Doris Day, one of the most popular stars of song and screen during the 1950s and ’60s died on May 13th. She was 97. After starting off as a singer with the big bands of Bob Crosby and Barney Rapp her star began to rise among servicemen in WWII when she had a hit with “Sentimental Journey” while performing with Les Brown and his Band of Renown. She followed up the hit with “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time.”
In 1948 she was cast for her first film “Romance on the High Seas”, which gave her another hit with “It’s Magic”. She went on to appear in other films directed by Michael Curtiz, among them “Young Man With a Horn” loosely based on the legacy of Bix Beiderbecke. She also made several musicals for Warner Bros., including “Tea for Two,” “On Moonlight Bay” and “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”.
Thought of as a girl next door some of her films were actually naughty for the time period. She had starring roles in romantic comedies and was often paired with Rock Hudson. She is remembered for the movies “Pillow Talk”, “Lover Come Back”, “Send Me No Flowers”, and “The Pajama Game.
Her most enduring song, for which she won an Oscar, was “Que Será, Será” which featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, and which she reprised in two later films. She said her favorite role was breaking from her clean-cut image in the title role for the western “Calamity Jane”.
She turned down the role of Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate” which might have revived her acting career in the late 60s. Instead, she retired from acting and was the star of her own “The Doris Day Show” from 1968 to 1973. Through it all she continued to record, leaving behind 29 albums, the most recent, of previously unreleased material, in 2011.