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Edwin John Fisher (August 10, 1928 - September 22, 2010), better known as Eddie Fisher, was an American singer and entertainer, who was one of the world's most famous and successful singers in the 1950s, selling millions of records and hosting his own TV show. His divorce from his first wife, Debbie Reynolds, to marry his best friend's widow, Elizabeth Taylor, garnered scandalously unwelcome publicity at the time. He was also married to Connie Stevens. He was the father of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher. Early life, Fisher, fourth of seven children, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants Kate (née Winokur) and Joseph Fisher. His father's surname was originally either Tisch or Fisch, but was anglicised to Fisher upon entry into the United States. To his family, Fisher was always called "Sonny Boy", a nickname derived from the song of the same name in Al Jolson's film The Singing Fool (1928). Fisher attended Thomas Junior High School,South Philadelphia High School, and Simon Gratz High School. It was known at an early age that he had talent as a vocalist and he started singing in numerous amateur contests, which he usually won. He made his radio debut on WFIL, a local Philadelphia radio station. He also performed on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, a popular radio show which later moved to TV. Because he became a local star, Fisher dropped out of high school in the middle of his senior year to pursue his career. Career, By 1946, Fisher was crooning with the bands of Buddy Morrow and Charlie Ventura. He was heard in 1949 by Eddie Cantor at Grossinger's Resort in the Borscht Belt. After performing on Cantor's radio show he was an instant hit and gained nationwide exposure. He then signed with RCA Victor. Fisher was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951, sent to Texas for basic training, and served a year in Korea. From 1952 to 1953, he was the official vocal soloist for The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) and a tenor section member in the United States Army Band Chorus (an element of Pershing's Own) assigned at Fort Myer in the Washington, D.C. Military District. During his active duty period, he also made occasional guest television appearances, in uniform, introduced as "Pfc Eddie Fisher." After his discharge, he became even more popular singing in top nightclubs. He also had a variety television series, Coke Time with Eddie Fisher (NBC) (1953-1957), appeared on The Perry Como Show, Club Oasis, The Martha Raye Show, The Gisele MacKenzie Show, The Chesterfield Supper Club and The George Gobel Show, and starred in another series, The Eddie Fisher Show (NBC) (1957-1959, alternating with Gobel's series). A pre-rock and roll vocalist, Fisher's strong and melodious tenor made him a teen idol and one of the most popular singers of the early 1950s. He had seventeen songs in the Top 10 on the music charts between 1950 and 1956 and thirty-five in the Top 40. In 1956, Fisher costarred with then-wife Debbie Reynolds in the musical comedy Bundle of Joy. He played a dramatic role in the 1960 drama Butterfield 8 with second wife Elizabeth Taylor. His best friend was showman and producer Mike Todd, who died in a plane crash in 1958. Fisher's affair and subsequent marriage to Taylor, Todd's widow, caused a show business scandal because he and Reynolds had a very public divorce. It was because of the unfavorable publicity surrounding the affair and divorce that NBC cancelled Fisher's television series in March 1959. In 1960, he was dropped by RCA Victor and briefly recorded on his own label, Ramrod Records. He later recorded for Dot Records. During this time, he had the first commercial recording of "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. This technically counts as the biggest standard Fisher can claim credit for introducing, although it is rarely associated with him. He also recorded the album Eddie Fisher Today (1965). The Dot contract was not successful in record sales terms, and he returned to RCA Victor and had a minor single hit in 1966 with the song "Games That Lovers Play" with Nelson Riddle, which became the title of his best selling album. When Fisher was at the height of his popularity, in the mid 1950s, singles, rather than albums, were the primary recording medium. His last album for RCA was an Al Jolson tribute, You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet. In 1983 he attempted a comeback tour but this was not a success. Eddie Fisher's last released album was recorded around 1984 on the Bainbridge record label. Fisher tried to stop the album from being released, but it turned up as After All. The album was produced by William J. O'Malley and arranged by Angelo DiPippo. DiPippo worked with Eddie countless hours to better his vocals but it became useless. His final recordings (never released) were made in 1995 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. According to arranger-conductor Vincent Falcone in his 2005 autobiography, 'Frankly: Just Between Us', these tracks were "...the best singing of his life." Fisher performed in top concert halls all over the United States and headlined in major Las Vegas showrooms. He headlined at the Palace Theater in New York City as well as London's Palladium. Fisher has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for recording, at 6241 Hollywood Boulevard, and one for television, at 1724 Vine Street. Personal life, Fisher had five marriages and four children: Debbie Reynolds (1955-1959; divorced)Carrie Fisher (born 1956), Todd Fisher (born 1958), , Elizabeth Taylor (1959-1964; divorced), Connie Stevens (1967-1969; divorced)Joely Fisher (born 1967), Tricia Leigh Fisher (born 1968), , Terry Richard (1975-1976; divorced), Betty Lin (1993 - April 15, 2001; her death), In 1981, Fisher wrote an autobiography, Eddie: My Life, My Loves (ISBN 0-06-014907-8). He wrote another autobiography in 1999 titled Been There, Done That (ISBN 0-312-20972-X). The later book devotes little space to Fisher's singing career, but recycled the material of his first book and added many new sexual details that were too strong to publish before. His daughter Carrie declared, upon publication: "That's it. I'm having my DNA fumigated." When interviewed, Debbie Reynolds said that she could understand being dumped "for the world's most beautiful woman (Taylor)", previously a close friend. Taylor and Reynolds later resumed their friendship, and mocked Fisher in their TV movie These Old Broads, wherein their characters ridiculed the ex-husband they shared, named "Freddie." Death, Fisher broke his hip on September 9, 2010 and died 13 days later on September 22, 2010 at his home in Berkeley, California, due to complications from hip surgery. He was 82 years old. After his death he was cremated and his ashes were buried alongside the grave of his wife, Betty (who died on April 15, 2001), at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park. His second wife, Elizabeth Taylor, died six months and one day after Fisher, on March 23, 2011.


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