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Singer Eddie Fisher topped the charts in the 1950s and made headlines when he left wife Debbie Reynolds to become Elizabeth Taylor's fourth husband.
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Throughout the late 1940s, Fisher sang at the famous Copacabana nightclub in New York City, and during the summers he performed at Grossinger's Hotel in the Catskills. It was at Grossinger's in 1949 that Fisher auditioned for Eddie Cantor, one of the most successful singers of the 1940s and a music industry power broker. Cantor immediately added Fisher to his tour,
introducing him as "a new boy who is destined to become the most important singer of popular songs in America."
Later in 1949, Fisher signed a record deal with RCA, and in the fall of 1950 Fisher recorded his first hit single, "Thinking of You," which reached No. 5 on the Billboard charts. Fisher followed "Thinking of You" with a slew of hit singles that made him one of America's most famous singers. His early hit records include, "Turn Back the Hands of Time" (1950), "Any Time" (1951) and "Tell Me Why" (1951).
Fisher's soaring singing career had to be put on hold in 1951 when he was drafted into the United States Army. He served for one year in Korea and then returned to the states to serve as a vocal soloist in various military bands. While serving in the army, Fisher continued recording hit singles, including 1952's "Wish You Were Here" and "A Man Chases a Girl (Until She Catches Him)," a duet with another rising star, Debbie Reynolds.
The year 1953 proved Fisher's most successful. Fisher churned out four hit singles during that year: "I'm Walking Behind You," "Outside of Heaven," Many Times" and his most famous song, "Oh My Pa-Pa." He also landed his own TV show in 1953, Coke Time with Eddie Fisher, sponsored by Coca-Cola, which became the country's top-rated program among teenagers. In 1957, after Coke Time went off the air, Fisher landed another TV show, NBC's The Eddie Fisher Show.
However, Fisher's remarkable early success as a singer and performer has been largely overshadowed by his turbulent personal life. Fisher married singer and actress Debbie Reynolds in 1955, and they had two children, Carrie Fisher (who famously portrayed Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy) and Todd Fisher. Fisher then became embroiled in one of the greatest Hollywood love scandals of the era when, after the death of his close friend Michael Todd, Fisher began an affair with Todd's widow, the movie star Elizabeth Taylor. Fisher divorced Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959, with the pair staying married for five years until Taylor left Fisher for actor Richard Burton. Fisher has since been married to Connie Stevens (1967-1969), Terry Richard (1975-1976) and Betty Lin (1993-2001). He has two children with Stevens, daughters Tricia and Joely.
While Fisher's love life spiraled out of control during the 1960s, he also began heavily abusing drugs. The drugs and women, combined with the ascendancy of rock and roll, marked the end of this crooner's time atop the popular music charts. Since then, Fisher spent most of his career performing live shows in Las Vegas and New York and releasing the occasional new single to modest sales.
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