Doris Day has two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6278 Hollywood Boulevard and for Motion Pictures at 6735 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
The happiest times in my life were the days when I was traveling with Les Brown and his band.
~ Doris Day
Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff
3 April 1924, Cincinnati, Ohio
Doris Day (born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff; April 3, 1922) is an American actress, singer, and animal rights activist.
Day began her career as a big band singer in 1939. Her popularity began to rise after her first hit recording, "Sentimental Journey", in 1945. After leaving the Les Brown & His Band of Renown to try a solo career, she started her long-lasting partnership with Columbia Records, which would remain her only recording label. The contract lasted from 1947 to 1967, and included more than 650 recordings, making Day one of the most popular and acclaimed singers of the 20th century. In 1948, after being persuaded by Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne and her agent at the time, Al Levy, she auditioned for Michael Curtiz, which led to her being cast in the female lead role in Romance on the High Seas.
Over the course of her career, Day appeared in 39 films. She was ranked the biggest box office star for four years (1960; 1962–1964) and ranked in the top 10 for ten years (1951–1952; 1959–1966). She became the top-ranking female box office star of all time and is currently ranked sixth among the top 10 box office performers (male and female), as of 2012. She also received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Pillow Talk, won three Henrietta Awards (World Film Favorite), the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Career Achievement Award and, in 1989, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures. Day made her last film in 1968.
Day has also released 29 albums, and her songs have spent a total of 460 weeks in the Top 40 charts. She has been awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Legend Award from the Society of Singers. In 2011, she released her 29th studio album My Heart, which debuted at #9 on the UK Top 40 charts. Day is the oldest artist to score a UK Top 10 with an album featuring new material.
Her strong commitment to animal welfare began in 1971, when she co-founded "Actors and Others for Animals". She started her own non-profit organization in the late 1970s, the Doris Day Animal Foundation and, later, the Doris Day Animal League. Establishing the annual observance Spay Day USA in 1994, The Doris Day Animal League now partners with the Humane Society of the United States and continues to be a leading advocacy organization. In 2004 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in recognition of her distinguished service to the country.
Day has since retired from acting and performing, but has continued her work in animal rights causes and animal welfare. She currently lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff was born in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Evanston to Alma Sophia (née Welz, a housewife) and William Kappelhoff (a music teacher and choir master) on April 3, 1922. All of her grandparents were German immigrants. In Doris Day: Her Own Story, the actress, who claims to have been born in 1924, asserted that she "was named by my mother in honor of her favorite actress, Doris Kenyon, a silent screen star of that year 1924." However the 1940 US census (enumerated on April 10, 1940), gives her age as 18.
The youngest of three siblings, she had two older brothers: Richard (who died before her birth) and Paul, several years older. Due to her father's alleged infidelity, her parents separated. She developed an early interest in dance, and in the mid-1930s formed a dance duo with Jerry Doherty that performed locally in Cincinnati. A car accident on October 13, 1937, damaged her legs and curtailed her prospects as a professional dancer.
While recovering, Day started to sing along with the radio and discovered a talent that she didn't know she had. Day said: "During this long, boring period, I used to while away a lot of time listening to the radio, sometimes singing along with the likes of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. But the one radio voice I listened to above others belonged to Ella Fitzgerald. There was a quality to her voice that fascinated me, and I'd sing along with her, trying to catch the subtle ways she shaded her voice, the casual yet clean way she sang the words." Observing her daughter rekindled Alma's interest in show business, and she decided to give Doris singing lessons. She engaged a teacher, Grace Raine. After three lessons, Raine told Alma that Doris had "tremendous potential", which led Alma to give her daughter three lessons a week for the price of one. Years later, Day said that Raine had the biggest effect on her singing style and career. During the eight months of singing lessons, Day had her first professional jobs as a vocalist in the WLW radio program, Carlin's Carnival and in a local restaurant, the Charlie Yee's Shanghai Inn. It was during her performances in the carnival that Day first caught the attention of Barney Rapp, who sought a girl vocalist and asked if Day would like to audition for the job. According to Rapp, he had auditioned about 200 singers when Day got the job.
