Real name: Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff
Birthdate: April 3, 1924
Click here for more images!
1024 x 768 (1)
Day was born in the Cincinnati, Ohio, neighborhood of Evanston to Alma Sophia Welz and William/Wilhelm Kappelhoff; all four of her grandparents were German immigrants. The youngest of three children, she had two brothers, Richard, who died before she was born and Paul, a few years older. She was named after silent movie actress Doris Kenyon, whom her mother admired. Her family was Roman Catholic and her parents were known to have divorced. She later embraced Christian Science.
From 1968 to 1973, Day starred in The Doris Day Show, a situation comedy which had "Que Sera, Sera" as its theme song. Day grudgingly continued with the show, but only as long as she needed the work to help pay off her debts. By the end of the series in 1973, Day was nearing 50, and public tastes had changed to such a degree that her firmly established wholesome persona was now completely out of fashion. Day essentially retired from acting when The Doris Day Show ended.
After her autobiography was published, Day was married once more; this marriage, to Barry Comden, lasted from April 14, 1976 to 1981, ending in divorce. Comden was her first husband outside show business, the maitre d' at one of Doris's favorite restaurants. Knowing of her great love of dogs, Comden began the practice of giving Doris a bag of meat scraps and bones on her way out. This is how he got to meet and endear himself to her. This marriage unraveled, and Comden complained that Day cared more for her "animal friends" than she did for him.
The revelations contained in the book about Day's private life, and the testimony of many of her friends and colleagues about aspects of her life and career (most were scathing with regard to husband number three Marty Melcher) helped to make the book a bestseller. In promoting the book, Day also caused a stir by rejecting the "girl next door - virgin" label so often attached to her. Notably, in an interview with Barbara Walters, she commented "I don't know where that label came from. Maybe it's the way I look. Do I look like a virgin?" In later interviews, Day went on to say that she believed that people should live together prior to marriage, something that she herself would do if the opportunity arose again. Her candor won her some admiration among book reviewers and interviewers, and possibly contributed to the book's success.
At the conclusion of her book tour, Day largely retired from show business, though film and TV offers continued. She seemed content to focus on her charity work and business interests (In 1985, she became part-owner of the Cypress Inn in Carmel, California.)
In the 1965 Sondheim/Arthur Laurents musical Do I Hear A Waltz? Day's name was used in the song "What Do We Do? We Fly!"