It was her breakthrough role.
This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly.
Debbie Reynolds, the legendary actress, singer, and dancer who died Wednesday at age 84, gave many memorable performances in a show business career that spanned six-and-a-half decades. But for all the roles that followed, perhaps none would shine brighter than her breakthrough in the 1952 musical Singin’ in the Rain, which found her playing a fresh-faced actress navigating Hollywood’s transition from the silent era to the talkies.
Though she had no dancing experience at the time, a teenaged Reynolds kept up with veteran hoofers Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor, particularly in the spirited number “Good Morning.”
Years later, Reynolds recalled, “I learned a lot from Gene. He is a perfectionist and a disciplinarian: the most exacting director I’ve worked for. And he has a good temper. Every so often he would yell at me and make me cry. But it took a lot of patience for him to work with someone who had never danced before.”
And in her 1988 biography, Debbie, she wrote that “Singin’ in the Rain and childbirth were the hardest things I ever had to do in my life.”
The fruits of her labor were — and still are — mesmerizing. Watch Reynolds, Kelly, and O’Connor performing “Good Morning” in the video above.