The Life And Loves of Doris Day

Published on September 12, 2018
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Back in the day, Doris Day was considered to be one of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry. And why wouldn’t she be? She had beautiful golden hair and a wonderful voice. The actress went on to change the way people consume both films and music. Some of the songs she performed went on to become all-time favorites, and many still turn to her work when in need of inspiration. However, you would be surprised to know that as a child, she was much more focused on dancing instead of singing or acting. She only changed her plans when an accident broke her leg. Can you imagine what would have happened if this fantastic lady didn’t change the industry?

DORIS DAY

DORIS DAY

Talented Since Birth

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 3, 1922. She had German ancestry from both sides of her family. Like previously mentioned, she initially aspired to be a dancer. However, everything came to a halt when she suffered a leg injury from a car accident on October 13, 1937. While she was recovering from the injury, she discovered that she also had a talent for singing! She sang a lot to the radio and particularly adored the works of Ella Fitzgerald.

DISCOVERING THE TALENT

Talented Since Birth

Young Star

Alma, Doris’ mother, enrolled her in singing lessons. She became a student of Grace Raine, who declared that the young girl possessed a great deal of potential. Her first gig was for the radio program Carlin’s Carnival, and it was not long before the musician Barney Rapp noticed her talent. She released Sentimental Journey, her first recording, in 1945, and it was a success. By then, Doris already divorced Al Jarden and gave birth to a son named Terry Melcher. Her career might just be taking off, but there is no denying that it was a good place to start.

A STAR WAS BORN

Young Star

Second Marriage

After her first hit, there was no doubt that Doris was on her way to becoming a star. She kept releasing hit after hit! Some of these songs are Till The End of Time and My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time. Her popularity was rising exponentially, and by the time the ‘50s rolled in, she was one of America’s highest-paid singers. Her net worth increased at an impressive rate as she continued to record more songs. In 1946, however, Doris remarried and this time, her groom was none other than saxophone player George William Weidler.

HIGHEST-PAID SINGER & SECOND MARRIAGE

Second Marriage

End Of Marriage But Start Of Film Career

As her popularity soared thanks to her singing career, it was practically inevitable that she would move on to acting sooner or later. This was exactly what happened after she worked with bands like Les Brown and toured the United States. She landed a part in the successful 1948 film Romance on the High Seas. In the following year, she also appeared in My Dream Is Yours. When it comes to her personal, however, things were rough, as she and George filed for divorce in the same year.

THE BEGINNING OF HER FILM CAREER & THE END OF HER MARRIAGE

The Life And Loves of Doris Day

Winning An Academy

The 1951 musical biography I’ll See You In My Dreams was undoubtedly her most successful project in the financial sense of the word. The project actually ended up setting box-office records! It also succeeded in making Doris Day even more famous than she already was. She celebrated her 29th birthday in the same year and married her third husband Martin Melcher. He adopted young Terry and granted him his surname. After two years, Doris appeared in the western musical Calamity Jane. The songs from the movie became instant hits and “Secret Love” even went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

ACADEMY AWARD CALAMITY JANE

Winning An Academy

Big Breakthrough

Doris Day was already a pretty big star in her own right during the early ‘50s. However, her big break would definitely be the more dramatic role she played in the 1955 film Love Me or Leave Me. After the project, she appeared in the Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much where she sang several songs. Her performance of “Que Sera, Sera” won yet another Academy Award! The following years would be highly lucrative for her as she continued to bag more leading roles.

A BREAKTHROUGH

Big Breakthrough

Prime Years

We daresay that Doris Day’s acting career peaked during the years 1959 to 1968. She starred in several romantic comedies, the most popular which would be Pillow Talk. Oh, and let us not forget about Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers! As time passed by, her appearance in box-office movies dwindled as she began turning down the offers she received. Her last film credit was for the 1968 movie With Six You Get Eggroll.

HER MOST SUCCESSFUL YEARS

Prime Years

Health Scare

During the ‘50s, Doris actually experienced a health scare after she discovered a lump in her body. Day and Melcher had been practicing Christian Scientist, a metaphysical principle that her ex-husband introduced her to. She completely refused to see a doctor and receive cancer treatment. It was definitely a good thing that when she sought out medical help, it was revealed that the lump was actually benign. Whew!

