is one of Hollywood's most celebrated actresses. Born Mary Frances Reynolds
in El Paso, Texas on April 1, 1932, Debbie Reynolds' film career began
at MGM after she won a beauty contest at age 16. In 2002, Debbie Reynolds
celebrates her fifty-fourth year in show business as a star of more than
thirty motion pictures, two Broadway shows, and two television series,
as well as dozens of television appearances, here and abroad.
has been nominated for numerous awards, including an Academy Award (for
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, 1965), Golden Globe (for Television,
"The Debbie Reynolds Show," 1970, and Motion Picture, Mother,
1997) and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (for In & Out, 1997).
In 1997 she received the "Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy" from the
American Comedy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Reynolds is actively involved in the collection and preservation of memorabilia
from Hollywood's first half-century of film-making. She has gathered
more than 3,000 costumes and 46,000 square-feet worth of props and mementos
from Hollywood studios, which she plans to house in a Hollywood Motion
Picture and Television museum in Los Angeles.
Ms. Reynolds launched "Standing Ovations," a consumer education campaign
to raise awareness of overactive bladder - a condition that affects more
than 17 million Americans. After suffering for years with overactive
bladder, Debbie Reynolds is sharing her personal story to encourage people
with the condition to seek proper diagnosis and treatment.
As an actress, I've always led a very active life.
But when I began to experience symptoms of overactive bladder, my life really
started to slow down. At first I assumed that the problems I was encountering,
like more frequent trips to the bathroom, were just a natural part of aging.
I had no idea that my symptoms signaled a medical condition or that there are
treatments available. To make matters worse, I was too embarrassed to talk
with anyone about the situation, so I just learned to cope. I never left the
house before going to the bathroom; I made sure I knew where the restroom was
located when I went out; and I tried to avoid or at least limit any long trips.
Finally, I got so tired of the inconvenience that
I decided to confide in my girlfriends. As it turned out, many of them had
experienced the same problem, but they had gotten help. They encouraged me
to speak with my doctor, and now I am glad I did. Not only did I receive treatment,
but I also learned that I'm one of 17 million Americans with a condition known
as overactive bladder. (And, the majority are women!)
Because of my personal experience, I am delighted
to join with the Pharmacia Corporation to present Standing Ovations, a consumer
education campaign to empower people to speak up and seek help for overactive
Unfortunately, many people with the condition do assume
their symptoms are just a natural part of growing older. Others feel they are
too young to have a bladder control problem. As I've learned, overactive bladder
can affect men and women at any age. And while treatment is available, many
people remain undiagnosed because, like I was, they are too embarrassed to talk
about their condition. People cope in many different ways, some avoid places
without easily accessible restroom facilities, some wear dark clothing and pads,
and some withdraw from the activities they love, even visiting family or friends.
Through the Standing Ovations campaign, I hope to spread the word that no one
should have to plan his or her life around an overactive bladder.
As we grow older, we can be affected by conditions
that keep us from leading as active a life as we'd like. That doesn't mean
we have to give up the activities we enjoy. Two of the best ways I know to keep
going are taking care of your body and communicating with your physician on
a regular basis. Please speak with your doctor if you're experiencing symptoms
of overactive bladder. Medications like Detrol LA, dietary and behavioral modifications,
and exercises can help manage the condition so you can keep doing the things
you love. For me, that means entertaining audiences and sharing important information
so we can all continue to live life to the fullest for as long as possible.
The symptoms of overactive
- A strong, sudden urge to urinate
- Urinating more than eight times over a 24-hour period (including waking
up to urinate two or more times a night)
- Wetting accidents
If these symptoms sound like something you're experiencing,
I encourage you to answer the questions below. Then print them out and make
an appointment to talk with your doctor to find out if what you are experiencing
is an overactive bladder.
Please, don't put off discussing this with your doctor.
You deserve a "standing ovation" for seeking help. Remember, life's
too short for intermissions like overactive bladder.
__ Do you go to the bathroom so often that it interferes with the things
you want to do (often more than 8 times in 24 hours)?
__ Do you always have to know where the bathroom is because of frequent, strong,
sudden urges to urinate?
__ Do you sometimes not make it to the bathroom in time?
__ Do you sometimes wear pads or liners to protect your clothes from wetting?
__ Do you go to the bathroom so often at night that it interrupts your sleep
(2 or more times)?
For more information on incontinence, click here.
For more information about the Standing Ovations Campaign, click
For more information about Debbie Reynolds, click
Created: 9/15/2002  - Debbie Reynolds