Unsinkable: A Memoir

by Debbie Reynolds

Hardcover, 2013




William Morrow (2013), Edition: First Edition, 320 pages


Biography & Autobiography. Performing Arts. Nonfiction. HTML: Unsinkable is the definitive memoir by film legend and Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds. In Unsinkable, the late great actress, comedienne, singer, and dancer Debbie Reynolds shares the highs and lows of her life as an actress during Hollywood's Golden Age, anecdotes about her lifelong friendship with Elizabeth Taylor, her experiences as the foremost collector of Hollywood memorabilia, and intimate details of her marriages and family life with her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher. A story of heartbreak, hope, and survival, "America's Sweetheart" Debbie Reynolds picks up where she left off in her first memoir, Debbie: My Life, and is illustrated with previously unpublished photos from Reynolds's personal collection. Debbie Reynolds died on December 28, 2016, at the age of 84, just one day after the death of her daughter, actress and author Carrie Fisher..… (more)


½ (44 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Canadian_Down_Under
Let me start by saying I love Debbie Reynolds. I've seen "Singin' in the Rain" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" countless times. I wanted to love this book but I think it really fell short.

I think Debbie had two reasons for writing this book - 1) to talk about her awful experience with her 3rd
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husband, who deserves every word she wrote about him and 2) to talk about her failed attempts at building her Hollywood Museum and all of the problems and headaches that came with that.

I did not dislike this book but I think her best stories were told in the first book. My interest in her museum was just not there and I really wasn't interested in reading dozens of pages about it.

Not a bad book but I wish I'd given it a miss.
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LibraryThing member sallylou61
This autobiography begins where Debbie Reynolds’ earlier autobiography, Debbie: My Life ended – with the beginning of her third marriage. Most of the book is the story of her life since then including that unsuccessful marriage in which her husband stole much of her property, her attempts to
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retain both the hotel she purchased and the Hollywood memorabilia museum she finally started after many years of trying, and her continuing acting and singing career. She shares her experiences working with many actors, actresses, directors, etc. Ms. Reynolds also describes her relationships with both her daughter and son, Carrie and Todd Fisher. Todd helped her out tremendously in both her hotel and museum ventures.

In the final portion of the text, which I found the most interesting, Ms. Reynolds briefly describes her experiences in each of the movies she was in, regardless of whether or not she was listed in the credits. Several of her movies were speaking parts only such as in “Charlotte’s Web” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The book contains many photographs. The black and white ones appear with the text; the colored ones are in a section of colored plates.
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LibraryThing member knahs
This is the story of a survivor. Everyone knows how Eddie Fisher left Debbie for Elizabeth Taylor and how her second husband, Harry Karl, gambled away her money. This book picks up when Debbie wed third husband, Richard Hamlett, when she was in her 50's, and how he also took all her money and left
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her debt due to loans that he signed. He even told her he only married her for her money and at one point Debbie thought he might be planning to push her off the balcony of her Vegas apartment. The book was certainly exciting and I could not put it down, reading it in two evenings. The book also details Debbie's four-decade attempt to get a museum built to house her collection of Hollywood costumes. Having seen Debbie entertain at her Vegas showroom - it is hard to imagine what she was going through at that time. And having seen a small portion of the costumes on display in Vegas, I think it is a shame that no one in Hollywood ever supported this project. The book details her attempts to get others interested in establishing a museum and the heartbreak when loan after loan came due and potential backers continued to turn her down. Her heartbreaking decision to auction the collection is described as well as the auction itself - which has left her financially secure. The book ends with Debbie providing a small story about each of the films she was in. This was certainly a good book and Debbie has proven herself to be "unsinkable".
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LibraryThing member Corvida
Debbie Reynolds was in Singin' in the Rain, a movie I love. She danced with Gene Kelly. Also, she’s Princess Leia’s mother.

She had awful taste in men. The first part of the book tells the horrible story of her third husband who defrauded her. This part is like something you’d hear
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eavesdropping while you’re waiting to get a manicure. I don't mean to sound snotty. I think she had an awful time. I just meant, nobody I know buys casinos and unless I overheard it I'd never even know you could.

The second part of the book mostly goes through all her movies from the beginning of her career. There are some B movies in here, no doubt, and also some good ones. She tells little stories about a lot of famous people who were in them, and tells what they were like to work with. These stories are sometimes funny.

Here is one thing that I thought was cute: she said she feels pride whenever she meets a woman born in the 1950s named Debbie or Tammy.