CANCER & REFUSAL TO SEE A DOCTOR

Health Scare

Tragedy

However, everything changed for Doris Day with the death of her husband. Upon Martin Melcher’s passing in 1968, she learned that he was not honest with her about money. In fact, Melcher apparently spent her entire fortune together with his business partner Jerome Bernard Rosenthal! Aside from facing bankruptcy, she was also in debt. Rosenthal had been her attorney from the time she got her second divorce, so she could not believe the betrayal. She sued him and won the lawsuit, though she only received compensation in 1979.

THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND & BANKRUPTCY

Tragedy

The Real Story Behind Her Show

If you think that bankruptcy was terrible, think again. Doris also found out that her newly-deceased husband actually signed her up for a new show without consulting her. The show in question is none other than The Doris Day Show which was on air from 1968 to 1973. Her late husband also committed her to some TV specials without even mentioning it to her. We are sure that this must have been a rough period for Day who had to deal with loss and appear on tape without giving a hint that something was wrong.

THE DORIS DAY SHOW

The Real Story Behind Her Show

Missing Money

After Doris won the lawsuit she filed against Rosenthal, he sued the lawyers who he claimed cheated him and caused him to lose millions. As Day’s ex-lawyer, Rosenthal alleged that all of Doris’ wealth had been invested in real estate, which was later sold after the death of her husband. He also asserted that these investments were made, so that they will receive a large profit in due time. In the end, Rosenthal was disbarred and Day expressed her belief in her husband’s innocence in the matter.

WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO?

Missing Money

Moving Towards Retirement

Doris had way too much on her plate! She lost her money and her spouse at the same time so her annoyance was, to say the least, understandable. She basically retired when The Doris Day Show concluded. However, she also did some TV specials: The Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff Special back in 1971 and Doris Day to Day four years later. She also signed onto the 26-episode talk show Doris Day’s Best Friends. It was eventually canceled though its ratings were fairly good.

THE TV SPECIALS & SEMI-RETIREMENT

Moving Towards Retirement

Activist

Doris has always been an animal lover, and it seems like this passion is the result of her dog’s death when she was a teenager. She actually co-founded Actors and Others for Animals back in 1971. She also denounced the act of wearing fur in public. Mary Tyler Moore and Jayne Meadows, among other stars, joined Day in her efforts. After seven years, she also launched the Doris Day Pet Foundation, a charity organization that aimed to help animals and the people who took care of them. The group is still very active today.

ANIMAL WELFARE ACTIVIST

Activist

Another Marriage

Several years after her third husband’s death in 1968, Day was able to find love again. She married Barry Comden in 1976. He was a maître d’ at a restaurant that she particularly liked. Rumor has it that he gave her food for her pet dogs since he knew how much she adored them. Sadly, the marriage was short-lived, and they officially got divorced in 1982. Comden has mentioned that she apparently cared more about her animals than her very own husband.

HER FOURTH & FINAL MARRIAGE

Another Marriage

Recipient Of The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

During the early 2000s, Doris made several appearances and the public was delighted. It seems like she was finally able to recover from the bankruptcy she suffered. The story goes that she declined a lot of offers since she was required to attend in person. In 2004, President George W. Bush granted her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work in both activism and the entertainment sector. In 2008, on the other hand, she was awarded a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in Music, though she was not in attendance during the ceremony.

PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

Recipient Of The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Saving Her Son’s Life

Another amazing about Doris is that she might have saved her son from the infamous mass murderer Charles Manson. After Terry’s refusal to work with the criminal, the cult leader attempted to get revenge. At the time, Terry was renting a place at 10050 Cielo Drive with his partner Candice Bergen. When he told his mother about what happened, Doris told him to hole up in a house that she owned. It just so happened that Manson sent people to the Cielo Drive property. That was certainly a close call, especially considering the fact that these were the same people who murdered Sharon Tate and four others in 1969.