It was while working for Rapp in 1939 that she adopted the stage name "Day" (at Rapp's suggestion). Rapp felt that "Kappelhoff" was too long for marquees, and he admired her rendition of the song "Day After Day." This was the origin of her stage name.
After working with Rapp, Day worked with a number of other band-leaders including Jimmy James, Bob Crosby, and Les Brown. It was while working with Brown that Day scored her first hit recording, "Sentimental Journey", released in early 1945. It soon became an anthem of the desire of World War II demobilizing troops to return home. This song is still associated with Day, and she re-recorded it on several occasions, including a version in her 1971 television special. Her recording of "Sentimental Journey" was the first song placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame. At one point in 1945–46, Doris (as vocalist with the Les Brown Band) had five Top Ten Hits on the Billboard Hall of Fame. These included: "My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time", "Till The End of Time", "Come To Baby Do", and "I Got the Sun in the Mornin'".
While singing with the Les Brown band and briefly with Bob Hope, she toured extensively across the United States. Her popularity as a radio performer and vocalist, which included a second hit record "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time", led directly to a career in films. Already in 1941 Day appeared as a singer with the Les Brown band in a soundie (a Cinemasters production). After her separation from her second husband, George Weidler, in 1948, Day reportedly intended to leave Los Angeles and return to her mother's home in Cincinnati. Her agent Al Levy convinced her to attend a party at the home of composer Jule Styne. Her performance of the song "Embraceable You" impressed Styne and his partner, Sammy Cahn and they recommended her for a role in Romance on the High Seas, which they were working on for Warner Brothers. The withdrawal of Betty Hutton due to pregnancy left the main role to be re-cast, and Day got the part. The film provided her with another hit recording "It's Magic".
In 1950 U.S. servicemen in Korea voted her their favorite star. She continued to make minor and frequently nostalgic period musicals such as Starlift, The West Point Story, On Moonlight Bay, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, and Tea For Two for Warner Brothers. In 1953, Day appeared as the title character in the comedic western-themed musical, Calamity Jane, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Secret Love" (her recording of which became her fourth U.S. No. 1 recording). After filming Lucky Me with Phil Silvers and Young at Heart (both 1954) with Frank Sinatra, Day chose not to renew her contract with Warner Brothers. She elected to work under the advice and management of her third husband, Marty Melcher, whom she married in Burbank on April 3, 1951.
Day subsequently took on more dramatic roles, including her 1955 portrayal of singer Ruth Etting in the biographical film of Etting's life, Love Me or Leave Me, in which she co-starred with James Cagney. Day would later call it, in her autobiography, her best film. The film garnered critical and commercial success, becoming Day's biggest hit so far. She starred in Alfred Hitchcock's suspense film, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) with James Stewart. She sang only two songs in the film, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and "We'll Love Again". During the filming, Day became concerned about Hitchcock's lack of direction. She is cited to have worried if she was pleasing him and confronted him on her performance. He told her, "If you weren't doing what I liked, you'd know". The film eventually became a moderate success. Day played the title role in the thriller/noir Julie (1956) with Louis Jordan. The film received poor press acclaim and was unpopular with audiences.
After the disappointment of a dramatic film career, Day returned to her musical/comedic roots in 1957's The Pajama Game with John Raitt. The film was based on the Broadway play of the same name. She worked with Paramount Pictures for the comedy Teacher's Pet (1958), alongside Clark Gable and Mamie Van Doren. Day co-starred with Richard Widmark and Gig Young in the romantic comedy film, The Tunnel of Love in 1958. She found success opposite Jack Lemmon in It Happened to Jane, a comedy film released in 1959.
In 1959, Day entered her most successful phase as a film actress with a series of romantic comedies. This success began with Pillow Talk (1959), co-starring Rock Hudson, who became a lifelong friend, and Tony Randall. Day received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Day, Hudson, and Randall made two more films together, Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). These two films are lesser known of their film pairings and weren't as successful critically or commercially. In 1962, Day appeared with Cary Grant in That Touch of Mink. During 1960 and the 1962 to 1964 period, Day ranked #1 at the box office.
