May 13, 2019
She was the epitomy of wholesomeness and the older American virtues. There are none like her today.
"Let's fill that in. She actually reached stardom as a torch singer in the 1940s. Her recording of "Sentimental Journey," with the Les Brown orchestra, put her on the map, with so many GI's from World War II making that sentimental journey back home.
Her looks forced Hollywood to notice. Despite her sultry, torch-song background, she was reinvented as America's sweetheart, pure in every way, leading to one of the most famous quips in the industry's history. When Oscar Levant, a leading phrase maker of the time, was asked whether he knew Doris Day, he replied, "I knew her before she was a virgin."
Hollywood fame worked together with a constant stream of song hits. "Que Sera Sera," which she sang in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much," became her theme, and an American standard. She starred in the film with Jimmy Stewart, with whom she had a natural chemistry.
She went on to star in a series of comedies with Rock Hudson. When it was revealed, years later, that Hudson was gay, she firmly stood by him in her classy way.
The young generation doesn't know her. Those of us of a certain age certainly do.
In addition to her public career, Doris Day was an animal-rights activist. She also, and this is important, was one of the few women in Hollywood who fought back after learning that her late husband had wrecked her finances. Her battle was epic, but she won a great deal back, and went on to live her life in dignity.
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