SHE MAY HAVE SAVED HER SON’S LIFE

Saving Her Son’s Life

Almost 90 But Still Got It

She might have grown up and old, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she is frail and weak! In fact, Doris can still sing as beautifully as ever. It took her two decades, but Day finally released a new album in 2011. It was called My Heart and primarily served as a compilation of the songs produced by her late son. The album was able to make it to the UK Top 10, which made her the oldest artist to achieve such an accomplishment. The royalties helped raise funds for her new animal protection organization, Doris Day Animal League.

89 SCORING TOP 10

Almost 90 But Still Got It

Living By The Sea

Once she quit her acting career, Doris settled down in a house located in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. She found and fell in love with the place when they went there to shoot Julie back in 1956. Together with her fourth spouse, she bought a property in an area overlooking a golf course during the mid-70s. She has been living there ever since then, though nowadays, she is accompanied by stray animals. Aside from the main house, the 11-acre estate also has a handful of cottages.

A HOUSE BY THE SEA

Living By The Sea

Her On-Screen Father

During the first seasons of The Doris Day Show, Denver Pyle appears in the role of her father. However, the actor is actually only two years her senior! The hair and beard were certainly effective props, weren’t they? His acting resume also includes his performance as Briscoe Darling Jr. in The Andy Griffith Show and Jesse Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard.

DENVER PYLE AS DORIS’ FATHER

Her On-Screen Father

Fear Of Flying

One of Doris Day’s most iconic performances was as a flight attendant in Julie. This is why it comes as a surprise to hear that the actress-singer is actually scared of flying! In fact, she has missed award ceremonies thanks to this phobia. Day is the recipient of nine nominations for the Laurel Award, and she went on to win the Best Female Performance award four times! Isn’t that impressive? For an entertainer, we know that money and recognition are often used as a measure of success.

FEAR OF FLYING ON AIRPLANES

Fear Of Flying

Her Foundation

In 1978, Day founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation, a non-profit charity organization focused on animal protection. It later became known as the Doris Day Pet Foundation (DDAF). It basically aims to help animals and those who care for them. Apart from that, she launched Spay Day USA, which has since become an annual event. She also founded the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL) which later merged into the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in 2006.

HER CHARITY - THE DORIS DAY PET FOUNDATION

Her Foundation

Failed Marriage

Doris Day got married for the fourth time in 1976. We already know that she walked down the aisle with Barry Comden, the maître d’hotel at her favorite restaurant. Sadly, it would end badly when they divorced in 1981. Why did they split up? According to Barry Comden, Doris expressed more interest in her furry friends than in him!

HER FOURTH ATTEMPT AT MARRIAGE

Failed Marriage

Enjoying Retirement

The retired actress-singer currently resides in her estate in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. True to form, she continues to adore stray animals and fights for animal rights. It comes as no surprise to hear that she owns many pets! She was gracious enough to answer some questions ABC had about her life after retirement and her advocacies.

RETIREMENT SUITED DORIS DAY

Enjoying Retirement

Best Of Both Worlds

Doris Day had to go to the bank to purchase the Cypress Inn together with her partner and local businessman Dennis LeVett. The establishment was located near her house in Carmel. They turned it into an animal-friendly accommodation that lets owners and their pets bond. Day is probably pleased with the setup, since she can help take care of animals while making money at a place close to her home!

DORIS BUYS DOG-FRIENDLY CYPRESS INN

Best Of Both Worlds

Her Net-Worth

The nonagenarian will never be accused of having wasted her long life! After all, she is a singer, actress, and animal activist in one beautiful and talented package. She underwent three divorces and lost both a husband and son. She suffered from financial problems after her husband’s death, but she was able to recover and rebuild her fortune. At the moment, Doris Day is worth $200 million and lives in the house of her dreams with her lovely pets.

DORIS DAY’S NET WORTH

Her Net-Worth

QUE SERA SERA

The 1956 Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much is well-known for being a masterpiece. Yet another claim to fame would be its theme song Que Sera Sera. It was performed by none other than Doris Day herself, though she was apparently reluctant to sing it in the beginning. She thought it was a “children’s song,” but she recorded it anyway since the studio demanded it.