Day teamed up with James Garner, starting with 1963's The Thrill of It All, followed by Move Over, Darling, later the same year. Move Over, Darling was originally entitled Something's Got to Give, a 1962 comeback vehicle for Marilyn Monroe and featuring Dean Martin. Filming was suspended following the Monroe's dismissal and her subsequent death. A year later, filming was resumed and Day was recast as the lead character. The film's theme song, "Move Over, Darling", was co-written by her son specifically for her. In between these comedic roles Day co-starred with Rex Harrison in the movie thriller Midnight Lace, an updating of the classic stage thriller Gaslight.
By the late 1960s, the sexual revolution of the baby boomer generation had refocused public attitudes about sex. Times changed, but Day's films did not. Day's 1965 film, Do Not Disturb, was a box office failure and was unpopular with critics as well. Critics and comics dubbed Day "The World's Oldest Virgin", and audiences began to shy away from her films. As a result, she slipped from the list of top box office stars, last appearing in the top ten in 1966 with the hit film The Glass Bottom Boat. One of the roles she turned down was that of "Mrs. Robinson" in The Graduate, a role that eventually went to Anne Bancroft. In her published memoirs, Day said that she had rejected the part on moral grounds.
She starred in the western film The Ballad of Josie (1967). That same year, Day recorded The Love Album, though not released until 1994. The following year, she starred in the comedy film Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? which centers on the Northeast blackout of November 9, 1965 called (1968). Her final feature, the comedy With Six You Get Eggroll, was released in 1968.
When third husband Marty Melcher died on April 20, 1968, a shocked Day discovered that Melcher and his business partner Jerome Bernard Rosenthal had squandered her earnings, leaving her deeply in debt. Rosenthal had been her attorney since 1949, when he represented her in her uncontested divorce action against her second husband, songwriter George W. Weidler. In February 1969, Day filed suit against Rosenthal and won the then-largest civil judgment (over $20 million) in the state of California.
Day also learned that Melcher had committed her to a television series, which became The Doris Day Show.
“It was awful", Day told OK! Magazine in 1996. "I was really, really not very well when Marty Melcher passed away, and the thought of going into TV was overpowering. But he'd signed me up for a series. And then my son Terry Melcher took me walking in Beverly Hills and explained that it wasn't nearly the end of it. I had also been signed up for a bunch of TV specials, all without anyone ever asking me.”
Day hated the idea of doing television, but felt obliged to it. "There was a contract. I didn't know about it. I never wanted to do TV, but I gave it 100 percent anyway. That's the only way I know how to do it." The first episode of The Doris Day Show aired on September 24, 1968, and, from 1968 to 1973, employed "Que Sera, Sera" as its theme song. Day grudgingly persevered (she needed the work to help pay off her debts), but only after CBS ceded creative control to her and her son. The successful show enjoyed a five-year run, and functioned as a curtain-raiser for The Carol Burnett Show, remembered today for its abrupt season-to-season changes in casting and premise. It was not widely syndicated as many of its contemporaries, and re-broadcast very little outside the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. By the end of its run in 1973, public tastes had changed and her firmly established persona regarded as passé. She largely retired from acting after The Doris Day Show, but did complete two television specials, The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special (1971) and Doris Day to Day (1975). She appeared in a John Denver TV special in 1974.
In 1985, Day briefly hosted her own talk show, Doris Day's Best Friends on CBN. The network canceled the show after 26 episodes, despite the worldwide publicity it received.
