yanceycravat

The Doris Day Appreciation Thread

475 posts in this topic

LOS ANGELES — Doris Day, the honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and '60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history, has died. She was 97.

The Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed Day died early Monday at her Carmel Valley, California, home. The foundation said she was surrounded by close friends.

"Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death," the foundation said in an emailed statement.

With her lilting contralto, wholesome blonde beauty and glowing smile, she was a top box office draw and recording artist known for such films as "Pillow Talk" and "That Touch of Mink" and for such songs as "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" from the Alfred Hitchcock film "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

But over time, she became more than a name above the title: Right down to her cheerful, alliterative stage name, she stood for a time of innocence and G-rated love, a parallel world to her contemporary Marilyn Monroe. The running joke, attributed to both Groucho Marx and actor-composer Oscar Levant, was that they had known Day "before she was a virgin."

Day herself was no Doris Day, by choice and by hard luck.

In "Pillow Talk," released in 1959 and her first of three films with Rock Hudson, she proudly caught up with what she called "the contemporary in me." Her 1976 tell-all book, "Doris Day: Her Own Story," chronicled her money troubles and three failed marriages, contrasting with the happy publicity of her Hollywood career.

"I have the unfortunate reputation of being Miss Goody Two-Shoes, America's Virgin, and all that, so I'm afraid it's going to shock some people for me to say this, but I staunchly believe no two people should get married until they have lived together," she wrote.

She never won an Academy Award, but Day was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, as George W. Bush declared it "a good day for America when Doris Marianne von Kappelhoff of Evanston, Ohio decided to become an entertainer."

In recent years, she spent much of her time advocating for animal rights. Although mostly retired from show business since the 1980s, she still had enough of a following that a 2011 collection of previously unreleased songs, "My Heart," hit the top 10 in the United Kingdom. The same year, she received a lifetime achievement honor from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Friends and supporters lobbied for years to get her an honorary Oscar.

Born to a music teacher and a housewife, she had dreamed of a dance career, but at age 12, she suffered a crippling accident: a car she was in was hit by a train and her leg was badly broken. Listening to the radio while recuperating, she began singing along with Ella Fitzgerald, "trying to catch the subtle ways she shaded her voice, the casual yet clean way she sang the words."

Day began singing in a Cincinnati radio station, then a local nightclub, then in New York. A bandleader changed her name to Day, after the song "Day after Day," to fit it on a marquee.

A marriage at 17 to trombonist Al Jorden ended when, she said, he beat her when she was eight months pregnant. She gave birth to her son, Terry, in early 1942. Her second marriage also was short-lived. She returned to Les Brown's band after the first marriage broke up.

Her Hollywood career began after she sang at a Hollywood party in 1947. After early stardom as a band singer and a stint at Warner Bros., Day won the best notices of her career with "Love Me or Leave Me," the story of songstress Ruth Etting and her gangster husband-manager. She initially balked at it, but the 1955 film became a box-office and critical success.

She followed with another impressive film, Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much," starring her and James Stewart as an innocent couple ensnared in an international assassination plot. She sings "Que Sera, Sera" just as the story reaches its climax and viewers are beside themselves with suspense. The 1958 comedy "Teacher's Pet" paired her with an aging Clark Gable as an idealistic college journalism teacher and her student, an old-school newspaper editor.

But she found her greatest success in slick, stylish sex comedies, beginning with her Oscar-nominated role in "Pillow Talk." She and Hudson were two New Yorkers who shared a telephone party line and initially hated each other.

She followed with "The Thrill of It All," playing a housewife who gains fame as a TV pitchwoman to the chagrin of obstetrician husband James Garner. The nation's theater owners voted her the top moneymaking star in 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1964.

Her first musical hit was the 1945 smash, "Sentimental Journey," when she was barely in her 20s. Among the other songs she made famous were "Everybody Loves a Lover," ''Secret Love," and "It's Magic," a song from "Romance on the High Seas," her first film.

Critic Gary Giddins called her "the coolest and sexiest female singer of slow-ballads in movie history."

"Romance on the High Seas" had been designed for Judy Garland, then Betty Hutton. Both bowed out, and Day, recommended by songwriters Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, won the role. Warner Bros. cashed in on its new star with a series of musicals, including "My Dream Is Yours," ''Tea for Two" and "Lullaby of Broadway." Her dramas included "Young Man with a Horn," with Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall, and "Storm Warning," with Ronald Reagan and Ginger Rogers.

Her last film was "With Six You Get Eggroll," a 1968 comedy about a widow and a widower and the problems they have when blending their families.

With movies trending for more explicit sex, she turned to television to recoup her finances. "The Doris Day Show" was a moderate success in its 1966-1973 run on CBS.

