Life After Warner Bros.

October 31, 2008 No Comments

Free from her seven year contract with Warner Brothers, Doris Day was finally able to consider tempting offers from other Hollywood studios; allowing the opportunity for husband/manager, Marty Melcher to attain producer credit on almost all her future movies…

Fortunately, her first choice was a winner and there must have been no hesitation in accepting MGM’s offer of the bio-pic about Ruth Etting, the popular singer of the late 20’s and early 30’s. Not only coveted by Ava Gardner, the role was also desired by many actresses but made sense for it to be played by an accomplished singer with box-office appeal. James Cagney was so amenable to having Doris as his co-star, he agreed his name could be billed after hers. Love Me Or Leave Me certainly expanded Doris’ acting range, projecting her away from her usual “girl next door” image, towards an ambitious character of steely resolve yet vulnerable centre with a sense of survival set in a gritty storyline which portrayed physical and mental abuse within the confines of censorship which then prevailed. Every sullen glance, cautious smile and line of dialogue hit its powerful mark in Doris’ honest characterisation. Within the inevitable romantic plot triangle, sided by mercurial small-time gangster (Cagney) with an obsession for the singer, and sympathetic musician (Cameron Mitchell), Doris had some memorable Etting standards to sing between her dramatic scenes. You Made Me Love You, It All Depends On You, Mean To Me, Ten Cents A Dance and the title song were ideal material, and Shaking The Blues Away allowed the lavish Ziegfeld Follies number to build and bloom in typical MGM fashion. Director, Charles Vidor, expertly balanced the drama with the musical sequences which were wonderfully orchestrated with a sense of period by Percy Faith and some input from George Stoll. Two added new songs were Never Look Back written by Chilton Price, and the Sammy Cahn/ Nicholas Brodszky penned I’ll Never Stop Loving You; the latter simply sung with piano-backing on-screen, but recreated in the recording studio with full orchestra for subsequent Chart success and Oscar nomination. Both Doris and Cagney were considered likely to be nominated for Academy Awards. In the event it was Cagney who received such recognition amongst the film’s six nominations, with an Oscar awarded for Best Motion Picture Story. Doris had to be content with high praise from critics and fans for playing a gutsy role without compromise, combined with well interpreted numbers, which ensured the film’s huge success when released in 1955. The original soundtrack album ran short on time but fortunately its CD reissue (Columbia Legacy CK 47503) added the Overture, end title music, a medley, and alternate takes to expand the film’s music coverage.

Doris moved from one personal triumph to another for a dramatic role which consolidated her ability as an accomplished actress. With Alfred Hitchcock as director and James Stewart as co-star and on-screen husband, Doris played a retired musical comedy star in the popular 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much which was a remake of the great film-maker’s earlier 1934 British same-title success. She visited London for the first time in order to undertake necessary location work, and it is no exaggeration to say that crowds of fans besieged the Savoy Hotel where she stayed and nearly caused a riot in Mayfair when she was spotted dining out one evening. However the actual film locations included Brixton and London Airport, whilst the Royal Albert Hall effectively set the scene for the dramatic finale when Arthur Benjamin’s Storm Clouds Cantata heightened the drama. Further locations were filmed in North Africa, for the plot which involved international intrigue, an assassination plot and a kidnapped child. Cleverly woven into the proceedings was the simple song, Whatever Will Be, Will Be [Que Sera, Sera] , by Livingstone/Evans, which Doris was initially loath to record but when released it topped the Charts for weeks, receiving the Best Song Oscar, and becoming the song mostly identified with her. It overshadowed the film’s other song, We’ll Love Again, written by the same partnership but Doris later revisited both numbers for ‘60’s album projects so she must have eventually warmed to both.

With so much suspense engendered by the Hitchcock movie, Julie (1956), the initial film produced by Doris’ husband, Marty Melcher for their own Arwin production company in tandem with MGM, must have promised similar follow-up success. Unfortunately, the tale of a jealous psychopathic concert-pianist husband and killer of the heroine’s (Doris) first spouse with intentions to kill her, proved an overheated affair with tension and furious pacing frequently sabotaged by some unintentionally funny scenes and lame dialogue within its implausible plot. Doris’ overwrought performance succeeded in gaining the sympathy of the audience especially when improbably and single-handedly landing a plane at the film’s climax – but, after all, her character had the advantage of being an air-stewardess! Louis Jourdan as the husband was exceedingly smooth and evil in equal measure, with Andrew L. Stone’s direction taking full advantage of Carmel’s rugged coastline. The latter appealed so much to Doris, she eventually left Beverly Hills to live there; at least one positive outcome, as she later confided that some aspects of the Julie plot mirrored her own early marriages and she would have preferred not to have made the movie. Apart from the piano-played Midnight On The Cliffs, the featured title song was Oscar-nominated but competed with Whatever Will Be, Will Be. It was the first of many films in which she warbled such numbers over the opening credits.