On September 18, 1974, courts awarded Day $22,835,646 for fraud and malpractice in an hour-long oral decision by Superior Judge Lester E. Olson, ending a 99-day trial that involved 18 consolidated lawsuits and countersuits filed by Day and Rosenthal that involved Rosenthal's handling of her finances after she terminated him in July 1968. The civil trial included 14,451 pages of transcript from 67 witnesses. Represented by attorney Robert Winslow and the law firm of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP, courts awarded Day $1 million punitive damages, $5.6 million plus $2 million interest for losses incurred in a sham oil venture; $3.4 million plus $1.2 million interest over a hotel venture; $2.2 million plus $793,800 interest for duplicate or unnecessary fees paid to Rosenthal; more than $2 million to recoup loans to Rosenthal; $3.9 million plus $1 million interest for fraud, and $850,000 attorney fees for Day. Olson also enjoined Rosenthal from prosecuting any more lawsuits against Day or her business operations. (Rosenthal had filed more than 20 suits from 1969 to 1974). Olson, an expert in complex financial marital settlements, read every page of 3,275 individual exhibits and 68 boxes of miscellaneous financial records. In October 1979, Rosenthal's liability insurer settled with Day for about $6 million payable in 23 annual installments. Rosenthal continued to file an appeal in the 2nd District Court of Appeal. He also filed another half-dozen suits related to the case. Two were libel suits, one against Day and her publishers over comments she made about Rosenthal in her book in which he sought damages. The other suits sought court determinations that insurance companies and individual lawyers failed to defend Rosenthal properly before Olson and in appellate stages. In April 1979, he filed a suit to set aside the $6 million settlement with Day and recover damages from everybody involved in agreeing to the payment supposedly without his permission.
Rosenthal died August 15, 2007, at the age of 96.
In October 1985, the California Supreme Court rejected Rosenthal's appeal of the multimillion-dollar judgment against him for legal malpractice, and upheld conclusions of a trial court and a Court of Appeal that Rosenthal acted improperly. In April 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the lower court's judgment. In June 1987, Rosenthal filed a $30 million lawsuit against lawyers he claimed cheated him out of millions of dollars in real estate investments. He also named Day as a co-defendant, describing her as an "unwilling, involuntary plaintiff whose consent cannot be obtained". Rosenthal claimed that millions of dollars Day lost were in real estate sold after Melcher died in 1968, in which Rosenthal asserted that the attorneys gave Day bad advice, telling her to sell, at a loss, three hotels, in Palo Alto, Dallas and Atlanta and some oil leases in Kentucky and Ohio. Rosenthal claimed he had made the investments under a long-term plan, and did not intend to sell them until they appreciated in value. Two of the hotels sold in 1970 for about $7 million, and their estimated worth in 1986 was $50 million. In July 1984, after a hearing panel of the State Bar Court, after 80 days of testimony and consideration of documentary evidence, the panel accused Rosenthal of 13 separate acts of misconduct and urged his disbarment in a 34-page unsigned opinion. The State Bar Court's review department upheld the panel's findings, which asked the justices to order Rosenthal's disbarment. He continued representing clients in federal courts until the US Supreme Court ruled against him on March 21, 1988. Disbarment by the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals followed on August 19, 1988. The Supreme Court of California, in affirming the disbarment, held that Rosenthal engaged in transactions involving undisclosed conflicts of interest, took positions adverse to his former clients, overstated expenses, double-billed for legal fees, failed to return client files, failed to provide access to records, failed to give adequate legal advice, failed to provide clients with an opportunity to obtain independent counsel, filed fraudulent claims, gave false testimony, engaged in conduct designed to harass his clients, delayed court proceedings, obstructed justice and abused legal process. Terry Melcher stated that it was only Martin Melcher's premature death that saved Day from financial ruin. It remains unresolved whether Martin Melcher was himself duped. Day stated publicly that she believed her husband innocent of any deliberate wrongdoing, stating that he "simply trusted the wrong person". According to Day's autobiography, as told to A. E. Hotchner, the usually athletic and healthy Martin Melcher had an enlarged heart. Most of the interviews on the subject given to Hotchner (and included in Day's autobiography) paint an unflattering portrait of Melcher. Author David Kaufman asserts that one of Day's costars, actor Louis Jourdan, maintained that Day herself disliked her husband, but Day's public statements regarding Melcher appear to contradict that assertion.
In 1994, Day's Greatest Hits album became another entry into the British charts. The song "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" was included in the soundtrack of the Australian film Strictly Ballroom, and became a theme song for the British TV show, Coupling, with Mari Wilson performing the song for the title sequence.
Day was scheduled to attend the 66th Academy Awards; however, she tripped on a sprinkler injuring herself, and had to withdraw from appearing.