Disillusionment grew in the 1960s when she discovered that failed investments by her third husband, Martin Melcher, left her deeply in debt. She eventually won a multimillion-dollar judgment against their lawyer.

She had married Melcher, who worked in her agent's office, in 1951. He became her manager, and her son took his name. In most of the films following "Pillow Talk," Melcher was listed as co-producer. Melcher died in 1969.

In her autobiography, Day recalled her son, Terry Melcher, telling her the $20 million she had earned had vanished and she owed around $450,000, mostly for taxes.

In 1974, Day won a $22.8 million judgment against Jerome B. Rosenthal, her lawyer and business manager, for mishandling of her and Melcher's assets.

Terry Melcher, who died in 2004, became a songwriter and record producer, working with such stars as the Beach Boys. But he was also famous for an aspiring musician he turned down, Charles Manson. When Manson and his followers embarked on their murderous rampage in 1969, they headed for the house once owned by Melcher and instead came upon actress Sharon Tate and some visitors, all of whom were killed.

Day married a fourth time at age 52, to businessman Barry Comden in 1976. She lived in Monterey, California, devoting much of her time to the Doris Day Animal Foundation.

___

Associated Press writer Bob Thomas in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

image.png.8bce265aa7b8e14a22d6245bd99738ff.png

  • Thanks 5
  • Sad 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pictured below, a gathering of DORIS DAY FLORIBUNDA ROSES.

(has there ever been a plant to more resemble its namesake?)

doris-day-floribunda-rose-600x600.jpg

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doris at the Oscars, wearing a dress from MIDNIGHT LACE, the one time she was nominated for BEST ACTRESS:

2ee7e576c448b394148b81b6b88d869d.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, HelenBaby2 said:

She could wear clothes so well. She looked great in anything. 

You kind of also have to admire the fact that she wore something from wardrobe of a movie she was shooting as well.

Not only does she look fabulous, but it didn't cost her a thing!

(not counting hair and make-up...although she probably had that done at the studio too.)

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a multi talented individual Doris Day was. She could sing (and damn well, with her signature song "Que Sera Sera") and she could act. She could play comedy, for which she is best remembered, but also drama. For my money her most memorable performance, in fact, was as Ruth Etting in the biographical Love Me Or Leave Me, for which an Oscar nomination would not have been out of order if it had occurred.

Doris emitted such a positive, happy screen image, showing, once again, what a fine actress she was, especially since her private life had more than its share of turmoil and unhappiness. And in her final years, spent to a large degree in seclusion from the public, she became an animal rights activist, a lovely way to be remembered.

Thank you for all the happiness and pleasure you brought to your legions of fans over the years, Ms. Day.

Doris-Day-Promo5.jpg

R.I.P.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is very sad news to hear about Doris Day passing away today. We all know some of these legendary Hollywood stars are going to leave the world one of these days but its always surprising to hear the news none the less. 

Even as a classic film fan, I've usually shyed away from her filmography, assuming the romantic comedy fluff genre she was well known for was not going to be my favorite kind of movies. That being said, I guess this is the right time to ask some Doris Day fans for recommendations on her top 5 movies that I should get a look at in tribute. 

I haven't seen a single one of her films yet, with the exception that occasionally when I've had TCM running in the background, I'd see Doris Day in a scene here and there out of context. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a thread about her last year regarding her medical condition and age.  was hoping she reached a 100.  97 is still a blessed age so no surprise since I was expecting this.  RIP.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, MerryPickford said:

This is very sad news to hear about Doris Day passing away today. We all know some of these legendary Hollywood stars are going to leave the world one of these days but its always surprising to hear the news none the less. 

Even as a classic film fan, I've usually shyed away from her filmography, assuming the romantic comedy fluff genre she was well known for was not going to be my favorite kind of movies. That being said, I guess this is the right time to ask some Doris Day fans for recommendations on her top 5 movies that I should get a look at in tribute. 

I haven't seen a single one of her films yet, with the exception that occasionally when I've had TCM running in the background, I'd see Doris Day in a scene here and there out of context. 

Not sure why you stayed away from Doris' movies...you might be the only person on the planet who hasn't seen one.

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 6.09.39 AM.jpg

But here are five that I find enjoyable:

1. ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (1948). Intended for Betty Hutton, but Betty had to bow out due to pregnancy. So it became Doris' motion picture debut. It's funnier than a lot of her later pictures.

2. CALAMITY JANE (1953). Obviously it was Warners' version of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, with Howard Keel borrowed from MGM, who had been in the earlier picture. Doris sings the Oscar-winning song "Secret Love" perfectly. She gets to do lots of comedy and action scenes. It's a fun movie and was said to have been Doris' own personal favorite.

