Doris Day Biography
Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff (April 3, 1922 – May 13, 2019) Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. American singer and actress, famous in the 50s and 60s for her acting in the films: Tea for Two (1950), Love Me or Leave Me (1955), Lover Come Back (1961), Send Me No Flowers (1964) and The Ballad of Josie (1968).
She began her artistic career as a singer in the 40s, being recognized by the theme Day by Day, which inspired her artistic name. She debuted as an actress in the film Romance on the high seas (1948), by Michael Curtiz and rose to fame in the 1950s with prominent appearances in: Tea for Two (1950), The Lullaby of Broadway (1951), The Man Who Knew Too much (1956) and Midnight Confidences (1959), among others. After retiring from the world of acting, she presented The Doris Day Show (1968-1973).
FAMILY AND BEGINNINGS
Daughter of the renowned pianist, organist, and professor William von Kappelhoff and the housewife Alma Sophia Welz. Doris grew up with her mother after her parents got divorced. From an early age, she was interested in the arts and music.
At age fourteen she left home to begin her artistic training in dance and singing. After studying for several years, she joined the traveling comedian company of Franco and Marco. However, shortly after starting her trip she suffered a car accident that truncated her dreams of becoming a professional dancer. After recovering from the accident, she returned to Cincinnati, where she began her training as a singer taking singing lessons with her father and at the Grace Raine Academy.
A short time later she began working on local radio stations and musical ensembles in the city, becoming known as one of the most prominent female voices of the time. It was at this time that she decided to change her last name to Day, following the advice Barney Rapp, renowned musician and businessman. She chose that name because it was part of one of her best known and appreciated songs, the song Day by Day, part of her homonymous album published in 1956. In the early 1940s, she married Al Jorden, who was the first of a series of short-term relationships. With Jorden she had her only son, Terry, who took his father’s last name and became a prominent music producer in the 60s, working for renowned artists such as Gene Clark and Beach Boys.
DORIS DAY ARTISTIC CAREER
Day began her career as a singer in various musical groups during the 40s. She worked in the Bob Crosby Dixieland orchestra and later joined Fred Warin’s, later she joined the Les Brown group and his orchestra, one of the most important orchestras in North America. With Les Brown and his orchestra, she recorded her first songs such as Sentimental Journey, My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time, Till the End of Time, Day by Day, The Whole World Is Singing My Song and Sooner or Later, among others. After divorcing her second husband, musician George Weidler (1947), Day tried to take her first steps in the world of acting, getting her first role in Romance on the high seas (1948), a romantic film by Michael Curtiz.
This film was well-received by critics and the performance and interpretation of the themes of the film earned her an Oscar nomination. After her successful acting debut, Day signed a contract with Warner for five years and subsequently moved to the Goldwyn Mayer Metro. In the late 40s, she returned to work with Curtiz in My dream is yours (1949) and played Judy Adams in It’s a great feeling (1949), by David Butler, director with whom she worked on several occasions.
Consolidated her career in the 50s, she played several roles that made her one of the most sought-after and appreciated actresses of her time, in these roles she was seen as the model of a virgin and tender woman with a sensual and attractive style. At that time she acted in The Trumpeter (1950), by Curtiz with the renowned actor Kirk Douglas.
That same year she played Nanette Carter in the romantic comedy of Butler, Tea for Two (Tea for Two, 1950) and Jan Wilson in The West Point Story (1950), a musical comedy in which James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, and Gordon MacRae worked. Then, she returned to work with Butler in The Lullaby of Broadway (1951), a musical that had as its sequel to the film Operation Marriage (1953). For this same period she acted in I’ll see you in my dreams (1951), by Curtiz, The winning team (1952) by Lewis Seiler, April in Paris (1952) and Calamity Jane (Doris Day in the West, 1953), both from Butler. Being considered one of the highest-grossing actresses of her time, Day was chosen the best radio singer of the year in 1952.
Later she starred in Lucky Me (1954), along with Robert Cummings and Phil Silvers; and Always you and me (1954), with Frank Sinatra. In the mid-50s, she signed a contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer and starred in the musical film Love Me or Leave Me (Love Me or Leave Me, 1955), by Charles Vidor. A year later she starred in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and later played Janis Paige in the musical The pajama game (1958).
At the end of this decade, she acted alongside Jack Lemmon and Steve Forrest in The Indomitable and the Millionaire (1959); and starred in Confidences at midnight (1959), with Rock Hudson.
In the first years of the 60s she acted in: Do not eat the daisies (1960), Jumbo (1962), Depart, honey (1963), Please do not disturb (1965) and A suspicious mermaid (1966). Later he worked in Capricho (1967) and Desafío en el rancho (1967) and on 1968, she retired from the big screen with Last night when the light went out (1968) and Mama’s boyfriend (1968).
That same year she started the sitcom The Doris Day Show (1968-1973), in which she worked with Denver Pyle and Philip Brown, among other great stars. Two years after the end of the show, she published her autobiography, Doris Day: Her Own Story (1975), a book in which she commented on her marriage and her golden years at the cinema.
After several years away from the cameras, she returned to the world of acting with the Nostalgia series (1983). In the late 1980s, she bought a hotel in Carmel, where she provided shelter for dogs and other animals; being a recognized defender of animal rights, Day was named the president of the People Protecting Primates (PPP) association. This prominent American actress, died on May 13, 2019, in Carmel Valley, California, after suffering pneumonia.