In 2006, Day recorded a commentary for the DVD release of the fifth (and final) season of her TV show. Day has participated in telephone interviews with a radio station that celebrates her birthday with an annual Doris Day music marathon. In July 2008 she appeared on the Southern California radio show of longtime friend, newscaster George Putnam, reported in the Los Angeles Times. While Day turned down a tribute offer from the American Film Institute, she received and accepted the Golden Globe's Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in 1989. In 2004, Day was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush for her work on behalf of animals. President Bush stated, "It was a good day for our fellow creatures when she gave her good heart to the cause of animal welfare." Day declined to attend the ceremony because of her fear of flying. She did not accept an invitation to be a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors for the same reason.
Both columnist Liz Smith and film critic Rex Reed have mounted vigorous campaigns to gather support for an honorary Academy Award for Day to herald her film career and her status as the top female box-office star of all time. Day received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in Music in 2008, albeit again in absentia.
Day released My Heart in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2011, her first new album in nearly two decades, since the release of The Love Album, which, although recorded in 1967, was not released until 1994. The album is a compilation of previously unreleased recordings produced by Day's son, Terry Melcher, prior to his death in 2004. Tracks include the 1970s Joe Cocker hit "You Are So Beautiful", the Beach Boys' "Disney Girls" and jazz standards such as "My Buddy", which Day originally sang in her 1951 film I'll See You in My Dreams. Day dedicates this song to her son. The disc was released in the US via City Hall Records on December 6, and within two weeks had climbed to #12 on Amazon's best-seller list in spite of being priced over 25% higher than most CDs in order to raise funds for the Doris Day Animal League. It debuted at 135 on the Billboard 200, Day's first entry on that chart since 1963's Love Him.
Day became the oldest artist to score a UK Top 10 with an album featuring new material, according to the Official Charts Company, entering at Number 9. (British singer Vera Lynn reached the top of the chart in August 2009 at age 92, but with the greatest hits album, We'll Meet Again – The Very Best of Vera Lynn.)
In October 2011, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced that Day would be the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Since her retirement from films, Day has lived in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She lives with her many pets and also adopts stray animals. Day is also a co-owner of a hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, The Cypress Inn.
Day is a Republican.
In 1975, Day released her autobiography, Doris Day: Her Own Story, an "as-told-to" work with A. E. Hotchner. The book detailed her first three marriages:
To Al Jorden, a trombonist whom she first met when he was in Barney Rapp's Band, from March 1941 to 1943. Her only child, son Terrence "Terry" P. Jorden, resulted from this marriage. Husband Jorden, who was reportedly physically abusive to Day, committed suicide in 1967 by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
To George Weidler (a saxophonist), from March 30, 1946 to May 31, 1949. Weidler, the brother of actress Virginia Weidler, and Day met again several years later. During a brief reconciliation, he helped initiate her to Christian Science.
To Martin Melcher, whom she married on April 3, 1951. This marriage lasted until Melcher's death in 1968. Melcher adopted Day's son Terry, who, with the name Terry Melcher, became a successful musician and record producer. Martin Melcher produced many of Day's movies. She and Melcher were both practicing Christian Scientists, resulting in her not seeing a doctor for some time after symptoms that suggested cancer. This distressing period ended when finally consulting a physician and, finding the lump was benign, she fully recovered. After publishing her autobiography, Day married one last time.
Her fourth and last marriage was to Barry Comden (born March 30, 1935 – died May 25, 2009), who was roughly a decade younger, from April 14, 1976 until 1981. Comden was the maitre d’ at one of Day's favorite restaurants. Knowing of her great love of dogs, Comden endeared himself to Day by giving her a bag of meat scraps and bones on her way out of the restaurant. When this marriage unraveled, Comden complained that Day cared more for her "animal friends" than she did for him.
Day's interest in animal welfare and related issues apparently dates to her teen years. While recovering from an automobile accident, she took her dog Tiny for a walk without a leash. Tiny ran into the street and was killed by a passing car. Day later confessed guilt and loneliness about Tiny's untimely death. In 1971, she co-founded Actors and Others for Animals and appeared in a series of newspaper advertisements denouncing the wearing of fur, alongside Mary Tyler Moore, Angie Dickinson, and Jayne Meadows. Day's friend, Cleveland Amory, wrote about these events in Man Kind? Our Incredible War on Wildlife, 1974.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Day promoted the annual Spay Day USA, and on a number of occasions, actively lobbied the United States Congress in support of legislation designed to safeguard animal rights. She also founded The Doris Day Animal League, which merged into The Humane Society of the United States in 2006. Staff members of the Doris Day League took positions within The HSUS, and Day recorded public service announcements for the organization. The HSUS now manages Spay Day USA, the one-day spay/neuter event she originated.