3. JULIE (1956). A rare dramatic role for her. Typical woman in peril stuff from the 50s. But she's very good in it, and so is Louis Jourdan who plays the menacing husband.

4. LOVER COME BACK (1961). The second of three with Rock Hudson and Tony Randall. And I think it's the best of the bunch. 

5. THE THRILL OF IT ALL (1963). The second of two with James Garner. They worked well together. The plot is silly and very 60s. But it's highly entertaining. Good character actors in the supporting roles also help.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in the 60's and, as a young person, really didn't like Ms. Day at all.  All that smarmy stuff seemed so "old fashioned" and idiotic to a teen who was into Dylan, folk music and Bergman films!  Man, did I ever get that wrong!  As the years rolled by, I came to appreciate her quite sizable talent. Truly one of a kind.  Que sera sera....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Not sure why you stayed away from Doris' movies...you might be the only person on the planet who hasn't seen one.

 

That's a little unnecessary shade. While I may be one of the few on this TCM forum that hasn't had the pleasure to discover Day's filmography, there are unfortunately a ton of people who haven't discovered Doris Day films unless grandma showed them one. I'm of a younger generation that didn't grow up with these films like some people but of course there are exceptions. I'm sure you know, the highly viewed Que Sera Sera on youtube which a lot of young people have seen and become familiar with doesn't count as watching her movies. 

The truth is, we all love and respect old movies on here so I apologize if I offended some fans of Doris Day, at the same time, we all have our own tastes and have been guilty of not getting around to a classic movie or two(yet) due to one's preferences and own likes. If one disagrees with my previous statement with claims they have loved and favorited every single classic movie, they'd be lying. We are all incredibly intelligent human beings, BUT with subjective tastes. 

I will definitely check out your first five Doris Day recommendations and give them a watch in the coming weeks. I am always eager to prove myself wrong and become surprised when I explore someone's filmography for the first time. 

Thank you and have a wonderful week. 

Lastly, RIP Doris Day and hopefully TCM does a 24 hour tribute where I can DVR more of her films and enjoy them for the first time. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, MerryPickford said:

That's a little unnecessary shade. While I may be one of the few on this TCM forum that hasn't had the pleasure to discover Day's filmography, there are unfortunately a ton of people who haven't discovered Doris Day films unless grandma showed them one. I'm of a younger generation that didn't grow up with these films like some people but of course there are exceptions. I'm sure you know, the highly viewed Que Sera Sera on youtube which a lot of young people have seen and become familiar with doesn't count as watching her movies. 

The truth is, we all love and respect old movies on here so I apologize if I offended some fans of Doris Day, at the same time, we all have our own tastes and have been guilty of not getting around to a classic movie or two(yet) due to one's preferences and own likes. If one disagrees with my previous statement with claims they have loved and favorited every single classic movie, they'd be lying. We are all incredibly intelligent human beings, BUT with subjective tastes. 

I will definitely check out your first five Doris Day recommendations and give them a watch in the coming weeks. I am always eager to prove myself wrong and become surprised when I explore someone's filmography for the first time. 

Thank you and have a wonderful week. 

Lastly, RIP Doris Day and hopefully TCM does a 24 hour tribute where I can DVR more of her films and enjoy them for the first time. 

It wasn't "shade." It was a bit of hyperbole. I am sure there are plenty of other people who haven't seen Doris Day movies. But it's good you're willing to sample a few. Let us know what you think of the ones you watch. Even if you don't enjoy them, I'm sure you'll have interesting reasons.

Hopefully the Doris Day films I mentioned will be included in a 24-hour Memorial Tribute on TCM. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My list would be a little different and only picking 5 would be difficult since Doris Day is a very favorite of mine. I've seen all or practically all of her films. I'd start with these. Let us know if you want more titles.

1. Calamity Jane

2. Pillow Talk

3. Love Me or Leave Me

4. Lover Come Back

5. The Man Who Knew Too Much

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this is so sad. At her age. She wouldn't wasnt us to be sad. I am old enough to remember when she doing her best stuff in the 50s. But I was too young to appreciate her, in fact us kids probably laughed at her. Later I discovered her and got kind of crushy with her. I would send her a birthday card from time to time. My two favorite movies are the ones she did with Garner. although I admit I am not absolutely familiar with all her movies. I didn't think she was a great dramatic actress in Midnight Lace but I liked her anyway and she had a wonderful hairdo and a real beauty to me. I bought a copy of Photoplay at paper store in the 90s for $25 (and still have it) with her picture on the cover, the way she looked in that film. I also have what I believed to be a signed copy of a photo taken I believe in '53, though the signature does not match some of the others I have seen. I may post that if I can find it. I love the songs she sang is those early films. Song that are fluffy and outdated but perky and cute. She could sell a song so easily. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ll be honest, while she was a terrific actress and made a lot of great movies, I have to admit many of them are not exactly my cup of tea.

