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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Doris Day born 3 April 1924

 
 
Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff (born April 3, 1924*) is an American singer, actress, and animal welfare advocate known as Doris Day. A vivacious blonde with a wholesome image, Day was one of the most prolific actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. Able to sing, dance, and play comedy and dramatic roles, she became one
of the biggest box-office stars in Hollywood. She has almost 40 films to her credit and has recorded approximately 45 albums.
 
Doris Day was already a big star when she played Calamity Jane to Howard Keel’s Bill Hicock in 1953’s “Calamity Jane”.    She had the fresh, wholesome beauty and curvy figure that made her an All-American sex symbol to men and the warm, approachable personality that endeared her equally to women.  She could play taut drama and cheerfully mug and camp her way through slapstick farce and quipping, sophisticated comedy, alike.  And, by the way…she could sing.  Her warm, clear voice started her career.  Doris’ public successes and tragic setbacks rendered her struggles public domain.  Her courage and determination in adversity and her tireless charitable efforts have made her an inspiration to millions and have earned the position of an American icon.
 
Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff was born April 3, 1924 in Evanston, Ohio, to a German Catholic family.  Her older brother Richard died before she was born.  She joined the surviving brother, Paul.  Her parents split up when she was only 8. She originally dreamed of becoming a dancer, but a car wreck at age 14 ended that.  She turned to singing and appeared on local radio where she met Barney Rapp.  He changed her name to something more theatrical-“Day”- after she did so well singing the song “Day By Day”.
 
By age 16, she was singing with the Les Brown Orchestra at $75 a week.  It was during her time with Brown that she met Al Jordan and later married him in 1941.  Son Terry was born in 1942.  Doris was determined to be a traditional wife and gave up her career to be a housewife.  Al proved to be violent and she divorced him soon after Terry’s birth.  Now a single mother, Doris rejoined Les Brown and entertained the troops during WWII.
 
In 1946, she met the band’s new sax player, George Weidler and married him.  Despite the fact Doris once again gave up her career to stay home, he could not stand to live in the shadow for her fame.  The couple divorced after only 8 months.
 
Doris signed a contract with Warner Brothers and debuted in the 1948 film “Romance on the High Seas”.  Her song from the film, “It’s Magic” was a million seller.  Doris’ film career was on its way.  In 1953, she was paired with Howard Keel, on loan from MGM, for the fictitious biography “Calamity Jane”.  Her song for that film, “Secret Love” won the Oscar for Best Song.  She also made successful records for Columbia, beginning in 1954. In 1955, Doris tried marriage again, this time marrying the fateful Marty Melcher, her agent, on her 27th birthday.
 
 

 
He pushed Doris hard.  She went from movie to movie without pause.  In 1958, brother Paul died.  Her career was facing a crisis- now in her mid- 30’s, she had outgrown the girl-next-door parts that had been her stereotype all through her career.  The late 50’s introduced a genre’ practically made just for her- the sex comedy.  Paired with her greatest co-star and lifelong friend Rock Hudson, her career blossomed once again.  She was even able to move into serious parts in thrillers.
 
As the 60’s wore on, Marty pushed her into more and more movies she didn’t want to do.  Nervous exhaustion resulted and she was forced to leave show business for a while.  When she recovered, she returned to fulfill her Warner contract.  What she did not realize was that Marty had run up enormous debts from failed investments.  When Marty died in 1968, Doris was left bankrupt, owing thousands.  She was eventually awarded 22 million by the courts. She was also unaware that Marty had signed her to do a TV series.  To get out of debt and fulfill her contract, Doris made “The Doris Day Show” for CBS.  It was a success and she was able to get back on her feet. In 1975, she wrote her autobiography “Doris Day Today- Her Own Story”.  It was a bestseller.  She moved to Carmel, California and married for the last time, to Barry Comden in 1979.  It lasted 3 years.
 
Doris joined her son Terry Melcher in joint ownership of the Cypress Inn in Carmel in 1981.  Doris was back on TV- this time cable- in 1985 with the talk show “Doris Day’s Best Friends”.  It would be on this show that her close friend Rock Hudson would reveal he was dying of AIDS.  He died a few months later.  In 1985-86, she made a “Last Album” with son Terry, but the studio shelved it.  Only a few songs were played on her cable show. After a brief attempt to become a surf music singing star, her son Terry became a staff producer for Columbia Records in the 1960s, and was famous for producing most of the hit recordings by the pioneering folk rock band, The Byrds. In November 2004, after a long period of illness, he died from complications of melanoma (skin cancer), aged 62.
 