A facility to help abused and neglected horses opened in 2011 and bears her name: the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center, located in Murchison, Texas, on the grounds of an animal sanctuary started by her late friend, author Cleveland Amory. Day contributed $250,000 toward the founding of the center.
She and her son Terry Melcher (along with a partner) co-own the Cypress Inn in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, a small "Hotel California-esque" inn built in a beautiful Mediterranean motif.
According to her autobiography, she got the nickname Clara Bixby when Billy De Wolfe told her, on the Tea for Two (1950) set, that she didn't look like a "Doris Day," but more like a "Clara Bixby." To this day, that remains her nickname among a close circle of old friends, such as Van Johnson.
Rock Hudson called her 'Eunice' because he said that whenever he thought of her as Eunice, it made him laugh.
Turned down the role of Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967). The role went to Anne Bancroft.
She is referenced in the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by pop band Wham!, a single that hit Billboard's #1 in 1984.
When her husband and manager of 17 years, Martin Melcher, died suddenly in April of 1968, she professed not to have known that he had negotiated a multimillion-dollar deal with CBS to launch "The Doris Day Show" (1968) the following fall. After an abbreviated period of mourning, she went ahead with the series, which ran successfully for five seasons.
It was during the location filming of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), when she saw how camels, goats and other "animal extras" in a marketplace scene were being treated, that Day began her lifelong commitment to preventing animal abuse.
She is also referenced in the song, "We Didn't Start The Fire", by Billy Joel.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. Pg. 133-134. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush [June 2004]. She did not attend the White House award ceremony because of her intense fear of flying.
Referenced in the song "Wrap Her Up" by Elton John.
In order to make a political statement regarding the platform of the Canadian Alliance Party, in 2000 Canadian Satirist Rick Mercer launched an attempt to hold a national referendum on the question of whether or not Stockwell Day should be forced to change his first name to "Doris". Within days he had the required number of signatures under the Alliance Parties current platform to launch a federal referendum. Doris, according to her publicist, was amused by this.
Was named the top box-office star of 1963 by the Motion Picture Herald, based on an annual poll of exhibitors as to the drawing power of movie stars at the box-office, conducted by Quigley Publications.
Her son Terry Melcher had rented the house at 10050 Cielo Drive in Bel Air, California, at which Sharon Tate and her friends were murdered by the Manson Family. On March 23, 1969, Charles Manson had visited the house looking for Melcher, a music producer and composer who had worked with The Beach Boys, Bobby Darin and The Byrds. The house was now sub-leased by Tate, and her photographer told Manson to leave by "the back alley," possibly giving Manson a motive for the later attack. Melcher had auditioned Manson for a recording contract but rejected him, and there was a rumor after the murders that Manson had intended to send a message to Melcher, a theory that police later discounted.
When Sandra Dee died in 2005, Day and Annette Funicello became the last living American cinema sweethearts mentioned in the popular song "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee", from the movie Grease (1978). Other sweethearts mentioned--Troy Donahue and Rock Hudson- died in later years following the release of the film.
Premiere Magazine ranked her as #24 on a list of the Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
Is referenced in the song, "Life Is a Rock But the Radio Rolled Me", by Reunion, with lead singer Joey Levine.
Reportedly did not like "swear words." As a recording artist, she would require anyone who said a swear word to put a quarter in a "swear jar." In addition, she does not allow her songs to be used in movies that contain swear words.
Has often cited Calamity Jane (1953) as her personal favorite of the 39 films she appeared in.
Her mother named her after her favorite silent film star, Doris Kenyon. By coincidence, in the mid 1970's when Day wrote her autobiography, Kenyon was her neighbor on Crescent Drive in Beverly Hills.
Her great-niece Pia Douwes is also a critically acclaimed actress.
