On June 11th, David Kaufman sat down with me in his beautiful Villiage apartment to talk about his new book "Doris Day, The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door"
.1. What made you chose to write about Doris Day?
I think one of my primary motivations was my feeling, so strongly, that she is an enormous talent; whose talents have not been properly recognized by the culture and world.2. Where did you get your information for your book?
By interviewing many people, by befriending a good number of them and also by researching the Warner Brothers Archives and other studio archives which were treasures of information. When, Liz Smith acclaimed my book saying it would probably be the definitive biography it gave people who had been holding on to their stories about Doris a reason to want to share them with me, and that's a large part of the story.3. Of the people you interviewed who did you enjoy the most?
Howard Green, Sydney Wood, Sheila Smith ,Val Andrew, Kaye Ballard, and Paul Brogan.4. How do you think Doris will react to your book?
Well, I have been told by a number of people close to Doris that she will never read my book.
The saddest thing is that Doris will probably not read my book even though she's alive,her mind intact and she probably could read it. I know there are many things in this book that she herself doesn't know about her own life especially because of what I learned from the archives and from people I interviewed .I know that there are a number of things in this book that would upset her and she would not be happy with my having revealed but I also think if she could keep things in perspective she would see for the most part the book is a tribute to her talents and I think it argues persuasively that she is a great artist and I am going to send her a copy.I imagine she will only look at the pictures and read the captions. I don't want to upset her but I think everybody's life if they've lived a full life has things in it that are not happy, I did my best to reconstruct her life on a day by day basis.5. There are some fans of Doris who refuse to read about her personal life how do you answer people who may think your book is an invasion of privacy?
I think if people feel that way, they feel that way and I can only respect their feeling. I understand why they would not read my book. I also think because Doris was such a world icon that to a degree, I have invaded her private life. It goes with the territory of being an icon, and she's known that her whole life. It's been difficult her whole life and it isn't going to become easier now.6. Many people thought Doris was 84 how did you find out that she is 86 years old?
Well, people who have lived and worked with Doris have discovered her real age. Doris has acknownledged this to many people. Her son also knew she was 2 years older so there are really many sources.7. After eight years of research what do you find the most impressive about Doris Day?
I was surprised and impressed at how marvelous she is as an actress. She is never less than sensational even when she's
in a bad movie. What impressed me from my research and what astonished me was how insecure she has been about her looks and her talents. Also, her husband Marty Melcher who had the reputation of being shrewd; in many ways was not.8. Do you feel that the information in your book will shatter her wholesome image?
It may, but I think people who know anything about Doris know that her image is a false image and that it's not true in the first place. My book, I feel really shows how she is a human being and not an icon. She herself wrote that she didn't know where the image came from and that's a fascinating thread through out her life. On the one hand she said she didn't understand it on the other hand she would say at different times that she had to only do certain kinds of films because that's what her fans expected of her and she didn't want to do anything that would ruin her image. That's one way where she is extremely contradictory and that's throughout the book.9. What's the most important thing that you want readers to learn from your book?
How much of an artist she is and how undervalued she is as an artist.10. Will you be using any of the procedes of your book to The Doris Day Animal Foundation?
My publisher is actually contributing to the foundation. I think he will be donating copies of the book to the foundation.
I myself, depends on how well the book does. It was very expensive for me to do this book.I even had to pay Doris Day from quoting from her memoir and many other books.11. Why do think so many people have found and are finding her so appealing?
I think because she exuded happiness and exuberence and so many of her films where just marvelously entertaining and uplifting.I know that many of her fans that hadn't had happy childhoods found happiness through Doris Day.She made much of the world happy.The image of this happy creature represented what America meant to the rest of the world. I think it's one of the reasons why she has so many fans in the United Kingdom because they were in a way enthralled with us and she represented everything that was good about America.12. Is there anyone you feel parallels Doris in any way today?
No, absolutly not there will never be a star like her. Nobody will ever be able to obtain that kind of stardom again, the world is just completely different now. There is nobody who has her given talents. I can't think of anybody in history who can sing ,act, and dance as well as Doris Day.13. Do you have a favorite Doris Day movie and album?
Love me or Leave me would be the movie, for albums it would be Day by Day, Day by Night, and I love her Christmas album.14. Are you planning to write anymore biographies in the future?
Yes (but no clues about who he may be writing about next)