She has an interest in costumes, and had an extensive collection which was auctioned.
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LibraryThing member gaillamontagne
After listening to/ reading WISHFUL DRINKING, buy Carrie Fisher, I had to read the autobiography of her mother, Debbie Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds narrates it herself so the listener gets much more of the meaning through her tone of voice. I was never a huge fan of Debbie Reynolds but I must say I have
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new respect for her talent and hard work, understanding of her endering almost naive way of looking at life and sympathy for her weaknesses. This book was wonderful to listen to as she gave her personal accounts of life experiences among the Hollywood scene. I thought it was delightful to listen to and might be others, especially for someone who is of the Baby Boomer time period.
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LibraryThing member moonshineandrosefire
Unsinkable is the definitive memoir written by film legend and Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds. This book offers a deeply personal perspective on Hollywood and its elite - from the glory days of MGM to the present. It shines a spotlight on this resilient woman whose talent and passion for her work
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have endured for more than six decades. Debbie Reynolds - legendary actress, comedienne, singer, dancer and performer - offers readers an intimate glimpse into her extraordinary life, spanning Hollywood's Golden Age to today.

In her engaging, down-to-earth voice, Debbie shares private details about her various troubles; both with money and the type of men with whom she chose to spend her life. She invites readers into the close-knit circle of her family, speaking with deep affection and great honesty about her relationships with her children, Carrie and Todd Fisher. She looks back at her life as an actress working during the Golden Age of Hollywood - chronicling the highs and lows of her professional career.

Debbie reveals anecdotes about her lifelong friendship with the legendary Elizabeth Taylor - as well as speaking of the period of years-long estrangement between them. She also shares stories about her experiences as the foremost collector of Hollywood memorabilia, intimate details of her three marriages and family life with her children. Here, too, are memorable stories about numerous celebrities, such as Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, Mick Jagger, Gene Kelly, and many more.

Debbie also takes the reader on a delightful guided tour through her movies, sharing poignant, whimsical, often hilarious behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Written with a frankness and a forthright honesty that has always been her trademark style, the woman known as "America's Sweetheart" - the remarkable Debbie Reynolds - writes a story of heartbreak, hope and survival; her own story. Picking up from where Debbie: My Life left off, Unsinkable: A Memoir features dozens of previously unseen photos from Debbie's personal collection. This is a revealing portrait of a woman whose determination is an inspiration.

To be perfectly honest, I really didn't know all that much about Debbie Reynolds before I read this book. Oh, I probably knew the basics about her; Hollywood actress, had a public feud with Elizabeth Taylor over Eddie Fisher, mother of Carrie Fisher - but that was all just basically what I gleaned from reading tabloid press headlines as I went through the grocery store. What actually made me want to read her latest autobiography was hearing about the death of Elizabeth Taylor in March of 2011. I also have a copy of Debbie: My Life sitting somewhere on my bookshelf but I haven't located it yet.

This was such an amazing book for me to read; I really felt for Ms. Reynolds and what she went through. In my opinion, despite being a Hollywood celebrity in her own right, Ms. Reynolds still lived a tremendously difficult life. She went through so much in her personal life - so much of what she experienced would probably have 'sunk' a weaker person - but not Debbie Reynolds!

She has always come back stronger than before and her resilience is definitely something to be admired. I would give this book five stars. In my opinion, it deserves an A+!
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LibraryThing member Likeitorlumpit
Debbie Reynolds is a strong woman with a weakness for morally bankrupt men. I admire her efforts for trying to preserve Hollywood memorabilia from the golden age of movies, especially from big studio musicals. I really wish for her, and for all of us, that it did become a reality. She had some
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amazing artifacts. There is no doubt she did try very hard to establish the museum, but due to her poor choices in her last two husbands, who basically robbed her blind, she eventually had to auction off nearly all of her memorabilia collection putting an end to that dream. This made me very sad because it seemed she did not learn any lessons from her second marriage, and her poor choices with her third marriage, in my opinion, bordered on self-sabotage against her own life and happiness. The cliched saying..."Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" came to mind several moments as I read of her train wreck of a third marriage. Although, I viewed her third husband as despicable, it sickened me that Ms. Reynolds was so complacent and enabling of the whole situation. Even after she suspected her husband contemplated murdering her, she still harbored faint hopes it might work out. What?! It often amazed me as I was reading the book how strong her son Todd was to always be there to support his mother and scramble to fix the messes that she had a major role in creating. Not to mention the unnamed friends she had to borrow money and services from. This being said, I do admire her work ethic, sense of humor, and love for her children, parents, and brother. I enjoyed the memories she shared of the films she has done over the years. The fact that she has lived to such a ripe old age and still working so hard lives up to her memoir title "Unsinkable", yet it's plain to me she repeatedly and needlessly fired the torpedo on herself.
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LibraryThing member mmaestiho
It's a little long and confusingly structured at first and she definitely doesn't like her ex-husbands but it's fun to read and full of interesting stuff. She's a remarkable actress and the book sounded like she wrote it all from beginning to end.


Original language


Physical description

320 p.; 6 inches




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