Is portrayed by Diane Behrens in Rock Hudson (1990) (TV)
Referenced in the song "Dirty Epic" by Underworld.
Also referenced in the song, "What do we do? We fly!" from the musical "Do I Hear A Waltz?" by Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim.
Has a 1982 hit song by the hugely popular Dutch 80s ska-pop band Doe Maar named after her.
Son Terry Melcher was born February 8, 1942. She named him after the character in a comic strip she loved as a little girl, "Terry and the Pirates". Sadly, he passed away of cancer on November 19, 2004.
Her only UK appreciation club is called 'Friends of Doris Day' and is based in Oxford UK.
She lived for years in the star-laden Crescent Drive at 713 Crescent. Her good friend Louis Jourdan lived just across the street at 714.
She is a staunch supporter of the Republican Party, and told the press she voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election.
Telephoned the White House to personally explain to President George W. Bush her reasons for not attending her award presentation in June 2004, and said she was praying hard that he would be elected to a second term of office in November.
After her Pillow Talk (1959) co-star Rock Hudson died of AIDS in 1985, Day told the press that she had never known he was a homosexual.
In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by Rosetta Calavetta. She was occasionally dubbed by Dhia Cristiani, Rina Morelli and once by Lidia Simoneschi in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).
In Germany Edith Schneider dubbed her voice in most of her films.
Profiled in the book, "Film Fatales: Women in Espionage Films and Television, 1962-1973", by Thomas Lisanti and Louis Paul (McFarland, 2002).
She is referenced on every chorus of Ringo Starr's last top 40 release in 1999, "La De Da".
Childhood idol was Ginger Rogers, with whom she starred in Storm Warning (1951).
A close friend and vocal supporter of President Ronald Reagan.
Was a two-and-a-half pack a day smoker until about 1951.
Briefly dated Ronald Reagan shortly after his divorce from Jane Wyman when she and Reagan were contract players at Warner Brothers. Day told him that he was so good at talking that he should be touring the country making speeches. At the time, the future Republican President was a Democrat.
Has a fear of flying that stemmed from tours with Bob Hope in the 1940s that resulted in some close calls in impenetrable winter weather. She almost turned down her role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) because it was to be filmed in London and Marrakesh. Her husband and manager, Martin Melcher talked her into accepting it.
Performed two songs in films that won the Academy Award for Best Original Song: "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane (1953) and "Que Sera, Sera" from The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). Introduced four songs that were nominated: "It's Magic" from Romance on the High Seas (1948), "It's a Great Feeling" from It's a Great Feeling (1949), "I'll Never Stop Loving You" from Love Me or Leave Me (1955) and "Julie" from Julie (1956).
Her father was William Kappelhoff, a music teacher and choral master in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her mother was Alma Sophia Kappelhoff.
Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6735 Hollywood Blvd.
Went to the same Cincinnati ballroom dance studio as a child as Vera-Ellen. Their parents used to carpool together to the dance studio.
Her dreams of a dancing career were dashed when a car accident on 13 October 1937 badly damaged her legs. She spent most of her teenage years wheelchair-bound and during this time began singing with the radio.
Was in a relationship with Jack Carson early in her career before leaving him for Martin Melcher.
Was a good friend of Judy Garland after meeting her on the Warner Bros. lots. She was filming Young at Heart (1954) as Garland was filming A Star Is Born (1954).
The film The Children's Hour (1961) was constructed with both Day and Katharine Hepburn as the two leading ladies. However both actresses backed out due to scheduling conflicts and as a result Shirley MacLaine was cast in Hepburn's role and Audrey Hepburn was cast in Day's role.
Doris' second husband was George Weidler a saxophone player and former child actor. His sister was MGM child actress Virginia Weidler.
In 1976, Doris married Barry Comden, 12 years her junior. They met at the Beverly Hills Old World Restaurant where he was the maitre d'. In the 1970s, Comden opened an Old World restaurant in Westwood and supervised the construction of another restaurant, Tony Roma's, in Palm Springs. It was Comden who came up with the idea for a line of pet food that would feature Doris' name. Doris Day Distributing Co. unraveled mainly because of a pyramid-type scheme that the couple had been unaware of. They lived in Carmel but Comden complained that Day preferred the company of her dogs more than him and they divorced in 1981.
