No matter what, you could not keep her down.
She suffered mightily over many years -- through divorces, family troubles, personal setbacks, mismanaged finances, ill-advised endeavors and outright flops.
But nothing -- nothing -- could hold her back.
She made lifelong troupers look like coddled infants. She could hold her own singing with Sinatra, dancing with Astaire, acting with Oscar winners, mugging with Ball and Burnett and mimicking with the likes of Rich Little.
She was Debbie Reynolds.
To generations, her name was synonymous with grit, determination, hoopla, chutzpah, hazzah and sheer, sensational, sparkling, razzle-dazzle show business.
Debbie Reynolds, the woman who was Tammy, Molly Brown and Mother all rolled into one, has died.
She died earlier today of a stroke just one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher from a heart attack.
One of the last of the old Hollywood gang, one of the final products of the vaulted studio system that made Hollywood the entertainment capital of the world, Debbie Reynolds epitomized an American can-do spirit that played well from Peoria to Persia, from Paris to Poughkeepsie. Everybody loved her.
You might say that Debbie Reynolds was destined to be a star and a legend.
But she created herself out of the whole cloth of fearless will.
Debbie famously divorced Eddie Fisher in 1959 after his affair with Elizabeth Taylor. She then married two more times in 1960 and 1984.
She played iconic roles in "Tammy and the Bachelor" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown". The former sealed her reputation while the later won her an Oscar nomination.
Carrie's relationship with Debbie was the focus of Carrie's semi-autobiographical book, "Postcards from the Edge," which was later adapted for the big screen.
Debbie's survived by her son Todd, who has reportedly said: "She's with Carrie now"