Edwin Jack Fisher (1928 - 2010) MP

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Nicknames: "Eddie"
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
Death: Died in Berkeley, Alameda, California, USA
Cause of death: Hip Surgery
Occupation: Singer, Entertainer
Managed by: David William STEIN
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Edwin Jack Fisher

Edwin "Eddie" Jack Fisher was one of the most popular American singers of the 1950s. However, his divorce from his first wife, Debbie Reynolds, to marry his best friend's widow, Elizabeth Taylor, garnered unwelcome publicity at the time.

Fisher, fourth of seven children, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants Kate (née Winokur) and Joseph Fisher. His father's surname was originally Tisch or Fisch, but was anglicised to Fisher upon entry into the United States. To his family, Fisher was always called "Sonny Boy", a nickname derived from the song of the same name in Al Jolson's film The Singing Fool (1928).

Fisher attended Thomas Junior High School, South Philadelphia High School, and Simon Gratz High School. It was known at an early age that he had talent as a vocalist and he started singing in numerous amateur contests, which he usually won. He made his radio debut on WFIL, a local Philadelphia radio station. He also performed on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, a popular radio show which later moved to TV. Because he became a local star, Fisher dropped out of high school in the middle of his senior year to pursue his career.

By 1946, Fisher was crooning with the bands of Buddy Morrow and Charlie Ventura. He was heard in 1949 by Eddie Cantor at Grossinger's Resort in the Borscht Belt. After performing on Cantor's radio show he was an instant hit and gained nationwide exposure. He then signed with RCA Victor.

Fisher was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951, sent to Texas for basic training, and served a year in Korea. From 1952 to 1953, he was the official vocal soloist for The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) and a tenor section member in the United States Army Band Chorus (an element of Pershing's Own) assigned at Fort Myer in the Washington, D.C. Military District. The photos of him in uniform during his time in the service did not hurt his civilian career. After his discharge, he became even more popular singing in top nightclubs. He also had a variety television series, Coke Time with Eddie Fisher (NBC) (1953–1957), appeared on Perry Como's show, The Gisele MacKenzie Show, The Chesterfield Supper Club and The George Gobel Show, and starred in another series, The Eddie Fisher Show (NBC) (1957–1959, alternating with Gobel's series).

A pre-Rock and Roll vocalist, Fisher's strong and melodious tenor made him a teen idol and one of the most popular singers of the early 1950s. He had seventeen songs in the Top 10 on the music charts between 1950 and 1956 and thirty-five in the Top 40.

In 1956, Fisher costarred with then-wife Debbie Reynolds in the musical comedy Bundle of Joy. He played a serious role in the 1960 drama Butterfield 8 with second wife Elizabeth Taylor. His best friend was showman and producer Mike Todd, who died in a plane crash in 1958. Fisher's affair and subsequent marriage to Taylor, Todd's widow, caused a show business scandal because he and Reynolds had a very public divorce. It was because of the unfavorable publicity surrounding the affair and divorce that NBC cancelled Fisher's television series in March 1959.

In 1960, he was dropped by RCA Victor and briefly recorded on his own label, Ramrod Records. He later recorded for Dot Records. During this time, he had the first commercial recording of "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof. This technically counts as the biggest standard Fisher can claim credit for introducing, although it is rarely associated with him. He also recorded the album Eddie Fisher Today which showed that he had more depth than his singles from earlier years had shown. The Dot contract was not successful in record sales terms, and he returned to RCA Victor and had a minor single hit in 1966 with the song "Games That Lovers Play" with Nelson Riddle, which became the title of his best selling album. During the time Fisher was the most popular singer in America[citation needed], in the mid 1950s, singles, rather than albums, were the primary recording medium. His last album for RCA was an Al Jolson tribute, You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet. Eddie Fisher's last album was recorded around 1984 on the Bainbridge record label. Fisher tried to stop the album from being released, but it turned up as After All. The album was produced by William J. O'Malley and arranged by Angelo DiPippo.

Fisher has performed in top concert halls all over the United States and headlined in major Las Vegas showrooms. He has headlined at the Palace Theater in New York City as well as London's Palladium.

He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for Recording, at 6241 Hollywood Boulevard, and one for TV, at 1724 Vine Street.

Fisher broke his hip on September 9, 2010 and died 13 days later on September 22, 2010 at his home in Berkeley, California, due to complications from hip surgery. He was 82 years old.

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Eddie Fisher's Timeline

1928
August 10, 1928
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
1955
1955
Age 26
1956
October 21, 1956
Age 28
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
1959
May 12, 1959
Age 30
1959
Age 30
1964
March 6, 1964
Age 35
1967
1967
Age 38