At this point Doris returned to Warners’ for its faithful adaptation of Broadway’s light-hearted The Pajama Game (See my article: The Warner Years)

By signing Clark Gable for Teacher’s Pet (1958), Paramount found the ideal co-star for Doris, and also ensured certain box-office success, with Gig Young adding his own inimitable presence. Gable played an outspoken self-taught city editor who clashed with Day’s journalism teacher’s belief in modern methods. This light-hearted tale made the most of their early confrontation before dislike turned into inevitable love for the happy ending. Gable was surprisingly adaptable in the role and Doris, looking radiant, portrayed her character with a mixture of warmth, sensitivity and toughness and both made the most of crackling dialogue which sparked their action as a battling couple. In fact, the film, directed by George Seaton, was precursor of a particular brand of comedy role which steered the Day career towards lucrative box-office fame in parts which she portrayed independent women who nevertheless caught their men by curtain time! Doris had a minor US hit with Joe Lubin’s title song, whilst Mamie Van Doren gave a new meaning to The Girl Who Invented Rock And Roll with voice taking second place to body rhythms as the cheap nightclub singer later imitated by Doris within the film’s plot.

MGM purchased the slightly risqué Broadway hit play The Tunnel Of Love (1958) and with Doris and Richard Widmark on board and Gene Kelly as director, the tale concerning baby adoption gave ample opportunity for all to fully exploit each carefully contrived situation, with many misunderstandings carefully sugar-coated in order not to offend censors and audience. Doris played wholesome wife to Widmark’s suitably neurotic father-to-be, aided by Gig Young and Gia Scala as co-stars. Even so, this movie adaptation remained trapped within its theatre origins; needed only a three weeks shoot on a single set, and relied on buoyant comedic performances from the cast. However, it was not a typical Day vehicle and Doris later claimed she was reluctant to accept the part. Apart from the slight rock and roll title song, Doris also featured the country flavoured ballad Runaway Skiddle Skidoo within the plot.

Known initially as That Jane From Maine, released as It Happened To Jane (1959) and later reissued in the USA as Twinkle And Shine, the next movie revived the sentiments of the great Frank Capra movies (Mr Deeds Goes To Town/Mr Smith Goes To Washington). Despite containing all the ingredients necessary for huge hit impact, including the ideal teaming of Doris with Jack Lemmon, the film failed to fulfil Columbia Pictures’ box-office expectations. Critics who loved the picture speculated the unimaginative title was the basic problem as the movie had a terrific script and rare charm. Ably directed by Richard Quine, and set within attractive New England locations, the plot pitted lone but feisty widow, Jane Osgood (Doris) and her two young children against the resources of a giant railroad company headed by Ernie Kovacs whose megalomaniac antics constantly derailed her quest to deliver her farmed lobsters to their destinations on time. Following much misfortune, she takes the law into her own hands, aided by Lemmon playing long-time suitor and sympathetic townsfolk, and high-jacks an entire train for ransom in order to gain publicity, victory and respect from the villain. The movie gave Doris a wonderful role with determination to succeed and her warm personality instilled the audience to root for her. Lemmon was also marvellous and ideally their teaming should have been repeated. Apart from the jaunty title song sung by Doris with chorus, the appropriately named Be Prepared plot-placed her with a group of Boy Scouts.