Her first marriage at age 17 to trombone player Al Jordan, whom she met while both were performing in Barney Rapp's band, was extremely unhappy. They divorced within two years amid reports of Jordan's alcoholism and abuse of the young star. Despondent and feeling his life had little meaning after the much publicized divorce, Jordan later committed suicide.
While performing for a local radio station, Doris was approached by band leader Barney Rapp. Rapp felt that Doris's name, Kappelhoff, was too harsh and awkward and that she should change her name to something more pleasant. The name "Day" was suggested by Rapp from one of the songs in Doris' repertoire, "Day by Day." She didn't like the name at first feeling that it sounded too much like a burlesque performer.
She was scheduled to present, along with Patrick Swayze and Marvin Hamlisch, the Best Original Score Oscar at the 61st Annual Academy Awards (March 1989) but she suffered a deep leg cut and was unable to attend. She had been walking through the gardens of the hotel she owns when she cut her leg on a sprinkler. The cut required stitches.
Received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2006.
Oscar Levant quipped, "I've been around so long, I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin".
Has one grandson; Ryan Melcher (b. May 1983).
Underwent a hysterectomy during the filming of Julie (1956) after being diagnosed with a tumour the size of a grapefruit that was growing into her intestines.
Some of the downbeat pictures, in my opinion, should never be made at all. Most of them are made for personal satisfaction, to impress other actors who say 'Oh, God! what a shot, what camera work!' But the average person in the audience, who bought his ticket to be entertained, doesn't see that at all. He comes out depressed.
I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile and I want to make people laugh. And that's all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy.
Learning a part was like acting out the lyrics of a song.
[on recording "Secret Love" for the movie Calamity Jane (1953)]: When I first heard "Secret Love" I almost fainted, it was so beautiful. When we finally got around to doing the pre-recording, Ray Heindorf, the musical director at Warner's, said he'd get the musicians in about 12:30 so they could rehearse. That morning I did my vocal warm-up, then jumped on my bike and rode over to Warner's - we lived in Toluca Lake at the time, which was just minutes from the studio. When I got there I sang the song with the orchestra for the first time. When I'd finished, Ray called me into the sound booth, grinning from ear to ear, and said, "That's it. You're never going to do it better." That was the first and only take we did.
[recalling her only pleasant memories of Julie (1956)] Almost all of "Julie" was shot on location in Carmel, which is a lovely resort town a little south of San Francisco. My co-star was Louis Jourdan, whom I liked very much. An amiable man, very gentle, very much interested in the people around him; we had a good rapport and I found talking to him a joy . . . We would take long walks on the beautiful Carmel beach, chatting by the hour.
If there is a Heaven I'm sure Rock Hudson is there because he was such a kind person.
[on Rock Hudson] I call him Ernie, because he's certainly no Rock.
[on Ronald Reagan] Ronnie is really the only man I've ever known who loved dancing.
[on Cary Grant] A completely private person, totally reserved, and there is no way into him.
The succession of cheerful, period musicals I made, plus Oscar Levant's widely publicized remark about my virginity, contributed to what has been called my 'image', which is a word that baffles me. There never was any intent on my part either in my acting or in my private life to create any such thing as an image.
[during the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush] I'm pulling for him every step of the way.
[In her 1975 autobiography] You don't really know a person until you live with him, not just sleep with him. Sex is not enough to sustain marriage. 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. The young people have it right. What a tragedy it is for a couple to get married, have a child, and in the process discover they are not suited for one another! If I had lived with Al Jorden for a few weeks, God knows I would never have married him. Nor would I have married George Weidler. But I was too young and too inexperienced to understand any of this. Now my heart was busted and I had lost my way.
[about Elizabeth Taylor's diamonds] When I see Liz Taylor with those Harry Winston boulders hanging from her neck I get nauseated. Not figuratively, but nauseated! All I can think of are how many dog shelters those diamonds could buy.
[dismissing allegations that she "stole" husband Martin Melcher from his former wife, singer Patty Andrews] A person does not leave a good marriage for someone else.