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Monday, May 13, 2019

Remembering Doris Day 1922 - 2019


(image via eBay)

Back in 2009, I wrote the following about actress Doris Day, who sadly left us today at age 97:
Doris Day was my favorite actress as a child. I was always excited whenever the Dialing for Dollars Early Show (the weekday afternoon movie on TV) had a "Doris Day Week" featuring her films. Usually they would show her comedies with Rock Hudson and James Garner or my personal favorite, 1968's Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? I also enjoyed her CBS sitcom (1968-73) through its many incarnations as her character, Doris Martin, went from being a widowed mother to a swinging single career woman. As long as the actress sang "Que Sera, Sera" during the opening credits, I was happy to tune in every week. It wasn't until much later that I became familiar with her more dramatic work (Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much and the 1960 thriller, Midnight Lace) as well as her musicals (The Pajama Game). Doris Day was kind of the Julia Roberts or Meg Ryan (or a combination of the two) of the 1960s with all her romantic comedies, and I think both men and women found her appealing in her frequent role as a beautiful wife and mother with a sassy sense of humor. I know I did. We haven't seen much of Ms. Day since she retired from the public eye after her short-lived talk show, Doris Day's Best Friends, in 1985, and I miss her. But she will forever be a groovy gal to me.
Below you can enjoy my 90 Groovy Things about Doris Day on her birthday post from April 3, 2014, which I've updated with a few additional videos.

Today I'm celebrating Doris Day's 90th birthday by sharing a "few" groovy things about her life and career:

1. Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 3, 1924. She was named after silent movie actress Doris Kenyon, whom her mother admired, and in the mid-1970s, Kenyon was Day's neighbor in Beverly Hills.

2. While working for orchestra leader and jazz musician Barney Rapp in 1939, she adopted the stage name "Day" when he felt "Kappelhoff" was too long for marquees. He suggested her new name after hearing her sing "Day After Day".

3. While working with bandleader Les Brown, she had her first hit recording of "Sentimental Journey", which was released in early 1945.

4. Her second hit record with the Les Brown Band was "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time", which reached #1 on the Billboard charts in 1945.

5. Her first major record away from the Les Brown Band was "Love Somebody", a duet with Buddy Clark that reached #6 on the Billboard charts in 1948.

6. After she performed the song, "Embraceable You", during a party at the home of composer Jule Styne, he and his partner, Sammy Cahn, recommended her for a role in the 1948 musical comedy, Romance on the High Seas, and she later replaced a pregnant Betty Hutton as the lead in the film. The movie also provided Day with her first #1 hit as a soloist, the Oscar-nominated "It's Magic" (by Styne and Cahn).



7. She starred in the 1949 musical comedy, My Dream Is Yours, with Eve Arden.

8. Her third film was the 1949 musical comedy, It's a Great Feeling.

9. Her first LP album, You're My Thrill, was released on August 1, 1949, by Columbia Records.

10. Her first dramatic role was in the 1950 film, Young Man with a Horn, co-starring Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall.



11. She received top billing for the first time in the 1950 musical, Tea for Two.



12. She starred in the 1950 musical comedy, The West Point Story, with James Cagney and Gordon MacRae.

13. She played Ginger Rogers' sister in the 1951 thriller, Storm Warning.

14. She starred in the 1951 musical comedy, Lullaby of Broadway.

15. She starred opposite Gordon MacRae in the 1951 musical, On Moonlight Bay.

16. She starred opposite Danny Thomas in the 1951 musical, I'll See You in My Dreams.

17. She appeared as herself in the 1951 musical, Starlift, which featured many of Warner Brothers' top stars in cameo appearances.

18. She played Ronald Reagan's wife in the 1952 biographical film, The Winning Team, about major league pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander.

19. She starred in the 1952 musical, April in Paris, with Ray Bolger.

20. She and Frankie Lane recorded a duet of "Sugar Bush", which was released in 1952.

21. She and Gordon MacRae starred in the 1953 musical, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, a sequel to On Moonlight Bay.

