How Debbie Reynold’s Faith and Generosity Inspired SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN Co-Star Ruta Lee
By Movieguide® Staff
Note: This story is part of our Faith in Hollywood series. For similar stories, click here.
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN star Ruta Lee said she still misses her co-star and “sister” Debbie Reynolds.
Reynolds, also known for 1973’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB, died in 2016 at the age of 84, a day after losing her daughter Carrie Fisher.
“She was like a sister to me,” Lee told Fox News. “I loved her tremendously and I still do.”
“She was my dearest friend,” she continued. “My sister in charity. And adopted sister in life, too. She was what, three, four years older than me? And she was probably the most generous person I’ve ever known. She would do anything to help you. If anybody ever had a problem, she would help as best as she could. Boy, the world lost a great talent when we lost her.”
Lee noted that Reynolds taught her how to give to others first and how a selfless approach is more effective than a self-centered one.
“She was watching me when I first became a Thalian and she was president,” Lee explained. “She taught me right from the beginning, she said, ‘You can go out into the world and you can ask anybody for anything so long as it isn’t for yourself. If you’re asking for somebody else, you’ll get it.’ And that has worked for us. We’ve raised many, many millions of dollars with our devotion to mental health.”
Reynolds supported The Thalians, an organization that focuses on mental health care for over 60 years. Lee followed in her friend’s footsteps and is now the Chairwoman of the Board Emeritus.
“Debbie Reynolds was the girl next door that everybody adored,” Lee added. “She was truly one of the most loving, generous people I’ve ever known. She was one of the very few people in Hollywood who put their money where their mouth is. She didn’t just talk about doing something good. She always acted upon it. She was truly an eternal Girl Scout. There wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for someone in need.”
Reynold’s Christian faith motivated her generosity and love for those in need.
Movieguide® previously reported:
Debbie Reynolds was one of America’s sweethearts in the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was a woman of many talents and even said God gives you the talents you have.
“I think sometimes God gives you a talent, and He has a plan,” the actress said in an interview with Guideposts.
And, did He have a plan for Reynolds.
The starlet was raised in Texas, where she learned to follow God’s plan for her life from her family.
“I was raised in religion,” she says. “My grandfather was what they called a lay preacher. He’d go to different homes and lay his hands on and read the Bible to the sick. We went to tent meetings and revival meetings.”
She added, “My life is based on faith. The most important thing is to have faith and believe in the wisdom beyond your years.”