Doris had to be satisfied with other citations such as The Theatre Owners Laurel Award as The Most Popular Actress of the Year; Photoplay’s Most Popular Actress In contrast to the family entertainment of It Happened To Jane, Ross Hunter, a producer at Universal-International, persuaded Doris to change her image and he later claimed to have removed her from the kitchen and placed her in the bedroom for the sophisticated comedy, Pillow Talk (1959) which preceded a series of successful comedies. Doris fully agreed with the career girl transformation and the outcome left cinema audiences entertained and impressed sufficiently to make Pillow Talk one of the biggest hits of the year. The Oscar-winning story and screenplay involved a shared party ‘phone line, mistaken identities and all kinds of underhand dealings, but the result equalled pure romance. The racy plot would today be deemed politically incorrect, but the dialogue crackled and the production values, wrapped in bright Technicolor, allowed Doris to play Jan Morrow, a glamorous interior designer topped with flattering sophisticated hairstyles. However there was never any suggestion of sexual impropriety so the Day reputation remained spotless – at least until the finale! Rock Hudson gave his most relaxed comedic support as a songwriter and ardent Lothario, backed by Tony Randall and Thelma Ritter, who received her 5th Best Supporting Actress nomination. Doris was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award, but with heavy-weight competition from Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Katherine Hepburn, it was Simone Signoret who bagged the trophy for her dramatic role in Room At The Top. Doris had to be satisfied with other citations such as The Theatre Owners Laurel Award as The Most Popular Actress of the Year; Photoplay’s Most Popular Actress award; a nomination as Best Actress in a comedy from the Foreign Press Association, the coveted World’s Favourite Actress trophy from the Golden Globes, and the Top Female Box-office Star of the Year by the Herald’s poll of top box-office stars. Apart from the catchy title song, Doris sang the title song and the romantic Possess Me, and participated in the free-wheeling nonsense of Roly Poly, with Rock using Inspiration as part of his serial seduction technique. Both made separate commercial recordings of these songs. In 1996, Bear Family dedicated one of its lavish box-sets to Pillow Talk (BCD 15913 BI) and two discs featured all the songs, including Perry Blackwell’s soundtrack versions of the overlooked You Lied and I Need No Atmosphere; Frank DeVol’s score and promotional interviews/some dialogue, together with a soft-back book of the film’s script.

After Pillow Talk, Doris returned to MGM for Please Don’t Eat The Daisies (1960), vaguely based on an episodic book by Jean Kerr, wife of Broadway critic, Walter. Doris gave a likeable natural performance as the mother of several unruly kids with large dog in tow, yet still managed to still convey an air of sophistication and emotional strength ideally backed up by the erudite presence of David Niven as her husband/drama professor/theatre critic. The episodic plot was full of comedic occurrences with vintage actresses Spring Byington, Patsy Kelly and Margaret Lindsay adding their weight in supporting parts. Additionally, Janis Paige, who had starred in Doris’ first film, It’s Magic, ruffled a few feathers as an uninhibited star-turn predatory actress with highly developed skills of seduction. Doris sang the title song not on the credits but with a group of kids within the plot whilst the catchy Anyway The Wind Blows slotted into an amateur rehearsal for a play, with the opportunity to reprise a few bars of Whatever Will Be, Will Be during a bistro outing with Niven. It all added up to a pleasantly funny romp and well conceived production, lightly directed by Charles Walters.

Doris moved from stylish comedy to the psychological thriller, Midnight Lace (1960) with the glossy production values demanded by Universal’s Ross Hunter somewhat downgraded by Hollywood’s stereotypical view of London, England which did her and the movie no favours. However, he also ensured Doris looked like a million dollars as the wealthy heiress, Kit Preston, married to suave Rex Harrison. Threatened by an unknown killer, Doris reached hysterical heights in all kinds of situations, coping well with the necessary dramatic demands. She later commented:

“I became that woman to the best of my ability. To create the fear which the character I played had to project, I recreated the fear in myself which I had once felt in my own life. I relived it. It was painful and upsetting.” – Doris Day

In one emotional climax in the film, Doris had a very dramatic scene on a staircase:

“I wasn’t acting hysterical, I was hysterical, so at the end of the scene I collapsed in a real faint.” – Doris Day

To enable her recovery, production had to be suspended for a few days. Despite all her efforts, the script, based on the British play, Matilda Shouted Fire, lacked conviction with more red herrings than ever swum the North Sea provided by the presence of various shady suspects played by John Gavin, Roddy McDowall, Herbert Marshall and Natasha Parry. Fortunately Myrna Loy was also on hand to impart some tart sweetness and light as a loyal but perplexed aunt firmly staving off unbelievers who merely considered Doris’ character to be neurotic. To be fair, the tale echoed those ‘40’s film noir thrillers with Doris and cast playing plot implausibility to the hilt, but in full Technicolor. Aimed at a predominantly female audience, the movie hit its spot and was a top grosser with the near-finale scenes of Doris in dire straits and high heels balancing her escape across steel girders high on a construction site, engendering a hair-raising view of unreality. With so much excitement, there was no place for a Day vocal, but she subsequently chose one underscored theme and recorded it as What Can A Woman Do? (Allie Wrubel/Maxwell Anderson) in two versions for album and single whilst the haunting main title was covered by Ray Conniff and his Orchestra.

