and pastels. And you know what? Now that I’ve switched, I like it better, too!
Q. What things do you think that you do better than Eddie?
A. I don’t like to say who can do better at what, as long as we both try. I think that’s the important thing.
(Smart girl Debbie wasn’t about to be inveigled into any discussion of their comparative singing status, a subject she’s been kidded about enough since she gave Eddie some family competition by turning out a hit record in “Tammy.” And her attitude is an admirable one, from the marriage standpoint. “But Debbie,” we pointed out, “you didn’t answer the question. So here goes another forfeit. Let’s see how you look wearing these glasses.”
“Oh, no,” she wailed, at the sight of the horn-rimmed horrors. But she went through with it.)
Q. Now, here’s a nice question. If you were given the opportunity to meet any one person in the world, whom would you choose?
A. Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
Q. What subject as a topic of conversation usually holds the center of attention in your home?
A. Are you kidding? Carrie Frances!
Q. How well do you keep a secret?
A. Very well—if it’s a real secret.
Q. How old were you when you had your first date, and what was it?
A. Ten years old, and I went to a matinee movie. Gosh, I felt grown up!
Q. What is your opinion of your disposition?
A. I try to be agreeable—I really do. But I leave the opinion up to my friends.
Q. If you had the choice of selecting the face and figure of two stars as your own, whose would you pick?
A. There are so many wonderful faces and figures, I wouldn’t know whose to choose.
(We shook our fingers at her. “Hedging again, Debbie! That won’t do. Just for that, you’ll have to make yourself look like one of those dewy-eyed, impressionable ingenues. Go to it!” And with a mock groan, she obeyed.)
Q. All right. Now here’s another dilly. What was your most embarrassing faux pas?
A. That’s a cinch—I forget my best friends’ names when I introduce them! Isn’t that awful? My mind just sort of goes blank, and there I stand with my face red as a beet.
Q. What’s your next picture?
A. I’m making “For Love or Money” for Universal, but that’ll be the last one until after the baby arrives.
Q. What would you like to have, a boy or a girl?
A. It really doesn’t make any difference to me. I’m just thrilled to have a little brother or sister for Carrie.
Q. As the final question, Debbie, what one thing that you don‘t have do you wish you had more than anything in the world?
A. I can truthfully say that there isn’t one thing I wish for. I have more now than I ever dreamed of having.
It is a quote. PHOTOPLAY MAGAZINE JANUARY 1958