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DORIS DAY SPEAKS!

Features
by Leonard Maltin
December 20, 2010 5:00 AM
8 Comments
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There aren’t many true movie stars still with us from Hollywood’s golden age, or even from the 1950s and 60s, when the studio era was on the wane. But one star who occupied a unique place in America’s heart, as a top box-office attraction and a top-selling recording artist at the same time, is still alive and well: Doris Day. She avoids the limelight and hasn’t appeared on camera in many years. (I felt very lucky to spend some time with her for Entertainment Tonight in 1993, during a weekend-long fundraiser she held for her Animal League.)

In recent years, however, she has made herself available for telephone interviews with selected journalists when she had—

something particular to say, as when her TV series was released on DVD. My friend Will Friedwald was pleased that she was willing to talk with him not long ago when he wrote an obituary on Mitch Miller, who oversaw her recording career at Columbia Records in the 1950s.

In October, New York City radio personality Jonathan Schwartz spoke with Day for a full hour on his weekend program, which airs on the public radio station WNYC. You can listen to the entire conversation, which is punctuated by several of the singer’s records, HERE.

It’s absolutely fascinating to hear how she regards herself as she recalls her childhood, her entry into show business, and her approach to songs. Schwartz is properly dumbfounded by her casual attitude toward her career in general and especially her work in the movies. (Wait till you hear her story about turning down South Pacific.)

She comes off much as she always has: cheerful and unpretentious. I found the conversation absolutely mesmerizing.

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8 Comments

  • janet e.buckner | November 14, 2012 10:58 PMReply

    How can I speak to Doris Day personally..?

  • Gordon Stevens | December 22, 2010 10:29 AMReply

    What can one say about Doris Day that hasn't already been said. One of my favorite songs (no two of my fav songs) My Dream is yours and someone like you.Now that goes back. I think I have all of Ms days recordings on CD .I know I had them all on 78RPM's.
    I have met a few of the great stars of the past and never met one who wasn't charming and gracious .Although I never met Ms. Day I am sure she falls into that description.
    I am delighted she will receive a special Oscar now lets get her the Kennedy honors.

  • Ian Harries | December 22, 2010 9:57 AMReply

    Doris Day remains the most under-rated singer and actress of the 20th Century. It was Betty White who said of her: "Everything she did she did perfectly - she was the role model for all of us".

    I heard the Schwartz interview and was amazed how youthful and breezy Day still sounds.. Her positive attitude is a glowing example to all of us. We should never forget either her unstinting work for animals. She is a truly amazing woman! I think of her as God's gift to the world and America's gift to us all.

  • David Syner | December 22, 2010 5:52 AMReply

    Join the facebook page:

    Doris Day to be (finally) Honored by the Oscars?

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Doris-Day-to-be-finally-Honored-by-the-Oscars/121899117830151?ref=mf

  • Barbara Norton | December 22, 2010 3:13 AMReply

    DorisDay, will always be one of America's greatest Icons, there will never be another like her, her movies, her singing, I was in a store the other day and they were playing one of her Christmas songs, I knew immediately who was singing, what a beautiful voice, and what a beautiful lady, thank you Doris for what you have given to America, you will never be forgotten, I will love you 4 ever, Barbara Norton

  • ken cooper | December 22, 2010 2:33 AMReply

    I have been in love with Doris for 50 years . saw all her films at least two to three times. i am going to by all her films if i can.and love all her dogs i have some. thank you ken cooper, please do more tv. We need you to come back so my grand kids can see a real star look like. ken

  • Peter Sands | December 21, 2010 10:26 AMReply

    Thank you for posting the link to the Doris Day interview. She hardly sounded like someone at age 88. In fact, listening to her, her voice was vibrant and youthful as ever. Her work in film has given me enormous pleasure through the years. For many years, I have written the Academy hoping that someday they would comply with my suggestion and give her a much deserved Honorary Oscar.

  • Frank Russo | December 20, 2010 8:23 AMReply

    I once asked Doris Day in a fan mail letter if she would sign some album covers of hers for me. She did and I proudly have them on display on one of my walls at home. I taught Film Studies and would use some of her films in my classes. One film that the students loved the most was Pillow Talk. The boys liked it because they saw Rock Hudson's character as "a player", a trait that apparently hit close to home. lol

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