With the ideal Day/Hudson partnership defined by Pillow Talk, the same theme of deception, sophistication, mistaken identities and sexual tensions fuelled the plot of their reunion movie, Lover Come Back (1961). Set in the world of Madison Avenue the witty script maintained the comedic standard, with Doris as Carol Templeton playing an advertising executive endeavouring to win a client by fair means whilst Rock as Jerry Webster uses every devious ploy to thwart her attempts. Her upright principles and his blatant male subterfuge remained poles apart but somehow a romantic truce enabled the expected united ending. Tony Randall was again on board as a psychotic comic delight and Edie Adams shone as a glamorous vamp. Production values were high and Doris warbled the attractive title song, written by Alan Spilton and Frank DeVol, over the opening credits and dreamily sang the ballad Should I Surrender? within the movie’s plot.

All Hollywood actresses dreamed of working with Cary Grant and Doris achieved her wish when they were teamed together for That Touch Of Mink (1962) based on the successful formula achieved by Pillow Talk but lacking a strong script and surprisingly not allowing Doris a title song. She played naïve small-town girl Cathy Timberlake, newly arrived in New York, encountering tycoon Grant with the ensuing platonic v/s romantic situations concentrating on protecting her character’s virginity – at least until the final reel. Unfortunately, the anticipated glowing on-screen rapport between Day and Grant failed to ignite. Doris later stated commented:

“Of all the people I performed with, I got to know Cary Grant least of all. He is a completely private person, totally reserved, and there is no way into him. Our relationship on That Touch Of Mink was amicable but devoid of give-and-take. Not that he wasn’t friendly and polite – he certainly was. But distant. Very distant” – Doris Day

To counterbalance the situation, she did improvise some clowning with co-stars Gig Young, Audrey Meadows and John Astin which accentuated various comedy situations. However, the movie lacked a believable romantic centre, yet the fluffy but strained premise ensured the box-office needs were met.

Based on a gigantic Broadway ’30’s musical circus extravaganza, the movie rights of Billy Rose’s Jumbo (1962) lingered with MGM for many years. After casting rumours involving the participation of various personalities like Elvis and Ann-Margret, the film was finally given the green light, with Doris playing Kitty Wonder, ingénue daughter of circus owner James Durante who had appeared in the original stage production. Stephen Boyd played the romantic lead and Martha Raye was ideally cast as Durante’s long-suffering squeeze. Unfortunately, like the screen musical itself, MGM was in decline and needing to prune large budgets, and this cost-cutting showed in the final movie with a couple of exceptions. Busby Berkeley was on hand as dance director to assist Charles Walters and he conceived a few magic moments which elevated the quality of many scenes which featured a small but choice Rodgers and Hart score, beautifully orchestrated by Conrad Salinger. Doris was given perfect arrangements and sang definitive solo versions of My Romance and Little Girl Blue and Over And Over Again performed with chorus on trapeze. A brief but compelling This Can’t Be Love found Doris riding bareback in a pink tutu with wings and jumping through hoops which was surely a sight to see! If she was perhaps too mature for the role, it mattered not and despite the clichéd paper-thin script, she and the cast put their heart and soul into making it all plausible. Other songs featured Durante, Raye, and the partially dubbed Stephen Boyd with The Circus On Parade, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Why Can’t I? with an awkwardly conceived finale just failing to achieve total musical magic. As Doris’ final musical, its poor box-office performance nailed a few coffins and speeded up the wind-down of MGM’s musical golden age. In fact, the film’s London premiere run coincided with one of the coldest winter’s on record with the resulting meagre box-office takings creating the catalyst for MGM’s decision to prune scenes and songs in order to fit its general release in a double-bill with a modest Terry Thomas comedy. Fortunately, the oft-televised print is complete and the soundtrack album has recently been re-issued on CD (Collectables – COL6801).

