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‘Frozen’ Songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez Recalls Unforgettable Encounter With Debbie Reynolds in 1995

Always ready to lend a hand. After Debbie Reynolds died at age 84 on Wednesday, December 28, from what is believed to be a stroke, Frozen songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez shared a heartwarming story on December 29 of her years-ago encounter with the late acting legend.

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Anderson-Lopez, who won an Oscar for cowriting “Let It Go” with husband Robert Lopez, tweeted that she got a pep talk from the Singin’ in the Rain star back in January 1995. At the time, Anderson-Lopez was a 22-year-old acting apprentice at the Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter, Florida, and was struggling to walk in heels and a headdress as an ensemble member of the showgirls revue. 

Kristen Anderson-Lopez
Kristen Anderson-Lopez on April 14, 2015, in Los Angeles.

“This is not in my DNA, and they did NOT teach this at Williams [College],” Anderson-Lopez wrote, referencing her alma mater. “So Debbie Reynolds is there doing a weekend of concerts, and I am struggling. Like, tears-streaming-down-my-face struggling because I am practicing on the rehearsal steps.”

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She continued, “And Debbie watches me lurch sideways as my headdress falls off yet again and says, ‘Honey, can I show you a trick I learned in my studios days?’ And I say, ‘Sure, Debbie Reynolds! Also, sorry about my shoddy spotlight work during your concert tonight.'”

Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds on May 14, 2014, in North Hollywood, California.

“And she says, ‘You know you are horrible at this,'” the songwriter continued. “And I say, ‘Yup.’ And she proceeds to show me how to keep looking at the light and following the lip of each stair with the heel of my shoe. She had me practice a few times, always correcting me as I looked down. ‘Keep looking straight ahead!’ she yelled.”

Anderson-Lopez pointed out that Reynolds’ tutelage paid off: “While I didn’t look like a showgirl, I didn’t knock anyone over. Headdress always stayed on.”

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She ended her post with, “RIP Debbie Reynolds. I certainly hope you have a better spotlight operator wherever you are.”

A number of stars have shared their grief following Reynolds’ sudden passing, including Will & Grace costar Debra Messing

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