Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Doris Day!

The succession of cheerful, period musicals I made, plus Oscar Levant`s widely publicized remark about my virginity, contributed to what has been called my `image`, which is a word that baffles me. There never was any intent on my part either in my acting or in my private life to create any such thing as an image.
-Doris Day 

Happy Doris Day! 
 Every day for me is a Doris Day. I have been a fan of hers my entire life. I don't think there is a day that I don't hear her wonderful voice. I have over 200 songs on my Ipod. 
Most days, my Ipod is on shuffle. 
The chances of her in the mix is huge.

Today, I've been listening to Doris all day! 

Last night, I watched Lullaby of Broadway on TCM and I smiled all the way through. How can you not? I have a six degrees of separation from her. 
My friend Paul Brogan is a friend of Doris Day! 
He even wrote a book that includes a lot about their friendship, Was That A Name I Dropped? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 

I still hope that I get that interview. I've done several blogs on Doris since I first started blogging. You can google and find them. So today, I want to tell Doris' story not through my eyes but rather through the eyes of fans, friends, and even Doris, herself. I hope you enjoy! Mike Szillagyi sings "It's Magic" at DCTV studios, January 1992. Accompanied by Raf Lopez. Recorded and edited by Tony Palange.
(Denver, Colorado)

Doris Day is a reminder of when a "Star" was truly a "Star". She could do it all - sing, dance and act with amazing ease, making it look natural and unaffected. We don't have stars today who have that versatility and skill. Doris starred in biographies, musicals, screen versions of Broadway hits, westerns, spy thrillers, suspense thrillers, dramas, sophisticated comedies, slapstick comedies and domestic comedies. To this date she is still the number one female box-office star in motion picture history according to the esteemed Quigley Poll that has been conducted for more than 80 years. She recorded more than 700 songs. She leaves a legacy that is unparalleled. Generations from now film fans and music lovers will continue to discover why Doris Day remains unique in the annals of entertainment. 
Photo: Courtesy Glen Charlow

The name Doris Day conjures up a great number of responses, depending upon whom you ask.

Doris is called, by some, a great vocalist, talented actress, animal rights activist or the serious misperception of Doris Day as the “All American Virgin”. The last title is usually bestowed upon her by individuals who have never seen a Doris Day film and are basing their opinion on what pundits have inaccurately stated throughout the years for the purpose of getting a laugh.

For me, the most immediate response would be friend, because Doris Day has been a friend for many decades and her support and kindness in 1983 and 1984 when I battled Leukemia, went a long way toward helping me to recover. After all, it’s pretty difficult to not have the right attitude about getting well when Doris Day tells you that you need to.

I n late 1983 I was diagnosed with Myeloblastic Leukemia and went through many months of treatment not sure at times if I was going to survive. Doris Day never doubted that I would and hardly a week went by in which she didn’t send a card, a postcard or a handwritten note of cheer.

Several times she called and reminded me that my attitude would go a long ways toward helping me get better.

“Thinking can make it so”, she stated one time and I believed her.

When Doris would ask about my massive weight loss and I told her about my disinterest in eating, she began sending cheese from a favorite Carmel store, demanding that I start eating.

“I want some good reports from you”, she demanded.
She got her good reports in the months ahead as I not only didn't want to let Doris down but I recognized that I didn't want to let myself down either. I still had a lot to accomplish in my life and thanks to Doris Day's encouragement, I did.
-Paul Brogan 

Here is Doris' latest interview from NPR.
On their site, they write:  The biggest female box-office star in Hollywood history, Doris Day started singing and dancing when she was a teenager, and made her first film when she was 24. After nearly 40 movies, she walked away from that part of her life in 1968, and started rescuing and caring for animals.
 Day started her career as a teenage dancer in Cincinnati. She was spotted by a Paramount Pictures talent scout who wanted to fly her out to Hollywood, but a car accident on the night of her going-away party shattered her leg and her dreams of being a professional dancer. As Day recovered from her injuries, she listened to the radio and discovered she had a talent for singing.
 "I had to lie down, and I was just laying down all the time, and a couple of years went by. And the bones in my right leg from the knee down were not healing," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And that went on for a few years. ... And [then] when I started to heal, that's when I started to sing — by myself — in a beautiful club in Cincinnati at the age of 16." (Source: NPR)

Doris Day's hits include "Sentimental Journey," "Till The End of Time" and "I Got the Sun in the Mornin'."

