The friendship of Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds lasted for decades. Although the stars did not speak for more than five years after Taylor’s relationship with Eddie Fisher, Reynolds’ first husband, they reconciled in 1966 and remained friends until Taylor’s death in 2011. their relationship to be an honor, respect, and commitment to looking after each other. And that was true on September 11, 2001, when Taylor found out that Reynolds was alone in a hotel room and running to an aide.
Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor were both at the Michael Jackson concert the night before 9/11
Todd Fisher, Reynolds ’son, described his mother’s 9/11 experience in his 2018 memoir My Girls: A lifetime with Carrie and Debbie. Excerpt from the book, as shared in Good housekeeping, revealing the Singing in the water star action up until the terrorist attacks and how she ended up sheltering with Taylor.
Todd and Reynolds were both in Manhattan trying to find a museum for Reynolds’ collection of established Hollywood memorabilia. Todd had returned to Los Angeles for a brief business venture, leaving Reynolds alone in NYC. She decided to fulfill her dream of seeing Michael Jackson live by attending his 30th anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden. Taylor, a good friend of Jackson, was also there.
Todd wrote that Jackson took Taylor to her chair in the place, not far from Reynolds’, and the show began. Reynolds was so happy after the scene, she had a hard time falling asleep that night.
Elizabeth Taylor pulled strings to get Debbie Reynolds back to LA post-9/11
Reynolds stayed there for the rest of the week, knowing that it was likely she would have to cancel the show she had recorded in LA in a few days. She hated the idea of putting it off, because she never wanted to let her fans down. (Even in the worst of times, Reynolds was an employee.)
Taylor came again to help her call up her ex-husband, John Warner, a Virginian Senator to whom she was married from 1976 to 1982. Warner was able to get a private plane for Taylor and Reynolds that would them to LA despite the U.S. airfield was closed due to the attacks.
Eventually, Reynolds made her presentation before 1:35 pm for a 2pm curtain call, and spent the first several minutes in public thanking Taylor for her help. As Todd wrote:
“She cut through the raw feeling in the room by giving credit to Elizabeth Taylor for seeing that she only spent the few depressing days in New York, and for to be with them, safe and sound, on that Saturday afternoon, concluding the story with ‘I believe that makes up for the Eddie thing.’ ”
I believe that.