Saturday, June 11, 2011

Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood Memorabilia For Sale

What is Debbie Reynolds most famous for?  Her own movie stardom?  That Elizabeth Taylor famously broke up her marriage to Eddie Fisher?  That she is the mother of Carrie ("Princess Leia") Fisher?  The answer may depend on your age.

What few know is that Debbie Reynolds also owns one of the largest and most prestigious collections of Hollywood memorabilia in the world.  (Yes "owns": she's still alive.) According to the 3 minute segment below from the Today show,  it's all going up for auction now, however. In this clip Debbie Reynolds shows the reporter some of the amazing pieces she's acquired over the years. It really is astounding. 

I've actually seen her collection before.  Back in the mid-1990s it was housed for a few brief years at the "Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel & Casino" in Las Vegas.  That is, until 1997, when the casino was forced to declare bankruptcy and the building was sold to the World Wrestling Federation, who wanted to establish their own theme casino. (This goes unmentioned in the Today show segment, for whatever reason.)

I went there several times in 1996 and 1997.   I'm not a gambler.  So when I've found myself in Las Vegas over the years, I've made pilgrimages to almost every non-gambling attraction there.  Much like the Liberace Museum, which was located in this little strip mall well off the Las Vegas Strip, I was initially shocked that the interior of "The Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel & Casino," housing this much-ballyhooed collection of movie memorabilia (including, ironically, several impressive pieces from Elizabeth Taylor's 1963 film Cleopatra), was, to put it bluntly, tired and shabby. It was surprising and a little off-putting to be walking around looking at all these elaborate pieces of Hollywood history, many of them famous and perhaps 'priceless,' all left relatively unguarded in this dimly lit (and largely empty) second rate casino.  You can watch a 5 minute clip of what it was like in 1996 HERE. If you watch the clip below from the Today show first, it's interesting to then view this clip from 1996 and see how these multi-million dollar pieces of memorabilia were displayed just 15 years ago in Las Vegas.

1 comment:

  1. There are certainly a lot more details to take into consideration, but thanks for sharing this post.
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