Debbie Reynolds Remembers Elizabeth Taylor
First Published: March 23, 2011 3:55 PM EDT Credit: Getty Premium
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Despite a love triangle between Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher and herself, Debbie Reynolds looks back lovingly on her time with the late screen legend, someone she has called a friend since they were both teenagers.
Debbie spoke with Access Hollywood Live’s Billy Bush & Kit Hoover just hours after Elizabeth died at the age of 79 on Wednesday morning.
“We were friends since we were 17. We went to school together at MGM Studios,” Debbie, 78, told Billy. “Elizabeth was already a young great star and I came over to the studio when I was really young and we went to school together. [We] had a lot of fun together.”
Their friendship continued into adulthood and even withstood their marriages and divorces.
“I was at her wedding with Mike Todd and went through all her different turbulent times and even gave her my husband for goodness sake,” Debbie said with a laugh, referring to Elizabeth’s fourth marriage to Debbie’s ex, Eddie Fisher.
Debbie said the screen legend’s fight against HIV/AIDS is what meant the most to her in life.
“She was a very giving girl, really learned how to work for charity, worked for HIV, worked very hard because Rock [Hudson] was a great friend of hers,” Debbie continued. “When all that happened, she joined right in and she worked really hard for that cause and it meant a lot to her. Her work and charity meant a lot to her.”
Debbie also remembered the actress cutting loose and having a good laugh – especially with a good-looking man by her side.
”[She loved] a good dirty joke. She was fun, she was rowdy. She liked to have a good time, she liked to have a laugh. She loved men, she loved Montgomery Clift and her best friends were always fellas,” Debbie continued. “I wouldn’t say [she had] a type, but she liked good-looking [men], like Michael Wilding was a tall, good-looking man and Richard Burton was a drop dead and wonderful, wonderful mind.”
Debbie told Billy that she last chatted with Elizabeth earlier this month.
“I spoke to her like two weeks ago and I said, ‘Getting old is really sh**.’ That’s what I said and she said, ‘It certainly is. It certainly is Debbie, this is really tough.’ I said, ‘Well, you just hang in there now Elizabeth and she said, ‘I’m really trying, I’m really trying.’”
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.