HER SIGNATURE TUNE QUE SERA SERA

QUE SERA SERA

A Beautiful Career

As Doris Day continued to act, her inclination towards dramatic roles became more apparent. One example would be the 1950 film Young Man with a Horn where she starred opposite Kirk Douglas. She played a singer and Douglas played a troubled musician. Another example is Storm Warning where she portrayed the wife of a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Afterward, she started appearing in more romantic comedies to the extent that she was hailed the queen of the subgenre. It was at this point that her net worth saw a dramatic increase.

THE BEGINNING OF A WONDERFUL FILM CAREER

A Beautiful Career

RomComs

Her romantic comedy streak started with the 1957 film Pajama Game opposite John Raitt. It was followed by the 1958 film Teacher’s Pet opposite Clark Gable. Another big hit was The Touch of Mink, which ended up setting the record as the first movie to have ever grossed $1 million! And let us forget that Doris was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for the same film.

ROMANTIC COMEDIES WORTHY OF MENTION

RomComs

Continued Success

The ‘60s was a successful period for Doris Day, and it proved to be as lucrative as the ‘50s. Around this time, she appeared in the films Please Don’t Eat the Daisies and Move Over, Darling. These were comedy films and she captivated every single member of the audience with her smile. However, the actress was set on retiring from film in the year 1968, so she could focus on television work.

GREAT PERFORMANCES CONTINUE FOR DAY

Continued Success

Her Special Show

In an attempt to rebuild her wealth, she kept working in the entertainment industry. In 1968, the Doris Day Show went on air. It went on for a total of four seasons, and the show evolved and changed many times in that span of time. The comedic tone eventually shifted to a more serious vibe to depict the realities of urban life. The second season was shot in San Francisco, and it showed Doris Day in the position of a secretary. The following two seasons depicted her as a career woman, and this was the way it was until the finale in March 1973.

AIRING HER UNIQUE TELEVISION SHOW

Her Special Show

Tributes

Her legacy also lives on in the tributes that musicians include in their songs. You can see this practice in the Billy Joel hit We Didn’t Start the Fire, particularly in the line “Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray”. Another example is George Michael who has mentioned that the sun is shining brighter than the actress in his song Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Other prominent musicians who have mentioned her include The Beatles, Doe Maar, and Elton John. She can add this to list of things to boast about in addition to an impressive net worth!

MENTION OF DAY BY TOP POP MUSICIANS

Tributes

Tragic Marriage

Doris Day next married the trombonist for Barney Rapp’s band, a man named Al Jorden. Sadly, it only lasted for a brief period of a mere two years. The whole affair ended in a tragic manner since her husband committed suicide. It was also reported that he physically abused Day during the time that they were married to each other.

THE BEGINNING OF HER MARRIED LIFE

Tragic Marriage

On To The Next

Her next marriage was in 1946. This time, she got married to the saxophonist George William Weidler. It was not meant to last a long time as well, as they called it quits after three years together. However, something good did come out of it. He introduced Doris to Christian Science, and this was how she met the man who would become her third husband. How lucky was she to find both faith and a new love at the same time?

HER NEXT JOURNEY INTO MARRIAGE

On To The Next

Longest Marriage

By all accounts, Doris Day appears to have been happiest during her third marriage. You know what they say – third time’s the charm! Martin Melcher produced quite a number of the movies she starred in and later took in her son as his own. We are sure that their shared faith helped strengthen their union even more, though it did have its own set of drawbacks like refusing to see a doctor. It was certainly lucky that Doris’ tumor turned out to be benign. Unfortunately, everything ended with Melcher’s death in the year 1968.

HER LONGEST MARRIAGE

Longest Marriage

Facing Bankruptcy

At the time of Martin Melcher’s death, it was revealed that he spent all the money in Doris’ savings account. This happened in 1968. Doris Day took legal action against her lawyer Rosenthal who appeared to have squandered her wealth together with her late husband. She won though it took a long time before she received the settlement money.

