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Published On: Fri, Sep 24th, 2010

Legendary singer Eddie Fisher dead at age 82

Eddie Fisher, whose huge fame as a pop singer was overshadowed by scandals ending his marriages to Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor, has died. He was 82.

His daughter, Tricia Leigh Fisher of Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that Fisher died Wednesday night at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery.

“Late last evening the world lost a true America icon,” Fisher’s family said in a statement released by publicist British Reece. “One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch.”

The death was first reported by Hollywood website deadline.com.

Fisher’s clear dramatic singing voice brought him a devoted following of teenage girls in the early 1950s. He sold millions of records with 32 hit songs including “Thinking of You,” “Any Time,” “Oh, My Pa-pa,” “I’m Yours,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Lady of Spain” and “Count Your Blessings.”

His fame was enhanced by his 1955 marriage to movie darling Debbie Reynolds — they were touted as “America’s favorite couple” — and the birth of two children.

Their daughter Carrie Fisher became a film star herself in the first three “Star Wars” films as Princess Leia, and later as a best-selling author of “Postcards From the Edge” and other books.

Carrie Fisher spent most of 2008 on the road with her autobiographical show “Wishful Drinking.” In an interview with The Associated Press, she told of singing with her father on stage in San Jose. Eddie Fisher was by then in a wheelchair and living in San Francisco.

When Eddie Fisher’s best friend, producer Mike Todd, was killed in a 1958 plane crash, Fisher comforted the widow, Elizabeth Taylor. Amid sensationalist headlines, Fisher divorced Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959.

The Fisher-Taylor marriage lasted only five years. She fell in love with co-star Richard Burton during the Rome filming of “Cleopatra,” divorced Fisher and married Burton in one of the great entertainment world scandals of the 20th century.

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- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.

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