James Garner was chosen to co-star with Doris for her next two movies and he certainly sparked with her in both. The Thrill Of It All (1963) directed by Norman Jewison, from an excellent script penned by Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart, poked fun at television commercials and was slick, funny and romantic. Doris played Beverly Boyer, contented housewife, who accidentally gets involved with the promotion of “Happy Soap” when her wholesome sincerity is used to send sales sky high. Her subsequent discovery of a celebrity world beyond family disturbs her increasingly neglected husband/ doctor, James Garner, with numerous farcical situations contributing to a very funny movie. The role gave Doris the opportunity to prove herself as one of the screen’s best comediennes as well as sexy wife, and ZaSu Pitts, Reginald Gardiner and Arlene Francis filled the hilarious slapstick scenes, with any problems happily resolved within the last few minutes. No song by Doris but there was a jolly title song voiced by a chorus.

Doris was deemed the only box-office actress capable of stepping into the role (and hairstyles) Marilyn Monroe failed to complete in Something’s Got To Give produced by 20th Century Fox. Based on the Irene Dunne/Cary Grant movie of 1940, My Favourite Wife, the revised movie retitled Move Over, Darling (1963) had Doris playing Ellen Wagstaff Arden who returns to civilisation after being stranded on a desert island for three years. Being presumed dead, husband James Garner has moved on to another permanent romantic attachment. Obviously the ideal setting for a densely plotted movie, but with well-cast Garner, Polly Bergen and Thelma Ritter in tow, there were many opportunities for Doris to exploit the screwball elements of the script. Additionally, the title song, co-written by her son, Terry Melcher, reached a high chart listing in the UK and other countries, but failed to have the same impact in the USA. Within the film, Doris also sang the Joe Lubin number, Twinkle Lullaby to her two children. Critics were fairly amenable to the film which was a box-office success but quite affronted it was chosen as the Royal Performance film in 1964.

The third and final film Day/Hudson movie, Send Me No Flowers (1964), took a satirical view of suburban marriages with its additional swipe at the American view of death teetering on the brink of bad taste. However, with sensible Doris and hypochondriac Rock as a married couple; best-friend Tony Randall carefully judging his neurotic overkill, and the finely-tuned funny script delightfully reigning in the farcical situations within acceptable comedic constraints, the movie edged ahead yet failed to reach the box office heights of the previous movies. The fashionable Bacharach/David partnership supplied Doris with a catchy title song which promised to be a hit but wasn’t.

Do Not Disturb (1965) was a disappointment. Set in mythical London and Paris, the contrived comedy scenes hinging on imagined marital infidelity were strained and often unfunny. Additionally, her co-star, Rod Taylor, lacked the star quality of Hudson or Garner. Doris played a scatter-brained character and managed to feature the agreeable title song on the credits whilst a tipsy street scene in Paris saddled her with the simple lyrics of Au Revoir Is Goodbye With A Song. A far cry from the quality of Pillow Talk, the realisation had to be faced that a rapidly changing world was making movies such as this an anachronism.

MGM beckoned again for The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) which downplayed romance in favour of cloak-and-dagger spy antics when widow, Jennifer Nelson, played by Doris, finds employment in a space laboratory. On this occasion, Rod Taylor, her boss and ultimate beau, transferred some warmth towards Doris and the audience. With Frank Tashlin, ex cartoonist and director of many Jerry Lewis movies at the helm, the film contained a succession of visual and slapstick scenes set around witty dialogue and even a fantasy vision of Doris as Mata Hari. She looked extremely attractive; played the comedy scenes with relish, and the supporting cast of Arthur Godfrey, Paul Lynde and Dom DeLuise milked the farce elements for all their worth. Attractive locations also succeeded in making this film one of the more engaging Day movies of the period. Apart from the jolly title song, Doris revived Soft As Starlight (featured in her 1957 album Day By Night) in a sumptuously arranged version not released on record. However, not many twigged the melody by Joe Lubin was identical for both songs with only different tempo and lyrics! There was also a brief reprise of Whatever Will be, Will Be.

By 1967, music and movies were changing rapidly in content and style and the typical Doris Day comedy had run its course. So what happened? 20th Century Fox signed hell-raiser actor, Richard Harris for Caprice, a trendy industrial espionage tale set in the world of cosmetics and implanted with themes of drugs and murder. Doris again played a dedicated career woman, donning trendy way-out fashions, modish hairstyles and enough eye makeup to put Dusty in the shade, and their was little rapport between the two stars. A combination of slapstick and thrills was again provided by Frank Tashlin as director and even the title song featured on the credits of a film within the film, acted as mere background to a very funny scene when the Day character is molested by weird Michael J. Pollard. Although the fast and furious pacing was an advantage, the film did nothing for Doris’ image and failed to dent the box-office in the US, resulting in a limited UK release. It is now considered a cult movie.

