Doris Day Biography
Doris Day (Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff) was an American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist born on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio and died on 13th May 2019. She was arguably the top female box-office star in Hollywood history, with a No. 1 ranking in 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1964. She had her first hit as a big-band vocalist during World War II.
Growing up in the 1930s Doris was attracted to music and dance, eventually forming part of a dance duo which performed locally until a car she was riding in was struck by a train, crushing her right leg, a severe injury that curtailed her ambition to become a professional dancer.
However, while recovering, Doris gained a vocal education by listening to the radio, becoming a fan of the embryonic records of upcoming Ella Fitzgerald. Her mother encouraged her to take singing lessons. Alma took Doris to see vocal coach Grace Raine, who was so impressed with Doris’ natural talent that she offered her three lessons for the price of one. Doris credits Raine with impressing upon her the importance of delivering a lyric, and today Doris says that Raine had the greatest impact on her singing career.
At age 15, Doris began performing locally and while working with local bandleader Barney Rapp, she adopted the stage name “Day” after Rapp suggested “Kappelhoff” was too long and cumbersome for marquee appeal. After leaving Rapp, Doris worked with a number of other band leaders including Bob Crosby, and was eventually hired by Les Brown. She had two stints with Brown’s band, with marriage to trombonist Al Jordan, birth of her son Terry and subsequent divorce in between. Her 1945 hit “Sentimental Journey,” co-written by Brown and recorded with his band, was made at the ideal time, as it reflected the thoughts of weary troops as they returned home from service in Europe and the Pacific.
As an Actress, Doris Day still despondent over her divorce, Doris reluctantly accepted an invitation to sing at a Hollywood party attended by songwriters Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn. She was asked to sing and gave a tearful, emotionally charged rendition of “Embraceable You.” So impressed was Styne that he arranged for a screen test. This lead to her first movie, Romance on the High Seas (1948), with director Michael Curtiz, who placed Doris under a personal contract for further films at Warner Brothers. Tea for Two (1950), Lullaby of Broadway (1951), On Moonlight Bay (1951), By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953) and Calamity Jane (1953) were among the popular musicals that helped Doris sell hit records like “It’s Magic” and “Secret Love.” The occasional dramatic role, such as in the dark Storm Warning (1950) and musical melodrama Young Man with a Horn (1950), proved Doris had natural acting talent.
On a personal level, Doris married her agent, Marty Melcher, in 1951. He subsequently handled her career as her producer and decided not to renew her contract with Warner Brothers after the completion of Young At Heart in 1954. As a freelance actress, Doris’ range of roles increased. She made the biopic Love Me Or Leave Me, based on the life of ‘20s singer Ruth Etting, in 1955 for MGM; it was hailed as a triumph for both her singing and acting. She followed this with Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), which teamed her with James Stewart and included location work in Morocco and London. On set, Doris asked Hitch why he wasn’t giving her any direction. His response was simple: “Because you are doing everything just right,” he said.
Doris’ recording of “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” was used as an innocuous plot device in the film, and won an Oscar for Best Song. When Doris later recorded “Que Sera Sera” for Columbia, it became such a massive hit, it was henceforth perceived as her signature number. Today, Doris casually admits to initially disliking the song.
Doris returned to Warner Brothers for the film version of Broadway hit The Pajama Game in 1957. She was ideally cast as a feisty union shop-steward in a pajama factory, and the film included great songs that kept the action buoyant. Doris starred in comedies with Clark Gable, Jack Lemmon, Richard Widmark and David Niven. Then, in 1959, Doris paired with Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk for Universal. This role gained her a Best Actress Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe Award and began a run of sophisticated romantic comedies. The onscreen chemistry between Doris and Hudson led to two more films, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers. That Touch of Mink (1962) with Cary Grant lacked the same screen chemistry that was so apparent with Hudson, but the glow was back when she teamed up with James Garner in The Thrill of It All (1963) and Move Over Darling (1963). The dramatic Midnight Lace (1960) with Rex Harrison was an emotionally draining role for Doris. As for musicals, Jumbo gave Doris the lovely Rodgers & Hart score to sing, but the circus story based on a ‘30s Broadway spectacle was too old-fashioned to make any impression in 1962.
Doris was voted Top Box-Office Female Star for four straight years during the early ‘60s, and was among the Top 10 for 10 straight years. Her record has never been matched, but fickle tastes eventually rejected such frothy fun for Hollywood’s more explicit sex and darker themes. By mid-decade, her box-office appeal had slipped a few notches, but Melcher continued to star Doris in light-weight fare with Move Over Darling and The Glass Bottom Boat (1966), the best of the bunch thanks to Doris’ personable appeal. Ironically, her final movie, With Six You Get Egg-Roll (1968), gave an indication that roles nearer her actual age might be the way forward.
