Que Sera Sera… Doris Day - The All American Girl Next Door has died at the age of 97 after a bout of Pneumonia.
The girl born Doris Kappelhoff went on to become a Hollywood legend and a fan favorite - so much so that she was the number one box office draw for four years in a row in the 1960’s. (The first woman to do so since Shirley Temple). Doris aspired to be a dancer, but when a car accident permantly injured her leg when she was just 15, she turned her sights to acting.
Her very first movie, 1948’s “Romance on the High Seas” - and “It’s Magic” the song she sang in the film - skyrocketed her to fame. She went to star in almost 40 movies including “Teacher’s Pet”, “Pillow Talk”, “Lover Come Back”, “That Touch of Pink”, “Move Over Darling”, “Calamity Jane”, and her final film, “With Six You Get Eggroll”. Most were breezy, romantic comedies that made you feel good - much like Doris herself. One of her more serious turns came in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. Doris had happened to meet Hitchcock at a dinner party in the early ‘50’s and said he “saw something in her eyes”. So did America.
Her list of leading men was truly a Who’s Who of Hollywood: Cary Grant, James Garner, Clark Gable, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart and of course Rock Hudson. Her support of Hudson when he announced that he was Gay and suffering from AIDS earned her the love, respect and adoration the gay community. Doris and Rock remained close friends right up to his death in 1985.
Unfortunately, Doris’s off-screen relationships weren’t nearly as successful as her on-screen ones. She was married for the first time at age 17 to a musician who physically abused her and fathered her only son - Terry. She went on to marry three more times. Her second husband - who was also her manager - secretly stole $20 million from her which she only discovered after he died. Unflapped, she went back to work to replace the money she’d lost.
Her love of movies and music was matched only by her passion for animal rights - a cause she championed right up until her death.
Her incredible work in film and music earned her an Oscar nomination, numerous Golden Globes, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (She didn’t attend the ceremony in Washington D.C. because of her fear of flying).
While her blond hair and fresh face lit up the Silver Screen, Doris’s clear, honey-sweet voice sold millions of records including: “Que Sera Sera”, “It’s Magic”, “A Secret Love”, “Lullaby of Broadway” and so many more.
Doris was such an icon, she has TWO STARS on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - one for acting, one for singing. She was even referenced in songs by The Beatles, Billy Joel and Wham!
She was a true Hollywood legend who could do it all… Drama, Comedy & Song. Rest in Peace, Doris.