Thu | Jun 17, 2021

Remembering Doris Day

Published:Monday | May 27, 2019 | 12:28 AMRoy Black/Gleaner Writer

The name ‘Doris Von Kappelhoff’ may mean very little to most people, but once the name ‘Doris Day’ (her stage name) is mentioned, it immediately stirs up all sorts of musical and theatrical extravagances to those who were around during her heyday. Versatility, although applicable, may perhaps be a thin and battered term to tag on her for her achievements during her 97 years on Earth. She actually died in Carmel Valley, California, on May 13, 2019, leaving a legacy that surely will be difficult to emulate.

Day began her film career in 1948 as a 26-year-old in the movie Romance on The High Seas. It led to a 26-year acting career in which she starred in no less than a dozen films. Her most memorable ones were those in which she was paired with the opposite sex in comedic romantic sagas. Pillow Talk in 1959 with Rock Hudson stood out. It earned for her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

By the early 1960s, Day had stamped her class as one of the biggest film stars in the movie world, having appeared in The Pajama Game, a box-office hit in 1957, Lover Come Back (1961), Send Me More Flowers (1962), The Thrill Of It All (1963), Touch of Mink (1962), Ballad of Jesse (1967) and others up to her retirement from acting in 1975. In the meantime, the Hollywood star conducted her own television show between 1968 and 1973.

But if Day’s achievements were to be measured solely on her film successes, we certainly would be doing her an injustice. Many thought that she was equally popular as a recording artiste, having visited the charts on several occasions with memorable hits like Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera), Pillow Talk, A Guy Is a Guy, Secret Love and The Teacher’s Pet.

Born in Cincinnati, United States, on April 3, 1922, the singing sensation’s earliest aspiration was to become a dancer. And she in fact won a few contests in that field until a leg injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident forced her out. Among her many awards was the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush with the citation, “She captured the hearts of Americans while enriching our culture.”