As a Television Personality, the sudden death of Marty Melcher in 1968 was a catalyst to Doris’ discovering he and business partner Jerry Rosenthal had squandered her earnings, leaving her deeply in debt. Years were taken up suing Rosenthal in the courts, with a large civil judgment eventually awarding Doris $20 million dollars.
After legal fees, she received only a fraction of that amount. Doris also discovered Melcher had committed her to a television sitcom series. Despite grave misgivings and a dislike of television, the ultimate need to clear her debts convinced Doris to go ahead with “The Doris Day Show,” netting her a Golden Globe (1969) for Best Actress in a Television Series.
With annual changes in formula, she successfully steered the series for five years (1968-1973) as a co-executive producer with son Terry. Her contract completed, she left the grueling schedule on her own terms. Additionally, two television specials, “The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special” (1971) and “Doris Day Today” (1975), gave Doris a chance to sing with friends Perry Como and John Denver as guests.
A cable television series, “Doris Day and Friends,” had limited coverage during 1985-86 and featured a talk-show format, with topics mainly dedicated to animal welfare.
Doris Day Age
Doris was 97 years old at the time of her death.
Doris Day Death
Doris Day died on May 13, 2019. Her death was announced on her animal foundation website. The statement read;
“Doris Day passed away early this morning at her Carmel Valley home, having celebrated her 97th birthday on April 3 of this year. Nearly 300 fans gathered in Carmel last month to celebrate Day’s birthday. Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death. She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed.”
Doris Day Cause of Death
According to the statement released on her animal foundation website, Doris died of pneumonia.
Doris Day Family
Doris Day was born to Alma Sophia and William Joseph Kappelhoff. Her father, Frederick Wilhelm Von Kappelhoff, was a music teacher, choirmaster and church organist and loved classical music. Her mother, Alma Sophia Welz, on the other hand, was an outgoing woman who enjoyed “hillbilly music.”
Doris was the youngest of three: she had two brothers, Richard, who died before she was born, and Paul who was a few years older. She was named after silent movie actress Doris Kenyon, whom her mother admired.
Doris Day Marriages – Doris Day Spouse – Doris Day Husband – Doris Day Children
Doris Day has been in four marriages. Her first marriage was to Al Jorden, a trombonist whom she first met in Barney Rapp’s Band, from March 1941 to 1943. Her only child, son Terrence Paul Jorden (later known as Terry Melcher), resulted from this marriage. Husband Jorden, who was reportedly physically abusive to Day, committed suicide in 1967 by gunshot.
Her second marriage was 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 introduce her to Christian Science.
Her third marriage was 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 thereby finding the lump was benign, she fully recovered.
Her fourth marriage, from April 14, 1976 until 1981, was to Barry Comden, who was roughly a decade younger. When this marriage unraveled, Comden complained that Day cared more for her “animal friends” than she did for him.
Doris Day Son/ Did Doris Day Have Any Kids
Doris Day had one son only named Terry Melcher, from her first marriage to Terrence Paul Jorden. He was a musician and record producer who was instrumental in shaping the 1960s California Sound and folk-rock movements. He was best known for his work with the Beach Boys and the Byrds.
Terry died on November 19, 2004, at the age of 62 after a long battle with melanoma. He survived by his wife Terese and his son Terry Melcher.
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Doris Day Grandson
Doris has a grandson called Ryan Melcher the son of her only child Terry Melcher. Ryan works as a realtor in Carmel, California.
Doris Day Photos
Doris Day Net Worth
Doris Day had an estimated net worth of $200 million.
Doris Day Home
Doris lived in her 11 acres home in Carmel. It is secluded by tall oak trees, manicured lawns and gardens and a security fence complete with gatehouse and gatekeeper.
Doris Day Quotes
- No matter what happens, if I get pushed down, I’m going to come right back up.
- I have never found in a human being loyalty that is comparable to a dog’s loyalty.
- I love all the shows that encourage people to love, appreciate and help animals. There are more programs about animals than ever, and that pleases me.
- If it’s true that men are such beasts, this must account for the fact that most women are animal lovers.
- 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.
- Killing an animal to make a coat is sin. It wasn’t meant to be, and we have no right to do it.
- When I recorded for Columbia, I could usually do anything in one take…I would invariably want to use the first take because that would be the one that was spontaneous and fresh.
