Actress Debbie Reynolds to receive SAG lifetime honor

LOS ANGELES Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:49pm EDT

Actress Debbie Reynolds attends an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California June 16, 2012. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Actress Debbie Reynolds attends an event celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California June 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Debbie Reynolds, the star of such enduring Hollywood films as "Singin' in the Rain" and "How the West Was Won," will be honored with a lifetime achievement award by her peers, the Screen Actors Guild said on Monday.

Reynolds, 82, will be given the accolade at the acting organization's annual awards ceremony in January for her achievement as an actor, singer, dancer and for her efforts to preserve historical film, the guild said.

Reynolds, the mother of actress Carrie Fisher, will also be honored for her humanitarian work, which includes a charity to help fight the stigma of mental illness, which she co-founded in 1955.

"Her generous spirit and unforgettable performances have entertained audiences across the globe, moving us all from laughter to tears and back again," Ken Howard, the president of the SAG-AFTRA labor union, said in a statement.

Reynolds, known for her wholesome looks, starred opposite some of the leading male film stars of the 1950s and 1960s, including Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Fred Astaire.

The versatile actress earned a best actress Oscar nomination for the 1964 musical "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," a chart-topping song "Tammy" from 1957 movie "Tammy and the Bachelor" and a Tony Award nomination for the 1973 Broadway revival of musical "Irene."

Reynolds, who was discovered as a beauty pageant contestant at age 16, has continued to work into the current decade, most recently playing the mother of pianist Liberace opposite Michael Douglas in Steven Soderbergh's biopic "Behind the Candelabra."

Last year's recipient of the award was Puerto Rican-American actress Rita Moreno.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and James Dalgleish)

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