“I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile, and I want to make people laugh. And that’s all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy.”
– Doris Day, who died on May 13, 2019, 4 years ago today, died famous both for her wholesome public image in the sixties and her later work for animals through her Doris Day Animal Foundation.
In the movie “Love Me Or Leave Me” which was nominated for 6 academy awards (winning Best Story for Daniel Fuchs), Day was a dime a dance nightclub singer who had two love interests in a smalltime gangster played by Jimmy Cagney (nominated for Best Actor) and her singing coach played by Cameron Mitchell. She marries and divorces the Cagney character because of his jealous violent rage, but the singing coach becomes her second husband later. By the end of the movie the gangster accepts that reality.
Fellow actress of the time, Elaine Stritch, said of Day’s performance “She was up, she was honest, she was forthright — I could tell she was scared, but she got over it. She was brilliant in the movie she did with James Cagney ………”
When jimmy Cagney was give n a life achievement award Day spoke these words, “you breathe life into your own performance. and make the rest of us really look good that’s because you are there and tonight you make the whole world feel good just because you’re here. I wish it were possible to tell you what knowing you means to me Jimmy.“
Day was lifelong friends with Clint Eastwood and Rock Hudson, who nicknamed her “Eunice” because it made him laugh ……… Day said of him: “If there is a Heaven, I’m sure Rock Hudson is there because he was such a kind person.”
God Bless American Freedom which enabled Doris Day to rise from normal middle class beginnings in Cincinnati, Ohio to have a great Hollywood and television career, and then help and be loyal to those she loved.
Geoff Fox, 13th May,2023, Down under