- I always felt that making a living wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, and I decided I was going straight ahead and try to be as uncomplicated as possible. The important thing in life is just living and loving.
- If there is a heaven, I’m sure Rock Hudson is there because he was such a kind person.
- It was the only ambition I ever had – not to be a dancer or Hollywood movie star, but to be a housewife in a good marriage.
- Well I do find the beauty in animals. I find beauty everywhere. I find beauty in my garden.
- 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.
- Any girl can look glamorous… just stand there and look stupid.
- The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you’ll grow out of it.
- The happiest times in my life were the days when I was traveling with Les Brown and his band.
Doris Day Day By Day
Doris Day Movies and TV Shows
Doris Day Movies – Doris Day Films
- Romance on the High Seas – 1948
- My Dream is Yours – 1949
- It’s a Great Feeling – 1949
- Young Man With a Horn – 1950
- Tea for Two – 1950
- West Point Story – 1950
- Storm Warning – 1950
- Lullaby of Broadway – 1951
- On Moonlight Bay – 1951
- I’ll See You in My Dreams – 1951
- Starlift – 1951
- The Winning Team – 1952
- April in Paris – 1952
- By the Light of the Silvery Moon – 1953
- Calamity Jane – 1953
- Lucky Me – 1954
- Young at Heart – 1955
- Love Me or Leave Me – 1955
- The Man Who Knew Too Much – 1956
- Julie – 1956
- Pajama Game – 1957
- Tunnel of Love – 1958
- Teacher’s Pet – 1958
- It Happened to Jane – 1959
- Pillow Talk – 1959
- Please Don’t Eat the Daisies – 1960
- Midnight Lace – 1960
- Lover Come Back – 1960
- That Touch of Mink – 1962
- Jumbo – 1962
- Move Over Darling – 1963
- The Thrill of It All – 1963
- Send Me No Flowers – 1964
- Do Not Disturb – 1965
- Glass Bottom Boat – 1966
- Caprice – 1967
- The Ballad of Josie – 1968
- Where Were You When the Lights Went Out – 1968
- With Six You Get Eggroll – 1968
Doris Day TV Shows
- The Doris Day Show (1968 – 1973) (CBS; Award-winning TV sitcom)
- 1971 – The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special
- 1975 – Doris Day Today!
- 1985-1986 – Doris Day’s Best Friends
Doris Day Albums
- You’re My Thrill (1949)
- Tea for Two (1950)
- Young Man with a Horn (1950)
- Lullaby Of Broadway (1951) (soundtrack)
- On Moonlight Bay (1951) (soundtrack)
- I’ll See You in My Dreams (1951)
- By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)
- Calamity Jane(1953)
- Young at Heart (1954)
- Day Dreams
- Love Me or Leave Me
- Day By Day (1956)
- Day By Night (1957)
- The Pajama Game (1957)
- Hooray for Hollywood (1958
- Cuttin’ Capers (1959)
- What Every Girl Should Know (1960)
- Show Time (1960)
- Bright and Shiny (1961)
- I Have Dreamed (1961)
- Duet (w/ Andre Previn) (1962)
- You’ll Never Walk Alone (1962)
- Billy Rose’s Jumbo (1962)
- Annie Get Your Gun (1963)
- Love Him (1963)
- The Doris Day Christmas Album (1964)
- With a Smile and a Song (1964)
- Latin for Lovers (1965)
- Doris Day’s Sentimental Journey (1965)
- The Love Album
Doris Day Songs
- Sentimental Journey
- My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time
- Tain’t Me
- Till The End Of Time
- You Won’t Be Satisfied
- I Got The Sun In The Morning
- The Whole World Is Singing My Song
- It’s Magic
- Love Somebody
- My Darling, My Darling
- Would I Love You
- Why Did I Tell You I Was Going To Shanghai
- A Guy Is A Guy
- Mister Tap Toe
- Secret Love
- If I Give My Heart To You
- What Ever Will Be Will Be
- Everybody Loves A Lover
- Come To Baby, Do
- Aren’t You Glad You’re You
- Day By Day
- The Christmas Song
- Sooner Or Later
- Papa Won’t You Dance With Me
- Powder Your Face With Sunshine
- Where Are You
- Let’s Take An Old-Fashioned Walk
- Canadian Capers
- There’s A Bluebird On Your Windowsill
- I Didn’t Slip, I Wasn’t Pushed, I Fell
- Hoop Dee Doo
- A Bushel And A Peck
- When I Fall In Love
- A Full Time Job
- Candy Lips
- Choo Choo Train
- I Speak To The Stars
- I’ll Never Stop Loving You
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