BANKRUPTCY STRIKES

Facing Bankruptcy

Exhausting Legal Battles

Moreover, a huge chunk of the $20 million she received as a compensation was used to pay all her legal expenses. For the moment, she had to go and host the TV program she was unwittingly signed unto by her duplicitous husband. These were the unfavorable conditions in which the Doris Day Show began. Can you believe it still went on to win a Golden Globe despite everything?

EXPENSES OF LEGAL BATTLES

Exhausting Legal Battles

THE DORIS DAY SHOW

It is no secret that the passage of time can influence the tastes, priorities, and costumes of any period. In 1973, the show’s finale went on air thanks in part to the fact that fewer people were interested in watching a breezy character dressed in fancy dresses. Moreover, Doris was ready to quit acting and so she did, with the exception of several specials: Doris Day to Day and The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special. How can we forget her last TV special opposite John Denver in the year 1974? Though it is worth noting that she still has not officially announced retirement.

END OF THE DORIS DAY SHOW

THE DORIS DAY SHOW

Final TV Days

Doris Day’s Best Friends was broadcasted on CBN during 1985 to 1986. Doris’ TV talk show earned her international acclaim, though we are sure that her sunny personality and flamboyant dress played a part in it. Sadly, it was canceled after running for 26 episodes, and so the actress had to look for other sources of income.

LAST OF THE TELEVISION SHOWS

Final TV Days

Passion For Animals

Doris Day’s passion for animals and their protection began when she was only a teenage girl. It is believed to have started after a traumatic incident. Her childhood pet Tiny suffered a terrible fate as the dog was run over by an automobile! It is safe to say that her outspokenness about animal rights issues helped draw more attention to the cause. We bet that she spent quite a fortune to fight for the causes that she supported as well.

INTEREST IN ANIMAL WELFARE ACTIVITIES

Passion For Animals

Outspoken Republican

She was familiar with two Republican Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Of course, she appeared in several films with the former and they apparently got along well thanks to his jovial personality. Meanwhile, she apparently voted for George W. Bush during the presidential race in both 2000 and 2004.

BIG SUPPORTER OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

Outspoken Republican

Personal Tragedy

Doris Day endured yet another traumatic experience around the same time: her son’s death. Terry Melcher always stuck by his mother’s side, and he even helped her write songs and co-produced the Doris Day Show. This was a tragedy that exceeded the time she experienced bankruptcy.

TRAGEDY STRIKES DORIS DAY

Personal Tragedy

Honored By President Bush

As a supporter of the Republican Party, Doris Day undoubtedly received plenty of attention from several high-ranking people. Her animal rescue efforts did not go unnoticed, and it led to the Presidential Medal of Freedom that George W. Bush bestowed upon her in 2004. Of course, we are sure that it must have been an incredible honor to receive the highest civilian award!

PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL

Honored By President Bush

Magical Film Debut

She debuted on the big screen in 1948 as she took the place of Betty Hutton on the set of Romance on the High Seas. Day’s performance of It’s Magic was so good that the producers must have thought they hit the jackpot with the casting choice. The songwriter, Jule Styne, actually recommended Day for the part as he has been a fan since he heard her perform Embraceable You. Do you think she had any idea how famous she was about to become?

HER FILM DEBUT IS MAGIC FOR DAY

Magical Film Debut

Late Releases

There was one album that she actually recorded in 1967 but only saw a release in 1994. This was none other than The Love Album. In 2011, another album called My Heart was released in the United Kingdom. It was the first album she released in twenty years, and her fans were thrilled to hear about it. She was 89 years old back then.

TWO LATE SONG RELEASES

Late Releases

Almost Hitting 100 Years

Doris Day is nearing a hundred years old but you would never have guessed it! When she made her first public appearance in over two decades, she mingled a lot with her fans at the Cyprus Inn. This was during her 96th birthday celebration earlier this year. The proceeds from the event ultimately went to her foundation, DDAF. It was a week-long bash that commenced on March 29 and ended on April 3, her actual birthday. She stayed there to personally meet her adoring fans.

