Debbie Reynolds' Most Famous Hollywood Roles: Part 2

Reynolds wanted to be a gym teacher before she got her leading role in the film "Singin' in the Rain."
7:44 | 12/31/16

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Transcript for Debbie Reynolds' Most Famous Hollywood Roles: Part 2
??? It's one of the most famous opening shots on film. ??? Singing in the rain what a glorious feeling we're happy again ??? And in the middle of the cloud burst, a star is born. Debbie Reynolds marching through the rain drops and into our hearts. The story of her early career leading up to that movie is so incredible, we'll let her tell it herself in an appearance last year. I was only 16, and still Mary Frances Reynolds when I entered the miss Burbank contest. Within a year, I was under contract to the biggest studio in Hollywood. She was born Mary Frances Reynolds in Texas. Her father move Ed them to California. My mother grew up in Burbank, a batonist, she thought she was going to be a gym teacher. Reporter: Fortunately for us, she ended up making movies again. The first role, coming when she was just 17. She had never danced professionally. She said Gene Kelly didn't like her, because he wanted a professional dancer. Reporter: Mgm gave her a three-month course, and then she was on her own. She kept up with them. She was a revelation, sort of when we saw Jennifer Lawrence for the first time, she was so breathtaking and we fell in love with her. Reporter: More than 30 other movies. In 1955, she was in "The tender trap." Like to go to license bureau, and have a baby, and another baby. Reporter: She got some sage advice from Frank Sinatra. She ignored the warning, marrying a crooner named Eddie fisher. ??? May I thank you ??? Reporter: The newlyweds shared the bill in "Bundle of joy" in 1956. She was already pregnant during filming with their first child, daughter Carrie. A son, Todd, followed two years later. Reynolds' screen credits included "The catered affair" in 1956. I'll never forget the look on her face, when I told her we're not having a big wedding. Like I'd hit her in the face. Reporter: The high notes came in the films where she played a good girl. Such as "Tammy and the bachelor." ??? Tammy is in love ??? Reporter: The title song became a hit record. But even with those successes, her talent was underappreciated. I don't think it's been until kind of after the fact that people looked at her, and said, oh, my god, she was great. Reporter: When a contract dispute kept Shirley M lane out of the film, she became Molly brown. My mother is Molly brown, she got the part, knocked it out of the park. Reporter: And it also brought her an academy award nomination, but Julie Andrews took home the Oscar for "Mary Poppins." This photo shows a 6-year-old Carrie watching her mother perform in Las Vegas in the early '60s. Now go to sleep. Reporter: Memorably, Reynolds was the voice of the kindly spider in "Charlotte's web." I have a delicious surprise. Reporter: But this was her iconic role, and this may have been her iconic song. ??? Good morning good morning to you ??? Reporter: If you think you've heard that too recently, you may be right. ??? Good morning ??? ??? good morning ??? Reporter: It loves on as the jingle for tropicana Orange juice. Theirs was a very famous marriage, and a very famous divorce. Reporter: When Elizabeth -- If you can think of the most popular and buzzed-about tabloid stories, brangelina, Kim and Kanye, this was of that magnitude. All of the simpympathy in the entire world went to Debbie Reynolds. He had left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Who was like jezebel. Reporter: An awkward encounter in 1965. There would be serious financial difficulties for Reynolds. And two more marriages. She's been through husbands and fortunes. If it wasn't for the husbands, it wouthere wouldn't be the husbands. Reporter: Through Broadway and Vegas. Where, by the 1970s, she was making appearances like this one. With liberace. ??? Reporter: But it's her early work, the technicolor ones, that will stand the test of time. Stop that girl running up the aisle. Stop her. She's the real star of the picture! Debbie is the last of an era, the last star from the '40s and '50s, from "Singing in the rain".

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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