LOS ANGELES // Singer Eddie Fisher, a teen idol in the 1950s who sparked an international scandal when he left his wife Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor, has died at the age of 82. Fisher died in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday due to complications and a decline in health from recent hip surgery, his family said in a statement yesterday. "He was loved and will be missed by his four children: Carrie, Todd, Joely, and Tricia Leigh as well as his six grandchildren. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch," said the statement, using the Yiddish word for a decent, admirable person.
His actress daughter Carrie Fisher highlighted his ailing health earlier this year when she wrote Twitter messages saying her father, who was confined to a wheelchair, was "kind of losing it" with confusion over his whereabouts and friends. Eddie Fisher was a chart-topping teen idol in the early 1950s with songs like "Thinking of You" and "Oh! My Pa-Pa," before rock 'n' roll and scandal ruined his career.
He left Reynolds, Carrie's mother and the first of his five wives, after four years of marriage to marry family friend Taylor in 1959. His marriage to Taylor lasted five years. He had two children with Debbie Reynolds - Carrie and Todd - and two with his third wife Connie Stevens. Carrie Fisher, 53, who played the feisty rebel leader Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" movies, detailed her entangled family history as well as her own personal battles in her recent one-woman Broadway show "Wishful Drinking."