Doris Day: A Bright Shining Star

Although Doris Day is no longer in the public eye, except perhaps vicariously as the founder of the Doris Day Animal League and The Doris Day Animal Foundation, her image is everywhere in celluloid and musical history even if you are not going out of your way to look. She still remains vibrant and adored in the hearts of her many, many fans.

Born Doris Mary Anne Von Kappelhoff on April 3, 1924, she grew up near Cincinnati, Ohio. She began studying music while still in her teens when her mother encouraged her to train with a vocal coach. She was soon performing on local radio and was snapped up by bandleader Barney Rapp who was instrumental in her changing her surname to Day.

Her rise to stardom was fairly quick, as by age 16, she was singing with Bob Crosby and his Bobcats and working with Les Brown’s famous band. Her huge hit, “Sentimental Journey”, came in 1945, and this brought her a contract with Columbia records. She began recording for Columbia in 1947 and this liaison lasted for more than twenty years. She became one of America’s foremost female vocalists and achieved more than 50 hit singles worldwide.

The year 1947 also marked her entry into films with Warner Brothers. She starred in thirty-nine feature films with many fine directors including the master of suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock (The Man Who Knew Too Much 1956). She worked with the late Rock Hudson back in the 1960s in a series of romantic comedies that were very popular and the two became life long friends.

A talented singer, dancer and actress, Doris day is often overlooked as a beauty as well. A lover of animals, her drive to improve their lot in life began on the set of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. Seeing the brutal way animals were treated in Morocco at the time triggered her to action, and to this day animals are a very important part of her life.
She fell on hard times after her husband, Marty Melcher, died, when she discovered that with the power of attorney vested in him, he had invested and lost almost all of her money. In an unprecedented case, then Governor Ronald Reagan awarded her an enormous settlement worthy of a star of her caliber.

What are some of YOUR favorite Doris Day movies and songs? Please share.

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About Marjorie Dorfman

Marjorie Dorfman is a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of New York University School of Education, she now lives in Doylestown, PA, with quite a few cats that keep her on her toes at all times. Originally a writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non-fiction writing in the last decade. Many of her stories have been published in various small presses throughout the country during the last twenty years. Her book of stories, "Tales For A Dark And Rainy Night", reflects her love and respect for the horror and ghost genre.