LOS ANGELES -- Harry Karl, the shoe store magnate whose four wives included actresses Debbie Reynolds and Marie McDonald, died Saturday night following open heart surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was 68.
A spokeswoman disclosed Monday that Karl, retired president of the Karl's Shoe Stores chain, entered the hospital July 29, underwent a bypass surgery last Friday and died the next night.
He is survived by a son, Harrison, and three daughters, Judie Anderson, Denise Bailey and Tina Karl. Services were scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at Hillside Memorial Park.
Karl married Miss Reynolds in 1960 following her divorce from Eddie Fisher, two years after the singer left her for Elizabeth Taylor. Their marriage ended 13 years later.
'Harry Karl was a leading citizen and extremely charitable man to the community of Los Angeles,' Miss Reynolds, who was performing in Las Vegas, said after learning of his death. 'He will be missed by his many friends and children.'
Karl was married twice between 1947 and 1958 to Miss McDonald, maintaining a stormy relationship climaxed by accusations, which she later recanted, that he had set up her abduction.
He also was married to socialite Ruth Lamb and for less than a month to Joan Cohn, the widow of movie tycoon Harry Cohn.
Karl, the adopted son of a cobbler, in 1952 took over Karl's Shoe Stores Ltd., which was founded in 1905 and by 1969 had become the largest privately held retail shoe store chain in the country with 294 outlets in 21 states.
A spokeswoman at the firm's Los Angeles headquarters said the company now has 174 stores nationwidem but refused to disclose other information about the company.