 Doris lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. Last year, she released My Heart, her first record since 1967's The Love Album. She's also the subject of a new four-DVD box set of her films — and was named TCM's star of the month for April, which means 28 of her movies will air during prime time this week on the network.

We are so lucky to have Doris still with us. Hopefully a few more generations will come to learn why she was one of the greatest movie and recording stars from the late 1940's through the early 1970's. She was a great dramatic actress as well...Midnight Lace...Love Me or Leave Me...The Man Who Knew Too Much. And still ranks #6 in the top 10 box office actors of all time!-Crist P. Thomas

Elysa Gardner of USA TODAY wrote today, "Doris Day turns 88 years young Tuesday, and a lot of pop upstarts would do well to study the unfussy warmth and grace she brought to so many great songs.Among them is our Pick of the Week: the Rodgers and Hart classic My Romance, from the new two-CD compilation With a Smile and a Song. Happy birthday, Ms. Day."

"I could watch her movies all day. Where's her Lifetime Achievement Oscar?"
-Jeff Bazell
Here is the link to Paul Brogan's review for DD's new release - out today on Sony. She made the selections herself.

“Wrinkles are hereditary. Parents get them from their children.” - Doris Day
Hooray and Happy Birthday Doris! We celebrate you, your wonderful talent and all that you have given to us! Many, many more...." -Michelle Collier 
"Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be." Doris Day 
Do Not Disturb
 "Do not Disturb: Doris Day appears at the entrance of a club dressed in a plain white coat which is removed revealing an orange sequin gown that clings to her with a very low back line.. she does a sexy funny dance wow knockout!Also her performance in Midnight Lace was riveting as was Julie.Her funniest was The Thrill of it All and her bounciest was Calamity Jane,she sang her heart out Love Me Or Leave Me and her Rock Hudson films were a joy. An excellent entertainer and beautiful too." Allan Claassen 

 Doris Day and Rod Taylor pair-up in this 1965 comedy, "Do Not Disturb". One of my favorite scenes is when she shows up at the wool convention in her gold dress, with a low sweeping back-line. While dancing, someone throws a grape down the back of her dress, which results in her getting more attention as she tries to shimmy the grape out.
 This film did not receive the best reviews back in 1965, seems even then the critics were not fond of the main woman being so focused on decorating her home with the perfect antique pieces.
But there are some great scenes, and if you are a Doris Day fan you will enjoy the film. Rod Taylor plays the business man husband who could get into trouble with his fetching female assistant, Claire Hackett, (but doesn't) and Doris makes sure he is still focused on her feminine features. She does a little antique shopping in Paris and gets into a frolic with the French dealer (but doesn't really). It's a fun film. Same stresses of marriage and business, minus the gold dress.
(Source: Eve Out Of The Garden)
 Tonight: Doris Day week continues with romantic comedies starting at 8pm ET. Cary Grant co-stars in THAT TOUCH OF MINK (1962) at 10pm

Doris Day's latest 2CD set is now one of the biggest movers and shakers on Amazon.com!

 No Oscar, but DORIS DAY did get the LA Critics' Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year

Doris, thank you so much for the gifts you have given and continue to give to the world.
Your devoted fan,

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Tomorrow's blog will be..Wayne Clark's memories of Hello, Dolly!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
This Blog is dedicated to ALL ARTISTS: Past, present and future and the gifts they give to the world! I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED!


  1. Thank you so much for the post--I enjoyed it all!

    1. Richard - You have paid a beautiful tribute to an amazing actress and singer and done it with such eloquence and class - traits that Doris Day also has in abundance.

      Paul E. Brogan

  2. Michael DeVita is the author of a brand new book about Doris Day that chronicles her life, especially her music, from the beginning to the very end. "My 'Secret Love' Affair With Doris Day", now available at www.amazon.com. Check the reviews and get your copy now! See how Doris, her music and her career affected the author all of his life.
    More Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58K_TAr8nxg