Thursday, May 5, 2011

Been There, Done That

This book tells the stories of one of "old-Hollywood's" legends, Eddie Fisher. Starting at the mere age of 4 years old, he belted out a beautiful sound that, even then, would carry him far. At the age of 15, since school wasn't important and had dropped out, focusing all of his energy on his voice and where it was going to take him.

Bigger hits made for bigger popularity, signing on to do his own twice a week show. Starting small and with management, Eddie eventually found the FAME! While it was a high earning time for Eddie, he was drafted into the army. Being treated just as normal, he used his "talents" to the best of his ability. At the end of his tour, he earned/received his high school equivelency. Going back out on stage became difficult because after awhile his voice was gone. Doing what he could to get his voice back, he took shots and became better, but also an addict. Finding out later that it was speed. With business and deals w/ Coke-Cola, he became known as '"The Coke-Cola Kid". Recording everything that was put in front of him, one of those hits was to be his BIGGEST "Oh My Papa".

For awhile it was anything was possible and just women galore! Anything he wanted, the world was any oyster. Which is how he came to meet Debbie Reynolds. He fell in love with her while in Korea watching "Singing In The Rain". He Genuinely fell for her right away. Their courtship of six weeks was the stuff of magic. Picture it: The Real Life Girl Next Door with The Coke-Cola Kid! Being with Debbie was the stuff of great fodder, everyone thought so, he did to up until his wedding day. Although some thought this was career suicide.

Over the years, Eddie thought that EVERYTHING Debbie did was to protect her image. Like ALOT of couples in the 1950s, they grew further and further apart. He never really knew if she really loved him or being in the center of publicity. Instead of Debbie becoming more of a "real" person, he was incorporated into an image. Wanting to run away, he couldn't & up until this book's publication, figure out why he had married Debbie.

It was shortly after committing to 'Bundle Of Joy' that Debbie knew she was pregnant. Their daughter Carrie was born in October and the film came out in December. Awhile later, what made Eddie run? "Everything!" LITERALLY! They fought about literally EVERYTHING! Plus, not to mention that Debbie was missing one key element - sexual passion. It was after they couldn't stay married that the affairs began. He just couldn't stay. The only thing he wanted from Debbie was a divorce. For a long time, the marriage was a show for the media. But in all, after all of the divorce details were all set that Debbie was pregnant again.

It was soon after that Eddie found his soon to be idol, Mike Todd. Mike had it: drive, ambition, success and women; ANYTHING he wanted was his and Eddie wanted to be just like him. Because of their mutual love for Mike, Eddie became close friends with Elizabeth Taylor. After one quick divorce in 1957, Liz and Mike were married, with Debbie as Maid Of Honor and Eddie as best man. Eddie so lovingly adored this man, Mike, that in 1958 Debbie gave birth to a son, Todd. 1958 was a flight to New York, Elizabeth was sick and couldn't go, so others attended and took off from Burbank, CA into a VIOLENT thunderstorm. In the morning, Mike was dead.

After the funeral and media spectacal, frightened for Elizabeth, over the next few weeks, he (Eddie) stayed to look after her. In Vegas, assuming she wanted to talk about Mike, needed a friend to talk to! Caring for Elizabeth at her worst, in the end of it all, Eddie suffered the worst. Not to mention, going back to work w/ a divorce finalized awhile later.

As far as parenting, when it came to Carrie or Todd, he admits he wasn't there. When it came to making one of the biggest productions of all time, Cleopatra, NOTHING went right. Elizabeth was sick/hospitalized on top of drinking and taking pills and needing/having surgery. After awhile, Eddie scheduled to perform in Vegas, which was to be a comeback. Going with her to help, Elizabeth began to get worse after meeting Richard Burton who could go drink-for-drink with her. That's how their story began.

BECOMING Cleopatra, Eddie realized he had lost her. But it was a dinner party where it became REAL. Later after confronting Liz, he packed a bag and left and Eddie divorced Liz in 1963 while Richard held/took the place that Eddie once resided. Then it was women after women. After one other fling, he had met Connie Stevens.Wanting to get married after putting things in perspective, Eddie married Connie as soon as the OFFICIAL divorce was final from Elizabeth, with daughter Joely born in 1967. As fast as their relationship began, it fizzled even quicker. From the beginning it was already over. But Connie was pregnant again. Trisha was born after Christmas. Four months later - divorce.

Eddie also detailed his encounters with drugs. From marijuana to cocaine, to eventually heroin. Getting sober though in 1970 was worse when getting caught through customs on a trip to San Juan, having to go through HARD sobriety without help. But it was with a friend, looking in a mirror at the damage that became the end of drugs. After the downfall w/ drugs came the SLOW resurrection. In the midst of starting to get control, regain his life and stay sober, after 5 marriages he found the woman who saved him, Betty Lin.

Detailing his relationship with his four kids, his feeling of what a father he was, his regrets as a parent in the past and today. It was 1993, with another stint in a different location, The Betty Ford Center, he found and was drilled the tools to sobriety - after 40 years of addiction.

As Eddie said, "Through it all; the marriages, divorces, drug addiction and more, "Words Can't Express"

This was just where the book ends, but as always there's more after the last page is published! in the life of Eddie Fisher.

In My Opinion:

This book just shows you what used to be GENUINE. Before everyone walked into anywhere and just grabbed a "reality" show - seriously! This is the old-Hollywood glamour and what roots, if any,  Hollywood needs to reach the modicum of what it meant to be a star!

                                                                       Eddie Fisher

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