22. She introduced the Academy Award-winning song, "Secret Love", in the 1953 musical, Calamity Jane, which also starred Howard Keel.



23. She starred in the 1954 musical comedy, Lucky Me, with Nancy Walker.



24. She made her first television appearance as a mystery guest on the TV game show, What's My Line?, on June 20, 1954.



25. She and Frank Sinatra starred in the 1954 musical, Young at Heart.



26. She starred in the 1955 musical drama, Love Me or Leave Me, with James Cagney.




27. Her album, Day Dreams, was released by Columbia Records on June 13, 1955.

28. She introduced the Academy Award-winning song, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)", in the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much.

29. She played a stewardess terrorized by her insanely jealous husband (Louis Jourdan) in the 1956 thriller, Julie.

30. Her album, Day by Day, was released by Columbia Records on December 17, 1956.

31. She was a mystery guest on the TV game show, What's My Line?, on September 8, 1957.

32. Her album, Day by Night, was released on November 11, 1957, by Columbia Records,

33. She starred opposite John Raitt in the 1957 film adaptation of the Broadway musical, The Pajama Game.




34. She recorded the hit song, "Everybody Loves a Lover", in 1958.

35. She starred opposite Clark Gable in the 1958 romantic comedy, Teacher's Pet.

36. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her performance in the 1958 romantic comedy, The Tunnel of Love.

37. Her two-album set, Hooray for Hollywood, was released as separate volumes by Columbia Records in 1958 and 1959.

38. Her album, Cuttin' Capers, was released by Columbia Records on March 9, 1959.

39. She starred in the 1959 romantic comedy, It Happened to Jane, with Jack Lemmon.

40. She received her first and only Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the 1959 romantic comedy, Pillow Talk, with Rock Hudson.



41. She received two Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording and Motion Pictures on February 8, 1960.

42. Her album, What Every Girl Should Know, was released by Columbia Records on March 21, 1960.

43. She played David Niven's wife in the 1960 comedy, Please Don't Eat the Daisies.



43. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Drama for her performance in the 1960 mystery-thriller, Midnight Lace.

44. Her album of Broadway show tunes, Show Time, was released by Columbia Records on July 11, 1960.

45. Her album, Bright and Shiny, was released by Columbia Records on March 20, 1961.

46. She starred in the 1961 romantic comedy, Lover Come Back, which was her second film with Rock Hudson.



47. Her album, I Have Dreamed, was released by Columbia Records on August 14, 1961.

48. Director William Wyler initially considered Doris Day and Katharine Hepburn for the leading roles in his 1961 drama, The Children's Hour, but Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine were eventually cast.

49. Her collaborative album with the André Previn trio, Duet, was released by Columbia Records on February 22, 1962.

50. She starred opposite Cary Grant in the 1962 romantic comedy, That Touch of Mink.

51. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her performance in the 1962 film, Billy Rose's Jumbo.

52. Her album, You'll Never Walk Alone, was released by Columbia Records on September 17, 1962.

53. She and Robert Goulet were featured on a studio album of the musical, Annie Get Your Gun, which was released on February 11, 1963, by Columbia Records.

54. She played James Garner's wife in the 1963 romantic comedy, The Thrill of It All.



55. She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her performance in the 1963 film, Move Over, Darling (which was originally meant to be a 1962 comeback vehicle for Marilyn Monroe).



56. Her album, Love Him, was released by Columbia Records on December 16, 1963.

57. She played Rock Hudson's wife in the 1964 comedy, Send Me No Flowers, which was their third and final film as co-stars.



58. The Doris Day Christmas Album was released by Columbia Records on September 14, 1964.

59. Her album, With a Smile and a Song, featuring Jimmy Joyce and the Children's Chorus, was released by Columbia Records on October 19, 1964.

60. In 1964, Lucille Ball hosted a syndicated, 10-minute celebrity talk show each morning on CBS radio called Let's Talk to Lucy, and Doris Day was one of her guests.



