Debbie Reynolds announced as SAG's Life Achievement honoree

Now 82, Debbie Reynolds is next in line for SAG's Life Achievement prize

Eighty-two and still working, Debbie Reynolds is scheduled to receive the next Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award as part of SAG’s annual awards show, to be broadcast live on TNT and TBS January 25, 2015.

Last week’s passing of Lauren Bacall reminds us of how precious and few the early 21st century's tangible links to mid-20th century Hollywood truly are. Reynolds, who conveyed a very different image than Bacall’s, is one of those links.  

Most recently Reynolds was seen as Liberace’s mother in the Steven Soderbergh HBO biopic “Behind the Candelabra.” Her film career began seven decades earlier with an uncredited bit in the 1948 “June Bride.” Supporting roles, usually in high gear and with the charm meter hitting 11 (one tick below "pure aggression"), came with “Three Little Words” and “Two Weeks With Love.”

Then the MGM contract player landed a big one: “Singin’ in the Rain,” filmed when Reynolds was 19. It wasn’t an easy experience; only childbirth, she has said, was comparably grueling. It was, however, a fruitful one. While that 1952 paragon of high spirits has been clip-excerpted and awards-showed to death, it’s an energy source that can never be depleted.

Here's Reynolds' first number in "Singin' in the Rain" -- not first on anyone's list of that film's choreographic riches. But it's fascinating to see Reynolds, the same age Bacall was when she made "To Have and Have Not," figuring out a few things about fitting into a chorus while standing out, beginning with a little something extra in the smile. And culminating with the SAG Life Achievement award.




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