Doris was passionate about the plight of animals in America, especially household pets.  She started the Doris Day Animal League and the Doris Day Foundation to raise awareness and support for animals.  She is, in fact, a vegetarian and also became a Christian Scientist. Still beautiful and active, Doris still works for these organizations.  The sale of her merchandise, like autographed pictures, etc. goes to support these groups.
 
In 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush for her achievements in the entertainment industry and 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 due to her fear of flying. Day received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in Music in 2008, albeit again in absentia. She has received three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards, in 1998, 1999 and 2012 for her recordings of "Sentimental Journey", "Secret Love", and "Que Sera, Sera", respectively. Day was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007, and in 2010 received the first Legend Award ever presented by the Society of Singers.
 
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, before his death in 2004. 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.
 
In January 2012, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association presented Day with a 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 owns a hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, The Cypress Inn, which her late son had co-owned with her.
 
*The actual year of her birthday is rumored to be 1922, although some reports say it's 1923 or 1924.
 (info mainly from geocities & a tad of Wikipedia) 


2 comments:

boppinbob said...

Here's a comment from my original Multiply blog

Christine Bassett said Like Marmite, you either love her or you hate her - currently I am at the 'buttering my toast' stage! 4 April 2008 04:19

There are numerous albums on the web but I have chosen this one from "San Jose 72 blog"

For Doris Day - The Legends Collection 2CD set go here:

http://uploaded.net/file/m8dugd1e

THE LEGENDS COLLECTION CD1

01.-.Doris Day.-.Love Somebody.mp3
02.-.Doris Day.-.It’s Magic.mp3
03.-.Doris Day.-.Powder Your Face With Sunshine.mp3
04.-.Doris Day.-.Let’s Be Buddies.mp3
05.-.Doris Day.-.Three at a Table.mp3
06.-.Doris Day.-.Till the End of Time.mp3
07.-.Doris Day.-.I’d Rather Be With You.mp3
08.-.Doris Day.-.Sentimental Journey.mp3
09.-.Doris Day.-.I’ll Always Be With You.mp3
10.-.Doris Day.-.It Could Happen to You.mp3
11.-.Doris Day.-.’T Ain’t Me.mp3
12.-.Doris Day.-.The Last Time I Saw You.mp3
13.-.Doris Day.-.Come to Baby.mp3
14.-.Doris Day.-.A Red Kiss on a Blue Letter.mp3
15.-.Doris Day.-.Canadian Capers.mp3
16.-.Doris Day.-.Sooner or Later.mp3
17.-.Doris Day.-.My Number One Dream Come True.mp3
18.-.Doris Day.-.You Should Have Told Me.mp3
19.-.Doris Day.-.He’s Home for a Little While.mp3
20.-.Doris Day.-.Keep Cool.mp3
21.-.Doris Day.-.Fool Made Up My Mind.mp3




THE LEGENDS COLLECTION CD2

01.-.Doris Day.-.The Christmas Song.mp3
02.-.Doris Day.-.While The Music Plays.mp3
03.-.Doris Day.-.Between Friends.mp3
04.-.Doris Day.-.Broom Street.mp3
05.-.Doris Day.-.The Whole World Is Singing My Song.mp3
06.-.Doris Day.-.My Blue Heaven.mp3
07.-.Doris Day.-.A Hundred Years From Today.mp3
08.-.Doris Day.-.I’m A Big Girl Now.mp3
09.-.Doris Day.-.Singing’ In The Rain.mp3
10.-.Doris Day.-.Star Dust.mp3
11.-.Doris Day.-.A Guy Is A Guy.mp3
12.-.Doris Day.-.It’s A Great Feeling.mp3
13.-.Doris Day.-.My Dream is Yours.mp3
14.-.Doris Day.-.I’ll String Along With You.mp3
15.-.Doris Day.-.Someone Like You.mp3
16.-.Doris Day.-.Blue Skies.mp3
17.-.Doris Day.-.I’m In The Mood For Love.mp3
18.-.Doris Day.-.Quicksilver.mp3
19.-.Doris Day.-.Everywhere You Go.mp3
20.-.Doris Day.-.Blame My Absent Minded Heart.mp3

Caftan Woman said...

I had forgotten some of those details about Doris' life and career. Hard work and talent combined to make a legend.