Debbie Reynolds wasn't just a Hollywood icon—she was one of its biggest fans.

The 84-year-old actress, who starred in movies such as Singin' in the Rain, died Wednesday, a day after her daughter and Star Wars star Carrie Fisher passed away at age 60 following a cardiac event.

During her life, Reynolds was somewhat of a Hollywood historian. She was an avid memorabilia collector and helped preserve costumes and props from many popular films for about 60 years.

Debbie Reynolds

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Reynolds once owned the Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, which also housed a museum that contained items from her collection of Hollywood memorabilia, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The hotel closed in 1997.

Reynolds told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014 she tried to get the items moved to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' movie museum.

"I said, 'Please, let's do this together.' It was refused each time," she said.

Academy officials have not commented.

"I am a little hurt. I mean, I don't feel that I should donate what I have left of my collection," Reynolds said. "I did it all when nobody else would."

In recent years, the actress auctioned off a lot of her Hollywood memorabilia, such as an off-screen test pair of the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in The Wizard of Oz. She had paid $300 for the shoes, one of four known surviving pairs from the 1939 film, and sold them to a private buyer for $690,000 in 2011.

Ruby Slippers (from the Wizard of the Oz)

AP Photo

The iconic ivory pleated halted dress the late Marilyn Monroe wore in the 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch, also part of Reynolds' collection, was auctioned off for $4.6 million. A red dress Monroe wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes fetched $1.2 million.

Also sold: Charlie Chaplin's bowler hat from The Little Tramp for $110,000 and Julie Andrews' guitar from The Sound of Music for $140,000.

"My lifetime dream has been to assemble and preserve the history of the Hollywood film industry," Reynolds told the The Las Vegas Sun in 2011. "Hollywood has been an enormous part of my life, as I know it has been for countless fans all over the world. This collection represents a lifetime of collecting Hollywood artifacts, and this is a rare opportunity to own a piece of Hollywood history for those who love the movies as much as I do."

The actress had bought many of the items in her collection at auctions and private sales and also received some as gifts, The Las Vegas Sun reported. Studios such as MGM, Fox and Columbia Pictures had thrown away many of the items she acquired.

"I just started collecting when they were liquidating and it just broke my heart, so I couldn't bear that it would happen to so many marvelous things," Reynolds told KABC-TV in Los Angeles in 2014.

"This is just part of my life, so if someone buys it, they can invite me over," she added. "We'll have dinner."

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share