AS A SINGER THO, She is an absolute legitimate contender for the title of “greatest voice of the 20th century” along with Judy, Ella, Elvis, Bing, Dino and Frances Albert. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

AS A SINGER THO, She is an absolute legitimate contender for the title of “greatest voice of the 20th century” along with Judy, Ella, Elvis, Bing, Dino and Frances Albert. 

I really came around to appreciating Doris Day.  All that "professional virgin" stuff from her 60's films turned me off when I was young though I do remember my mother saying to me:  "Get a grip, how innocent can she be?  She was a band singer, for God's sake!" When I finally watched a few of her films I did come to love her in Calamity Jane, "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Storm Warning."  I think she did a wonderful commentary about her own career and co-stars on TCM (voice-over only) and it's clear that she was a total pro, always.  As for her voice, absolutely agree!!  

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, lydecker said:

I really came around to appreciating Doris Day.  All that "professional virgin" stuff from her 60's films turned me off when I was young though I do remember my mother saying to me:  "Get a grip, how innocent can she be?  She was a band singer, for God's sake!" When I finally watched a few of her films I did come to love her in Calamity Jane, "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Storm Warning."  I think she did a wonderful commentary about her own career and co-stars on TCM (voice-over only) and it's clear that she was a total pro, always.  As for her voice, absolutely agree!!  

Thanks for mentioning STORM WARNING. What an interesting film. She's married to bad boy Steve Cochran in that one, and Ginger Rogers plays her sister. Supposedly the script was written for Joan Crawford. But Crawford turned it down and told Jack Warner "nobody would buy us as sisters" (referring to her and Day). Warner realized she was right and cast Ginger instead.

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 12.22.44 PM.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doris Day is one of my favorite vocalists of all time. I could seriously listen to her voice for hours. After work, I want to go home and listen to some of her records to remember one of the reasons why she was so beloved. Rest in peace, sweet Doris. 💗

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What people have said about Doris Day

https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/people/doris-day

From interviews at the Television Academy Foundation:

RAY AGHAYAN...on designing costumes for several of Doris' films

STEVE ALLEN...on Doris being a no-show for his late night radio program

ARMY ARCHERD...on the news that Rock Hudson had AIDS and how it involved Doris

REZA BADIYI...on directing Doris in seven episodes of The Doris Day Show

BRUCE BILSON...on directing Doris in eleven episodes of her sitcom

PAT BOONE...on recording a song that had previously been sung by Doris

TONY CHARMOLI...on directing Doris in a TV variety special that also featured John Denver & Sammy Davis Jr.

FREDERICK DE CORDOVA...on directing Doris in four episodes of her sitcom

WARREN COWAN...on being a publicist for Doris

JAMIE FARR...on working with Doris in the movie WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL

JAY LIVINGSTON...on writing Doris' signature tune and how it became the theme song for her sitcom

DELBERT MANN...on directing Doris in LOVER COME BACK and THAT TOUCH OF MINK

ABBY SINGER...on being the stage manager for Doris' sitcom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Not sure why you stayed away from Doris' movies...you might be the only person on the planet who hasn't seen one.

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 6.09.39 AM.jpg

But here are five that I find enjoyable:

1. ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS (1948). Intended for Betty Hutton, but Betty had to bow out due to pregnancy. So it became Doris' motion picture debut. It's funnier than a lot of her later pictures.

2. CALAMITY JANE (1953). Obviously it was Warners' version of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, with Howard Keel borrowed from MGM, who had been in the earlier picture. Doris sings the Oscar-winning song "Secret Love" perfectly. She gets to do lots of comedy and action scenes. It's a fun movie and was said to have been Doris' own personal favorite.

3. JULIE (1956). A rare dramatic role for her. Typical woman in peril stuff from the 50s. But she's very good in it, and so is Louis Jourdan who plays the menacing husband.

4. LOVER COME BACK (1961). The second of three with Rock Hudson and Tony Randall. And I think it's the best of the bunch. 

5. THE THRILL OF IT ALL (1963). The second of two with James Garner. They worked well together. The plot is silly and very 60s. But it's highly entertaining. Good character actors in the supporting roles also help.

This is a great selection.  I would substitute Love Me or Leave Me for Thrill of It All, but I agree these are among her best.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us