DORIS DAY NEARING THE CENTENARIAN MARK

Almost Hitting 100 Years

Son’s Death

Doris might have been able to save her son once upon a time, though she could not do anything when the time came. Terry Melcher, the star’s only child, died in the year 2004. He was a record producer and a musician. He actually produced the first two albums of The Byrds and the Paul Revere & the Raiders recording. He had been battling cancer for a while, and he passed away at the age of 62. Melcher is survived by his wife, son, and mother.

DEATH OF HER SON

Son’s Death

A Star Was Born

We bet that her parents had no idea how big of a star the child they welcomed on April 3, 1922 would become. The daughter of Alma Sophia and William Joseph Kappelhoff had the necessary skills and talents to learn music. Perhaps it is also in her genes as her father himself was a music teacher and a choirmaster. She was given the name Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff. For some time, it was believed that she was born in the year 1924, though the Associated Press would find her birth certificate and it clarified matters.

BIRTH OF A SINGING STAR

A Star Was Born

Her Early Days

Doris Day had two brothers who were older than her. There was Richard, though he died before she was even born. Paul, on the other hand, was older than her by two to three years. Her parents’ marriage came to an end when he cheated on her mother. Later in life, she would enjoy a great deal of success as an actress and a singer, though she first thought it would happen as a dancer.

THE EARLY LIFE & HER SIBLINGS

Her Early Days

Her Son The Producer

Doris Day only had one child, Terry Melcher. He became famous after he produced albums for several rock stars. Among these groups are groups like The Beach Boys, Byrds, and Paul Revere & The Raiders. He was paid a handsome amount of money after working with them. He was also the keyboardists for the musical acts Kokomo and Mr. Tambourine Man. It was in 2004 that he succumbed to cancer, and we’re sure his passing broke his mother’s heart.

ROCK & ROLL PRODUCER SON TERRY

Her Son The Producer

Named For A Song

She was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, so where did her new popular last name come from? Apparently, she took it when Barney Rapp first heard her perform Day by Day. He allegedly loved the way she sang it, and this was how she received the name Doris Day. It would not take long before her popularity rose, and she was soon making waves in the Billboard charts.

A SINGER NAMED AFTER A SONG

Named For A Song

No More Dance

Doris used to live with her mother. In Cincinnati, she paired up with Jerry Doherty and together they won various local dance competitions. However, this blossoming career ended with a car accident that would change her life. In 1937, her legs were in such bad shape that she knew she no longer had a future in dance. It was time to dive into other pursuits, and this would signify the beginning of a successful singing and acting career.

ON A SONG & DANCE

No More Dance

Music While She Healed

When she was in the middle of recovery, there was very little she could do apart from listening to the radio. Her favorite artist was the amazing Ella Fitzgerald, and she tried to imitate her voice as she sang along. Her mother paid for a music teacher named Grace Raine to give her vocal lessons. Raine was apparently impressed with the young girl’s singing voice and offered extra lessons to supplement the paid classes. However, they never did disclose the teaching fees.

WORLD OF SONGS CLAIM THE YOUNG STAR

Music While She Healed

LES BROWN BAND

Many of her songs would top the Billboard charts and this includes, but not limited to, Till The End of Time, The World is Singing My Song, and Tain’t Me. When the 50s rolled in, her commitment to music showed in the way that she rose to the ranks of the highest earning artists in the industry. When it comes to her film career, it was My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time that appropriately served as her debut.

DORIS DAY HITS WITH THE LES BROWN BAND

LES BROWN BAND

Turning Down Roles

The entertainment industry can be vicious and this is why Doris Day tried to protect her sweet and innocent image. This was especially true when her popularity was on the rise. One of the ways she maintained the image was by being picky with the job offers she accepted. Did you know that she could have played Mrs. Robinson in the classic film The Graduate? She declined because she did not like the character nor the plot. The movie went on to become a huge hit, so it is worth wondering if she regrets not taking it.

SAYING NO TO PROVOCATIVE ROLES

Turning Down Roles

Tired Of Her Image

Throughout her entertainment career, it goes without saying that Doris Day must have earned a lot of money. However, fans and fellow people in the industry had certain expectations of her. This was why she made an effort to keep her wholesome image intact. She was under a lot of pressure, but Doris had her boiling point and got fed up. Sadly, she could not do anything to change things as she did not wish to disappoint her supporters.

