RIP Doris Day

I’ve just seen that Doris Day has passed away at the age of 97. Born in 1922, she got into show business at the age of 17 as a big band singer and her first film was “Romance on the High Seas”.  The first part of her film career was top heavy with musical comedy but she broke out of that mold in 1955 with “Love Me or Leave Me” which she always said was her best performance.

Her later life was filled with music and her deep care for animal rights. The Doris Day Animal Foundation is a very active presence and supports all kind of animal initiatives.  She released her last album “My Heart” in 2011 and all the proceeds went to the Foundation.

Doris Day certainly wasn’t my favorite actress of all time, but I did admire her and thought she lived a full and meaningful life. The world is slightly less buoyant today for her loss.

Tell me your favorite and your least favorite Doris Day films?

 

 

21 thoughts on “RIP Doris Day”

  1. I basically dislike Doris Day’s films. A rare exception is The Man Who Knew Too Much, which is an Alfred Hitchcock film, not a Doris Day film. Day rejected an offer to play Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate, noting that, “It offended my sense of values.” Instead, she did Pillow Talk, a film whose tittering, prissy depiction of sex offends my sense of values. Day did a film or two before discovering her characteristic screen persona of “good girl” that she used in a series of flirty, vapid depictions of romance with such figures as Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Rock Hudson. The sharp-tongued pianist Oscar Levant famously observed that he “knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.”

    I’m often saddened by celebrities whose public and private lives are totally asynchronous. Doris Day’s public persona was bubbly, stable and pure, but she married a series of four men who were drunks, thieves, cheaters and wife-abusers. No wonder she concluded later in life that “the more I get to know men, the more I like animals.”

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    1. Yes, I think of Judy Garland as another actor with a different actual life than her girl-next-door movie persona. At that time there was this image of what a woman would be, but it turns out much of life isn’t like that…

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    2. Steve, I think the point you’ve hit on is that one can only do so much with the material you have. During a lot of Day’s career, very silly comedies like Pillow Talk and Touch of Mink were all the rage. They were everywhere, along with westerns that didn’t portray the West very well. I’m not crazy about either of these kinds of films. But when Day was given better material, I think she did a great job. I would rank in The Man Who Knew Too Much as my favorite of her films followed probably by Midnight Lace. And you’re correct, she had very bad taste in men.

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    3. I’m surprised at the harshness of your assessment of Doris Day, Steve. I think it’s also more than a little misleading.

      Apparently you consider it a Doris Day film if it’s a piece of fluff that you dislike, but it’s an “Alfred Hitchcock film, not a Doris Day film” when you approve. You go on to say that she turned down the role of Mrs. Robinson in the Graduate because it offended her sense of values, and instead did Pillow Talk, a film that offended yours. Pillow Talk was made in 1959 and The Graduate didn’t come along until 1967, so presumably she was free to do the latter by then, but chose not to.

      As to her public image being starkly different than her private life, I find it curious that you felt the need to delve into such harsh assessments of her four husbands to make that point. I’ll grant you that I know very little about Doris Day’s life, private or otherwise, I know her mostly through her films which I found enjoyable at the time.

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      1. I’m sorry my post offended Doris Day fans. My unhappiness is not with her but with a period of Hollywood film-making that I regard as dishonest and hypocritical. She was, by all accounts, a good-hearted person who led a very difficult life.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s funny, Cynthia, because my least favorite of her films was Calamity Jane. It seems so fake and the personality that she portrayed seemed so false that I just could never enjoy it.

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  2. I loved her singing in the musicals – again, silly things like Pajama Game, but that’s what was popular in the 50s. I also remember a thriller Midnight Lace, which I’m sure was panned by critics, but it was such a different role for her.

    She retired from filmmaking fairly young, and I’m glad she found something that made her life meaningful.

    Here’s this song from one of my favorite movies – Please Don’t Eat the Daisies – it had a plot, was funny, some cute kids and I love David Niven..

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    1. I also like Midnight Lace and Please Don’t Eat the Daisies. I think one of the reasons I like Daisies so much (besides the fact that was written by Betty MacDonald) is that in the end the husband says I was an idiot. Normally it’s the woman at the end that caves.

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  3. Posting this because we have another RIP today. Tim Conway. Watching Harvey Korman trying not to laugh is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

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  4. OT: I have some more plants to give away. Two hydrangeas (nice pink flowers), one foxglove. Maybe some tall campanula (not the invasive weed). You dig. Prefer pickup this week since I’ll be in Rochester most of next week. Email or text me.

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  5. i loved doris day
    with marilyn or sophia or rita hayworth i felt sexual lust in my heart as jimmy would say with doris i felt love because her eyes sparkled and she was so sweet and pretty in a wholesome way. julie andrews is another like this

    the hitchcock was good but the jimmy cagney was a better part for her i think that’s love me or leave me

    i didn’t mind the rock hudson james garner tony randall persona which was a doris day staple
    myrna loy did it with william powell in the thin man series doris day did it with whoever they paired her up with and she made singing so easy and elegant

    rip doris

    Liked by 4 people

  6. tim conway always made you wish you were there
    his humor wasn’t funny but his response from fellow improv actors was so fun to watch
    the novocain bit was the best

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I shared a birthday with Doris Day, 36 years apart.

    I know some of her popular songs, but can’t say I remember any of her movies, if I ever saw any. She had stopped making movies by the time I started seeing them.

    The Tim Conway skits on the Carol Burnett show were simply classic.

    Liked by 4 people

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