Doris must have considered herself on some kind of movie treadmill by the time she was rushed into The Ballad Of Josie (1967), a Western, directed by Andrew McLaglen, son of actor, Victor. Returning to Universal, maybe she and her fans hoped for something special but she later described the experience as “nothing more than a second-rate television Western that required me to get up at four-thirty every morning.” Living on the prairie, Doris played Josie whose abusive drunken husband accidentally dies early in the movie, leaving her accused of his murder as well as having to uphold feminist values amid the battle between cattle ranchers and opposing sheep farmers. She certainly invested the part with energy well beyond the script’s worth. Co-star, Peter Graves (from TV’s Mission Impossible) was Doris’ love interest but even the supporting presence of Andy Devine and George Kennedy were unable to stop the film’s downhill slide into obscurity. Doris was even denied the Don Costa co-penned title song and the featured Wait Till Tomorrow which were assigned to vocal chorus.

The New York power blackout of 1965 provided the background of Where Were You When The Lights Went Out? (1968) and Doris returned to MGM for this amiable comedy, directed by television director, Hy Averback in which Patrick O’Neil and Robert Morse were her co-stars. She played Margaret Garrison, Broadway actress, whose latest hit play, The Constant Virgin was obviously a title intended to send up the Day screen image. The power cut just added an unexpected domestic layer of marital misunderstandings aided by the participation of Lola Albright as the other woman, Terry Thomas a sleazy producer and guest spots for Steve Allen, Jim Backus, Ben Blue and others, but it was hardly worthy of Doris’ talent. The title song was sung by a group.

With Six You Get Eggroll (1968), a family entertainment, directed by Howard Morris, known for his television sitcom work, confirmed that aspects of the pleasant on-screen happenings were indeed reminiscent of the genre. As a harassed mother and widow trying to run a family timber-yard business, the familiar story was at least one with which audiences could relate. When her character meets widower, Brian Keith, their growing love leads to marriage with the problems of coordinating their two sets of resentful and jealous offspring forming the impetus for as much plot chaos as possible. As a leading man, Keith was far removed from the handsome appeal of Hudson, Garner or Grant yet his rugged looks gelled well with Doris’ warmth and natural charm and both gave charming performances within their believable on-screen partnership.

Doris had no idea this would be her final film. Shortly after completion, her husband, Marty Melcher became ill and died, and she discovered he and their lawyer had squandered her vast fortune. Additionally, without her knowledge Marty had signed her to a television series for CBS. Despite the traumas, the series went ahead and after the first year’s reasonable success, Doris moved the ranch-based locale, format and characters to the San Francisco world of journalism, with the show becoming an even greater hit and it completed five seasons until she decided to terminate the series. Some episodes were shown on ITV regions in the UK and the first series ran on Bravo about ten years ago. There were also a couple of television Specials – The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special in 1971 with Perry Como and Rock Hudson and Doris Day Today in 1975 with John Denver; neither shown on UK television. Doris made rare US talk-show appearances, particularly with regard to her biography Doris Day – Her Own Story by A.E Hotchner in 1975. The previous year she had won a legal settlement from the lawyer who defrauded her earnings and in 1976 undertook a further marriage which ended in divorce.

Following her move to Carmel and ever increasing involvement with animal welfare, Doris headed a two-year cable series incorporating star guests and animal topics filmed at her home, her co-owned hotel and near-by locations. We in the UK were treated with a couple of television interviews; the last one when Doris was interviewed by Gloria Hunniford. Doris is adamant that she never made a conscious decision to retire – it just happened and she has subsequently turned down invitations to return to the screen. She rarely leaves her pets and is passionately committed to her animal causes. Her positive attitude is best expressed by the lady herself and partially quoting from her 2004 comments on the recently released Doris Day – Her Life In Music (Columbia 516215 2):

“I just feel fortunate and so blessed to have been able to entertain people in theatres and on record. It’s just an amazing life that I’ve experienced and it was the happiest time of my life, although I’m very happy now….” – Doris Day

Allen Pollock
(British music/film critic and researcher)

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