The announcement of Doris Day’s death at the age of 97 made headline news all round the world. Sad news indeed.
Doris was happy in retirement for nearly half her life, leaving the entertainment industry in the mid 1970s, moving to Carmel in California and devoting herself to animal welfare.
A young Doris who had an enormous hit with ‘Sentimental Journey’ in 1945 when she was with Les Brown’s band.
The first band that Doris sang with , the Barney Rapp Band In 1939.
Doris’s first film in 1948 in which she had a another massive hit, ‘It’s Magic’. With no acting experience, she proved to be a natural ,making 17 films for Warner Brothers in 7 years.
As a young girl, Doris wanted to be a dancer but a car accident at the age of 12 meant she could not continue training. In a long recovery period (she had a serious leg injury), Doris started singing and her mother Alma arranged voice lessons, leading to work with a local band in Cincinnati.
Fortunately Doris was able to resume her dancing in many of her Warners musicals, showing how good she was.
Terrific as Calamity Jane (my favourite of all her films), Doris left Warners at the end of her contract after YOUNG AT HEART.
Doris continued with success after success, marvellous in LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME and starring opposite James Stewart in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH.
Then THE PAJAMA GAME and TEACHER’S PET before teaming with Rock Hudson in PILLOW TALK, another huge hit.
With Cary Grant in THAT TOUCH OF MINK.
My favourite Day films are from the 50s – YOUNG AT HEART, LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, CALAMITY JANE , TEACHER’S PET and THE PAJAMA GAME.
Doris had two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd, one for movies and one for recording, both given in 1960.
Along with Judy Garland (who was born the same year as Doris), she was the only major female recording artist to also have a substantial film career. She recorded around 800 songs.
With her son, Terry who predeased her. Terry was responsible,for one of Doris’s last record hits, “Move Over Darling” which I love.
Doris’s private life was turbulent but on screen and on record , she conveyed a warmth which appealed to so many of us. The film industry recognised her talent . These are some of her awards:
Oscars for Best Songs, “Secret Love” and “Que Sera, Sera”.
Two Golden Globes.
Cecil B. DeMille award for outstanding achievement (1989).
Photoplay Gold Medal For LULLABY OF BROADWAY in 1951.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.
Doris, we’ll miss you but won’t forget you.