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Eddie Fisher Dead at 82

Eddie Fisher, the 1950s pop star known as "The Jewish Sinatra" who became the center of a major celebrity scandal when he divorced wife Debbie Reynolds to marry Elizabeth Taylor died at the age of

 82 in Berkeley, California on Wednesday, September 22nd. The cause was complications from hip surgery. Fisher had been hospitalized since September 13 after breaking his hip.

Although Fisher had million-selling records at the beginning of his long career, he is being remembered for the women in his life. In addition to Debbie Reynolds and Liz Taylor, Fisher was also married to singer-actress Connie Stevens and was the father of actresses
Carrie Fisher and Joley Fisher. In all, he was married five times. Four of those marriages ended in divorce while his last wife died of lung cancer in 2010.

In fact, Fisher was involved in two of the biggest celebrity scandals of the 1950s and 1960s: Leaving his story-book marriage (at least in the eyes of the press) to "America's Sweetheart" Debbie Reynolds for the recently widowed Elizabeth Taylor (one of the top box office stars in the world at the time), and then losing Liz to Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra (1963).

In 1958, Liz Taylor had recently lost her husband, Oscar-winning producer Mike Todd, when Eddie moved in on her in the guise of providing solace and comfort. Mike Todd had been Eddie Fisher's best friend. The romance and divorce publicly humiliated Debbie Reynolds and the scandal effectively derailed Fisher's singing career. His TV show, The Eddie Fisher Show, was promptly cancelled as he had lost his wholesome image, which was a critical component of popularity until Liz's later romance created modern celebrity as we know it, with its "anything goes" mentality. 


Four years later, in a case of what goes around comes around, it was Fisher's turn to be on the short end of the stick. Liz Taylor, then the biggest star in the world, launched her own adulterous  adulterous romance with the married Richard Burton. The second scandal made Eddie Fisher the most famous cuckold in the world,

Born Edwin Jack Fisher in Philadelphia on August 10, 1928, Eddie was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. The young crooner was mentored by entertainer Eddie Cantor, and he was a singing  superstar by the age of 23.
From 1951 until 1956, Fisher placed 23 songs in the Top 10, including four number 1's.  In all, 50 of his songs cracked the Top 40.

The advent of Elvis Presley and rock 'n' roll effectively doomed his career as his crooning style went out of favor.  At the height of his fame in 1953/54, Eddie Fisher headlined Coke Time 
on TV and had a $1-million endorsement deal with Coca-Cola. Debbie Reynolds accepted Fisher's proposal of marriage and they got hitched in 1955. The couple had two children, daughter Carrie in 1956 and son Todd (named after his best friend Mike Todd) in 1958.

After divorcing Debbie Reynolds to marry Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher's career took a nose-dive. The 5'4" Fisher never clicked in motion pictures, as did Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other singers. He did have a bit part in Liz Taylor's BUtterfield-8, in which she won her first Oscar for playing a doomed whore. 

He became a public laughing stock when Liz's affair with Richard Burton went public. Now considered a second- if not third-rate talent, he was forced to play Vegas and the nightclub circuit, playing in smaller venues as the decade wore down. 

Fisher married Connie Stevens in 1967 but they were divorced after two years later after having two children. The only real publicity he received in the last 40 years of his life were from two autobiographies he wrote, the last of which Been There, Done That was an unsavory tome that detailed his sex life with his former wives. 

Long estranged from his daughter Carrie Fisher, father and daughter finally reconciled in 2006. Before the reconciliation, Fisher -- who also is a writer of some note -- had made many nasty comments about her father, whom she very rarely saw.


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