Debbie Reynolds

Mary Frances Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds Betty Boop Helen Kane Three Little Words 1950


Debbie Reynolds


Debbie Reynolds Helen Kane Betty Boop Photo 2


 (Reynolds and Helen Sugar Kane.)

Debbie Reynolds (April 1, 1932 - Dec 28, 2016) was an American singer, and actress. She worked for nearly seven decades. Because of her performance as Helen Kane as Pansy McManus in the 1950 movie Three Little Words, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

MGM and Warner tossed a coin as to who would hire her.

Jack Cummings told Reynolds that they were doing a musical picture about Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Cummings explained that there was a part for a little girl to play Helen Kane.

He asked Reynolds if she had ever heard of Kane. Reynolds said she hadn't. Roger Edens then put on a Helen Kane record, and played Kane's voice to Reynolds. After Mr. Mayer saw Reynolds pantomime Kane's voice, he said, "I like the way her eyes light up, sign her."

Reynolds stated, "I had a small role in Three Little Words singing 'Boop-Boop-Be-Doop', and that was my audition piece." After her debut, she was given a leading role in the 1952 musical Singin' in the Rain.

The fictional character of Kane in Three Little Words was partly inspired by Kane's achievements. Reynolds not only played Kane but also Kane as Pansy McManus, a character from the 1928 Broadway musical Good Boy. When Kane unexpectedly quit, McManus was also portrayed by Blanche Bow.

In the sequence, Reynolds wearing a sailor costume, is discovered singing "I Wanna Be Loved By You" on the street. In the next sequence Kane's name is in lights on Broadway, and Reynolds is paired up with Carleton Carpenter as Daniel "Dan" Healy in the role of Bobby D'Arnell.

After the success debut of the film Three Little Words, Reynolds and Carpenter took the act in a vaudeville show on the road. They first went to Washington, D.C., then played The Capital in New York, and The Oriental in Chicago.

Kane gave her approval, she visited the set, met Reynolds. There she taught Reynolds some of her mannerisms. Reynolds has two costume changes, first she wears a sailor costume, the next she wears a pink outfit and hat with matching pumps. Carpenter met Dan Healy to learn to mimic the male character role.

Reynolds' sailor outfit was a prop from the 1938 movie Everybody Sing, which Judy Garland and a number of other girls had previously worn.

Debbie Reynolds did not speak, record or sing "I Wanna Be Loved By You" for her minor role in the 1950 film. Reynolds' voice was actually dubbed by Helen Kane the "Boop-Boop-a-Doop" girl as herself. Kane was not credited for her role in the film, but was credited as singer on the official soundtrack.

The night before Helen Kane died in 1966,[1] she was looking at TV and heard Debbie Reynolds singing "I Wanna Be Loved By You".[2] She sat up frowning "WHY THAT LITTLE..." Then she paused. She smiled. "She's kind of cute at that."

When cartoon character Betty Boop was revived rebooted by King Features Syndicate and Bill Melendez during the 1980s, Clara Bow and Debbie Reynolds both inspired Desirée Goyette, the new voice of Betty Boop.

Actress and author Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Reynolds, passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, following a medical incident on a transatlantic flight from London to Los Angeles on December 23, 2016. After having a serious stroke the next day, December 28, Debbie Reynolds was transported by EMS to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Reynolds, who was 84, was declared deceased in the hospital later that afternoon.


  • Debbie Reynolds: "Helen Kane sings so funny." (1949)
  • Debbie Reynolds: "Helen Kane had a high, squeaky voice." (1988)
  • Debbie Reynolds: "I sang 'Boop-Boop-Be-Doop', Fred Astaire and Red Skelton looked at me like I was crazy." (1988)
  • Debbie Reynolds: "Carpenter was sitting on a park bench trying to read a magazine, and I was lip-synching to Helen Kane's voice." (1988)
  • Debbie Reynolds: "I was to audition for the Helen Kane role in the upcoming film Three Little Words." (2013)
  • Debbie Reynolds: "Wearing a dark brunette wig, and lip-syncing 'Boop-Boop-a-Doop' to Helen Kane's voice." (2013)


  • On January 9, 2017, an intracerebral hemorrhage was identified as the cause of death, with hypertension being identified as a contributing factor.



  • Helen Kane, Dan Healy, Carleton Carpenter and Debbie Reynolds went out for dinner in 48th Street.
  • When Reynolds and Carpenter became a duo, it was based on the success of portraying Helen Kane and Dan Healy.
  • In Singin' in the Rain, Reynolds played a non baby-talker Kathy Selden, opposite Jean Hagen as baby voiced Lina Lamont.