After a Stroke, Debbie Reynolds Is Ready to Dance Again

Music is the key to her recovery and a happy life, says the movie star

Part of the Vitality Arts Special Report

Editor’s Note: Debbie Reynolds passed away on Dec. 28, 2016. Her death followed one day after Reynolds’ daughter, Carrie Fisher, died of cardiac arrest. 

In his book, Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging, Dick Van Dyke talks about the power of singing and dancing to keep you feeling vital as you age. Now another Hollywood star is singing the same tune.

In a recent interview with ABC News, Debbie Reynolds, 84, credited song and dance with helping her get through all of life’s ups and downs — including a stroke last year.

Although the star of Singing in the Rain, The Unsinkable Molly Brown and dozens of other films, could barely talk after the stroke, her son Todd Fisher told ABC News she sang Me and My Shadow with him. “She was able to sing the song; she knew the whole song,” he said.

Now fully recovered, Reynolds is preparing to be back at the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Las Vegas with her cabaret show in October.

“I wouldn’t have known what to do. I wouldn’t have been as happy or joyful,” Reynolds said of the role of music in her life.

She’s also hoping to offer virtual classes from the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studios she opened in Los Angeles in the 1970s.

“Music will bring you through,” Reynolds said. “It brought me through. You have to keep on dancing.”



By Heidi Raschke
Heidi Raschke is a longtime journalist and editor who previously was the Executive Editor of Mpls-St. Paul Magazine and Living and Learning Editor at Next Avenue. Currently, she runs her own content strategy and development consultancy.@heidiraschke
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