Eddie Fisher, American Entertainer, Died at 82

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Dead, Edwin Jack “Eddie” Fisher on September 22, 2010 at the age of 82, he was an American entertainer.

He broke his hip on September 9, 2010, and died 13 days later at his home in Berkeley, California, from complications from hip surgery.

Born on August 10, 1928, he is the fourth of seven children born in Philadelphia, a son of Russian-born Jewish immigrants Gitte (later Katherine “Katie”) (née Winokur) and Joseph Tisch. His father’s surname was originally Tisch, but was changed by the time of the 1940 census.

He 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.

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.

During his active duty period, he also made occasional guest television appearances, in uniform, introduced as “PFC Eddie Fisher”.

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 The Perry Como Show, Club Oasis, The Martha Raye 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).

Around 1956, Eddie Fisher and his agent Lew Wasserman were discussing roles for Fisher’s acting debut. A project being discussed at the time was “What Makes Sammy Run?” by Budd Schulberg and Stuart Schulberg.

Fisher wanted to play aggressive producer Sammy Glick, “the ultimate Jewish hustler.

I knew a lot of real Sammy Glicks and I felt confident that was a character I could play.”

Lew Wasserman decided that the character was too much of a classic negative Jewish stereotype and that it would be bad for Fisher to play it.

So Fisher went in the complete opposite direction (in retrospect, perhaps too far) with then-wife Debbie Reynolds in the squeaky clean comedy that Fisher hated, Bundle of Joy (1956), a film made to capitalize on the birth of their daughter, future Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) “Princess Leia” Carrie Fisher.

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 albums Eddie Fisher Today and Young and Foolish (both 1965).

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 bestselling album.

When Fisher was at the height of his popularity, 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.

In 1983 he attempted a comeback tour but this was not a success.

Eddie Fisher’s last released 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.

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