Pop singer Eddie Fisher passed away Wednesday night at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery, his daughter, Tricia Leigh Fisher of Los Angeles, told The Associated Press. He was 82.
"Late last evening the world lost a true America icon," Fisher's family said in a statement released by publicist British Reece. "One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch."
In the early 50s, Fisher sold millions of records with 32 hit songs including 'Thinking of You,' 'Any Time,' 'Oh, My Pa-pa,' 'I'm Yours,' and 'Wish You Were Here.' His fame was enhanced by his 1955 marriage to movie darling Debbie Reynolds -- they were touted as "America's favorite couple" -- and the birth of two children. Their daughter Carrie Fisher became a film star herself in the first three 'Star Wars' films as Princess Leia.
His clear voice brought him a devoted following of teenage girls in the early 1950s before marriage scandals overshadowed his fame.
Fisher's 'Thinking of You'
When Eddie Fisher's best friend, producer Mike Todd, was killed in a 1958 plane crash, Fisher comforted the widow, Elizabeth Taylor. Amid sensationalist headlines, Fisher divorced Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959.
The Fisher-Taylor marriage lasted only five years. She fell in love with co-star Richard Burton during the Rome filming of 'Cleopatra,' divorced Fisher and married Burton in one of the great entertainment world scandals of the 20th century. Fisher's career never recovered from the notoriety. He married actress Connie Stevens, and they had two daughters. Another divorce followed.
In 1983, Fisher attempted a full-scale comeback. But his old fans had been turned off by the scandals, and the younger generation had been turned on by rock. The tour was unsuccessful.
At 47, Fisher married a 21-year-old beauty queen, Terry Richard. The marriage ended after 10 months. His fifth marriage, to Betty Lin, a Chinese-born businesswoman, lasted longer than any of the others. Fisher had two children with Reynolds: Carrie and Todd; and two girls with Stevens: Joely and Tricia.