61. Her album, Latin for Lovers, was released by Columbia Records on March 22, 1965.

62. She played Rod Taylor's wife in the 1965 romantic comedy, Do Not Disturb.



63. Her album, Doris Day's Sentimental Journey, was released by Columbia Records on July 12, 1965.

64. She starred opposite Rod Taylor in the 1966 romantic comedy, The Glass Bottom Boat.



65. She starred in the 1967 comedy western, The Ballad of Josie.

66. She starred opposite Richard Harris in the 1967 comedy-thriller, Caprice.



67. She turned down the role of "Mrs. Robinson" in the 1967 film, The Graduate.

68. She starred in the 1968 comedy, Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?, with Patrick O'Neal and Robert Morse.

69. Her final acting appearance in a feature film was the 1968 romantic comedy, With Six You Get Eggroll, co-starring Brian Keith.

70. She received a Golden Globe nomination in 1969 for her performance on The Doris Day Show, her 1968-73 CBS sitcom.




71. She made a brief vocal cameo in a 1970 episode of the CBS sitcom, The Governor & J.J.

72. She was a guest on The Merv Griffin Show on June 22, 1970, with actor Chuck Connors, comedian Dom DeLuise and singers Roger Miller and Lou Rawls.

73. She starred in her TV special, The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special, on March 14, 1971, with guest Perry Como and an uncredited appearance by Rock Hudson.





74. In 1971, she became one of the founding members of Actors and Others for Animals and appeared in a series of newspaper advertisements denouncing the wearing of fur, alongside such other animal advocates as Mary Tyler Moore and Angie Dickinson.

75. She was a guest on Betty White's syndicated series, The Pet Set, on August 5, 1971.



76. She and Euell Gibbons were guests on The Tonight Show with guest host McLean Stevenson on November 26, 1973.

77. Doris Day paid tribute to her former co-star, James Cagney, on the TV special, AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Cagney, on March 18, 1974.



78. She was a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson with Rodney Dangerfield and Carol Wayne on September 2, 1974.



79. She and Dick Van Dyke were guests on the ABC special, The John Denver Show: A Family Event, on December 1, 1974.



80. She starred in her TV special, Doris Day Today, on February 19, 1975, with guests John Denver, Tim Conway and Rich Little.




81. She released her autobiography, Doris Day: Her Own Story, in 1975, and she promoted it on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on January 16, 1976.



82. She also promoted her book on The Mike Douglas Show (with co-host Steve Allen) on January 21, 1976.



83. In 1978, she founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation (now called the Doris Day Animal Foundation), a non-profit to help animals and the people who love them.

84. She hosted her own animal-themed talk show, Doris Day's Best Friends, which aired on the Christian Broadcasting Network for 26 episodes in 1985-86. Rock Hudson made his last public appearance on the debut show on July 16, 1985.

85. She received a Golden Globe for Lifetime Achievement on the 46th Annual Golden Globes on January 28, 1989.




86. She was interviewed by Joan Lunden on Good Morning America in October 1993.



87. She was a guest on Vicki Lawrence's syndicated talk show, Vicki!, on November 8, 1993, to promote a Doris Day Best Friend event.

88. Her album, The Love Album, which was recorded during three studio sessions in 1967, was finally released in 1994.

89. She received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2008.

90. Her 29th studio album, My Heart, was released on September 5, 2011, making her - at age 87 - the oldest artist to ever reach the UK Top 10 music chart with an album featuring new material. And in the U.S., My Heart was her first entry on the Billboard 200 albums chart in 47 years.

4 comments:

Jon said...

Probably the most comprehensive tribute to the late, great Doris Day I have read! RIP. Jx

Lance said...

The world is a little sadder, and a bit more dreary today. RIP Doris! :(

joel65913 said...

Beautiful tribute to an awesome lady. I don't have time at the moment to watch all the videos but I'll be back to work my way though when I can and am looking forward to it!

Almost all her films are worth seeing, Caprice is a torture though, but I've always loved her first two-Romance on the High Seas and My Dream is Yours-and Love Me or Leave Me best.

David H. said...

The world is a little less brighter now. She was heavenly in everything she ever did. You could always count on her for the laughs, tears, and joy. God Bless You Doris Day!!