GETTING SICK OF BEING THE GOOD GIRL

Tired Of Her Image

Low Wages

We regular people think that actors and actresses receive huge paychecks for every single project they work on. After all, that is one of the things we know about their jobs, right? However, everyone has to start somewhere and a large paycheck is not something that materializes out of nowhere. When she first signed with Warner Brothers in the ‘40s, Doris Day was only paid $750 a week. If you think that’s not bad at all, think again because half of it went to the director.

THE LOW SALARY

Low Wages

Frank Sinatra

In 1951, Doris Day and Martin Melcher became man and wife. Sometimes, Melcher paid his wife visits while she worked on set. During the filming of Young At Heart, her famous costar Frank Sinatra revealed that he would immediately head off whenever Melcher appeared in their workplace. Apparently, Melcher was not well-liked, and he has been described as ‘creepy’ and a ‘shallow and insecure hustler’. In 1968, Melcher died from cardiovascular complications.

FRANK SINATRA VS HER HUSBAND

FRANK SINATRA

No Cursing

Doris Day kept a “swear jar” at the studio where she recorded some of her songs. True to her image, she did not like vulgar language at all! She also did not want her songs to appear in movies that used swear words. Anyone who she caught speaking expletives had to give up a quarter and place it inside the swear jar. How much do you think they were able to collect during her long career?

NO TO FOUL LANGUAGE

No Cursing

Animals On Set

Doris Day is a huge animal lover, and she has always been one. She became committed to animal welfare ever since her childhood dog Tiny died in a tragic car accident. When she was shooting The Man Who Knew Too Much, she hated the way everyone else treated sheep, camels, and goats. Later, she told the crew she refuses to work until they changed their treatment of the animals. A sizable portion of her earnings was set aside for her animal welfare activism throughout the years.

CARING FOR THE ANIMALS ON SET

Animals On Set

Surviving The Tumor

Not a lot of people live to see the age of 96, but Doris Day is simply extraordinary in every aspect of the word. However, her life has not always been a breeze. During the mid-‘50s, she had the scare of her life. Of course, we are referring to the moment that her doctor revealed the discovery of a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her intestines. We are certainly relieved to hear that the star underwent surgery to have it removed!

SURVIVING A HEALTH SCARE

Surviving The Tumor

Widespread Success With THAT TOUCH OF MINK

Doris Day is an impressive actress with a long resume. We are sure you will also have a hard time taking note of the number of box office hits she starred in over the years. During the 1960s, she set box office records together with the film That Touch of Mink. Record shows that it was, at the time, the only film to have ever reached over $1 million sales in just a single theater. How much money do you think she received on that day?

THE SUCCESS OF THAT TOUCH OF MINK

Widespread Success With THAT TOUCH OF MINK

Not Right For THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Another iconic movie from the 1960s is The Sound of Music. This classic film likewise earned a lot of money at the box office. It starred the wonderful Julie Andrews and the actress is best remembered for this role. However, Doris Day could have taken over the role if she wanted to! The reason she declined it? She had a feeling she was “too American” to successfully portray a nun from Austria.

TOO AMERICAN FOR THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Not Right For THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Saving Animals

When it comes to her animal welfare commitments, Doris Day is nothing short of serious. She has explained that never in her life had she met an animal she did not like. Wouldn’t it be nice if the same rule applied to humans? This photo was captured at the Playboy Mansion where a party was hosted in order to help Actors and Others for Animals foundation find people to adopt some animals. We bet there were many wealthy people in attendance and hope they helped further the cause she is so passionate about.

THE ANIMAL SAVIOR

Saving Animals

CLARA BIXBY

By now, you are probably already familiar with Doris Day’s actual name: Doris Mary Kappelhoff. While her fans refer to her as Doris, her friends call her Clara Bixby. We have Billy De Wolfe to thank for this interesting moniker! When they were on the set of the film Tea For Two, he mentioned that she looks less like a Doris Day and more like Clara Bixby. Hmm, do you think Doris took the comment in stride? Moreover, how do you think her parents reacted to the nickname?

