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'50s pop singer Eddie Fisher dies at age 82

September 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Eddie Fisher, who had a chart topping singing career and scandalous love life with some of Hollywood's most beautiful leading ladies, has died. The 82-year-old passed away Wednesday night at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery, according to his daughter Tricia Leigh Fisher.

"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."

Fisher sold millions of records and had dozens of hit songs in the 1950s -- including "Thinking of You," "Any Time" and "Oh, My Pa-pa" -- but he may be most remembered for the beautiful Hollywood leading ladies he married, and then divorced.

In 1955, he married actress Debbie Reynolds and they were heralded as "America's favorite couple." They had two children together, including actress Carrie Fisher, who starred as Princess Leia in the first three "Star Wars" films.

The marriage ended in a tremendous Hollywood scandal when Fisher left Reynolds and married Elizabeth Taylor, who at the time was Reynold's best friend, in 1959. But Taylor dropped Fisher just five years later when she fell in love with co-star Richard Burton while filming "Cleopatra" in Rome.

Fisher's career never recovered from the notoriety.

After being discarded by Taylor, Fisher became the butt of comedians' jokes. He began relying on drugs to get through performances, and his bookings dwindled. He later said he had made and spent $20 million during his heyday, and much of it went to gambling and drugs.

But Fisher found love again with actress Connie Stevens. They married and had two children, but later divorced. He went on to marry twice more.

At 47, Fisher married a 21-year-old beauty queen, Terry Richard. The marriage ended after 10 months. His fifth marriage, to Betty Lin, a Chinese-born businesswoman, lasted longer than any of the others. Fisher had two children with Reynolds: Carrie and Todd; and two girls with Stevens: Joely and Tricia.

Edwin Jack Fisher was born Aug. 10, 1928, in Philadelphia, one of seven children of a Jewish grocer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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