WHO IS CLARA BIXBY?

CLARA BIXBY

Doesn’t Have A Strong Gay-Dar

Doris Day is particularly famous for the so-called bedroom comedies she starred in opposite Rock Hudson. These two collaborated on a number of projects, and it is no secret that there was a solid friendship between the two of them. In 1985, the 59-year-old Hudson died after suffering AIDS-related complications. After his passing, Doris revealed that not once did she suspect that her friend was gay. Despite her shock at the revelation, we are confident she would have been supportive of him even if she found out earlier.

WEAK GAY-DAR

Doesn’t Have A Strong Gay-Dar

Famous Friends

Doris Day practically became a household name in the industry. When you are able to become as famous and wealthy as she is, it is only natural for someone like her to befriend like-minded people. One such friend would be none other than The Beatles guitarist Paul McCartney. Apparently, they were very close. Paul would reportedly call in the dead of the night and wake her up just so he can greet her hello! Isn’t that sweet?

CELEBRITY BUDDIES

Famous Friends

End Of Her Career

Now 96 years old, Doris Day has not appeared in films for several decades by now. The last film credit you will find in her resume is for the flick With Six You Get Egg Roll. She was cast to play the character Abby McClure in the film opposite Brian Keith. Ever since she made the decision to retire from film projects, she has been living in her beautiful abode in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

THE END OF HER BIG-SCREEN CAREER

End Of Her Career

Buddy Clark Duet

Doris Day is definitely the kind of woman young girls should aspire to be like, especially those who wish to make it big in the entertainment industry. Throughout the years, she had the opportunity to collaborate with Frankie Laine, Don Cherry, Johnny Ray, and Frank Sinatra. She performed her song Confess with musician Buddy Clark and they created an impressive duet together. Unfortunately, Clark died in a plane crash at the tender age of 37 years old back in 1949.

SINGING WITH BUDDY CLARK

Buddy Clark Duet

Praise From Big Names

Doris Day was certainly lucky that she was blessed with a great voice that literally earned her millions of dollars. Even more envy-inducing is the fact that it was only some sort of bonus for her. Aside from her solo work, she also collaborated with big-name orchestras like Bob Crosby’s Bob-Cats, Les Brown and His Band of Renown. In an interview, Les Brown did not hesitate to describe Doris as someone who was a naturally gifted singer.

THE HONORARY BOB CAT

Praise From Big Names

Religious Woman

It is no secret that some celebrities can be unapproachable snobs. Perhaps they have been blinded by the gigantic fortune they have amassed! However, Doris Day knew the importance of separating material stuff from the things that truly mattered in life. One of these would be the relationship she had with God. Whenever she suffers through a health problem, she immediately turns to a spiritual release and guidance through praying.

HER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Religious Woman

Her Stage Name

There is no denying that musician Barney Rapp was among the first people who could tell how talented Doris Day was. We are willing to bet that she would not be in the same place had she not met him. Rapp was even the one who suggested she go with a stage name instead of her real name. Apparently, he found Kappelhoff to be a little too long, and he came up with “day” in memory of her Day By Day performance. Doris reportedly hated this new name but decided to adopt it regardless.

WHAT SHE THINKS OF HER STAGE SURNAME

Her Stage Name

Walk Of Fame Star

As one of the biggest artists in the entertainment industry back in the day, it is only fitting that she received her own spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the year 2004. Even if she did not have as much money as she could have had, there is no doubt that nothing in the world can erase the films, shows, and songs she has worked hard to release.

HER STAR ON THE WALK OF FAME

Walk Of Fame Star

Unexpected Hit

It would be hard to find a more notable project in her acting resume than The Man Who Knew Too Much. She is best-known for performing the hit song Que Sera, Sera and it later took home the Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. Can you imagine that she almost didn’t record it as it was only a “dumb kid’s song!”? We bet she is shocked to hear how successful that particular song later became.

THE “DUMB KID’S SONG” THAT BECAME A HUGE HIT

Unexpected Hit

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