Doris the role and the person

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Doris the role and the person

Unread post by suzie »

"Pillow Talk " and " Lover come back " and most all of her films have made me laugh and feel joy.What a wonderful gift that is to be able to make people so happy in you're lifetime . I notice that Doris always refers to her roles she has played as though they were someone other than herself...and in a way they are ofcourse, but I must say that Doris is the person who always shows up in those roles and its The real Doris that attracts people to enjoy the person she is portraying . I heard Doris speaking about Jan Morrow once and she talked about the person of Jan Morrow and how classy she was and how wonderful her clothes were and it felt rather strange to hear that because "we " all think of Doris as Jan Morrow because thats all we know Jan as. I find it very interesting to hear Doris talk about her roles in this fashion as it puts some persective on who the REAL Doris is. So what do you think ? Do you also find it interesting to hear Ms. Day talk about the roles she has portrayed and do you see Doris in every role or do you see the role she is playing ???
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Re: Doris the role and the person

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Suzie,
Doris goes into this point in her book - don't know if you have read it.

Michael Curtiz told her at the beginning of her career that she would be an important 'star' and that 'stars' are basically always themselves, their main/ strong personality coming through, no matter what part they play. Doris comments that this is true of many, she cites the likes of Paul Newman, Gary Cooper etc as being in this category. She also cites Marlon Brando as one [of the few] 'stars' who can play any role - good or bad, and get away with it but acknowledges that her public [for the most part] did not and could not accept her in a 'bad girl' role - she mentions the mail she received in protest after she did Love me or Leave Me. This was probably the nearerst Doris ever got to playing against type - which is a pity as she was outstanding. However, look at Georgia Garret too [Romance on the High Seas] - Doris' very first film part - she too was a girl who liked a good time- and I liked this character - very much!

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Re: Doris the role and the person

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I think everyone sees themselves differently than others see them. I know I have heard Mary Tyler Moore talk about her character, Mary Richards, and says that she wanted to be Mary Richards as much as everyone in the audience did. Which sounded odd to me the first time I heard it, but when I think about it, it makes sense. I know Barbara Walters thought it was terrible that Doris had not read her own book prior to their interview, but I can't imagine reading a book like that about myself. I would hate to read what everyone thinks of me.

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I have seen Doris interviewed where she admits to reading the galley of her book - and being very upset about how others had perceived Marty (her husband). Luckily (apart from Kirk Douglas) no one had any negative words to say about the lady herself and that doesn't surprise me!

Re- Barbara Walters interview - I think though [like most things] when her book was done - it was done, and promoting it was a necessary evil - that came with the territory!

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Re: Doris the role and the person

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I am just surprised that she went through with it. She seems like a very private person. Not that any of it changes how I feel about her. I admire her coming through all her perils still smiling and still being a role model for the rest of us. I think she is amazing!

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Re: Doris the role and the person

Unread post by suzie »

Jas , now that you mention it I do remember reading that In "Her own story ." You know I have to wonder sometimes if actors in general look at themselves in the mirrior and say " who am I really ? " after having played so many different people. I also remember Doris saying that sometimes it was hard to shake off the role and get back to being her own self ...something along the lines of pretend and reality blending into one. :?
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Re: Doris the role and the person

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Yes Suzie, Doris was instinctively a method actress without defining it too much - she really lived the role she was playing.

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Good topic, Suzie.

I remember Paul Brogan, whom we know has formed a close relationship with Doris, saying that fans, and people in general, usually confuse the "screen Doris" with the real person he knows, We have to remember, I think, that Doris is 'performing' in her screen roles and while we can see the real person behind the acting, it is not the whole person we see. Rather like us when we are at a party on good form and enter into the spirit(s) of it, performing ourselves on a smaller scale due to the stimulation of friends and other people having a good time - but the next day we might feel very tired and not want to see anyone!

Real life isn't usually as exciting as the movies and brings a series of challenges that aren't always easy to deal with, unlike the movies where everything is sorted out in about an hour and a half. In between making all those great films (the effort required sometimes causing her health to suffer and in some cases (Calamity Jane/Midnight Lace) leading to exhaustion and near breakdown, Doris also had to deal with divorces, the death of her closest family members; husband, mother and son and a depressing court battle that lasted years to try and recover the millions stolen from her from 20 years working in Hollywood.

So I imaging her seeing "Jan Morrow" as someone who is definitely not Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff from Cincinnati who's parents divorced when she was a young girl leaving her to be the breadwinner, but rather someone who has had an easy life compared to her. If the film had continued beyond the closing credits and were to reflect Doris' real life, she'd find out that "Brad" really was gay and they would divorce. "Alma" would die of alcoholism and she would then marry "Jonathan" who would ruin her business and run off with her money!

It's amazing she has survived all of that without become bitter and is still a caring and humble person who appreciates the love still shown to her by fans and the public in general.
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Re: Doris the role and the person

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webmaster wrote:Good topic, Suzie.

I remember Paul Brogan, whom we know has formed a close relationship with Doris, saying that fans, and people in general, usually confuse the "screen Doris" with the real person he knows, We have to remember, I think, that Doris is 'performing' in her screen roles and while we can see the real person behind the acting, it is not the whole person we see. Rather like us when we are at a party on good form and enter into the spirit(s) of it, performing ourselves on a smaller scale due to the stimulation of friends and other people having a good time - but the next day we might feel very tired and not want to see anyone!

Real life isn't usually as exciting as the movies and brings a series of challenges that aren't always easy to deal with, unlike the movies where everything is sorted out in about an hour and a half. In between making all those great films (the effort required sometimes causing her health to suffer and in some cases (Calamity Jane/Midnight Lace) leading to exhaustion and near breakdown, Doris also had to deal with divorces, the death of her closest family members; husband, mother and son and a depressing court battle that lasted years to try and recover the millions stolen from her from 20 years working in Hollywood.

So I imaging her seeing "Jan Morrow" as someone who is definitely not Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff from Cincinnati who's parents divorced when she was a young girl leaving her to be the breadwinner, but rather someone who has had an easy life compared to her. If the film had continued beyond the closing credits and were to reflect Doris' real life, she'd find out that "Brad" really was gay and they would divorce. "Alma" would die of alcoholism and she would then marry "Jonathan" who would ruin her business and run off with her money!

It's amazing she has survived all of that without become bitter and is still a caring and humble person who appreciates the love still shown to her by fans and the public in general.
Fantastic..Bryan..you are good

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Re: Doris the role and the person

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This is a very interesting discussion. I think that just about anybody who relies on their creativity to make something (art, music, writing, acting, etc) can step away from a finished project and wonder about what it was that caused the final result. In acting, it's hard for us (audience) to differentiate between the actor and the role, especially in the case of someone we all simply adore like Doris Day! We want her to be Jan Morrow, because, thanks to the movie, we know Jan Morrow (as well we should - we're right there in her bedroom when she goes to sleep!).

Last night I watched the Biography Documentary Doris Day: It's Magic. Told through interviews with people who did really know her, there was once constant: whether she was playing a role or being herself, everybody just loved her!

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New interview that goes with this topic, I think, from the UK's Yorkshire Post:

A new Day is dawning as Doris returns

Published on Friday 12 August 2011 11:53

DORIS DAY is releasing her first new album in 17 years. The octogenarian tells Jeananne Craig why she has no intention of slowing down.

Reading through the sunny track list for Doris Day’s new album, you would be forgiven for thinking the star’s life had been, to borrow one of her song titles, Just A Bowl Of Cherries.

Behind the deceptively twinkling lyrics and breezy sentiments, however, lies a far more complex tale.

The Oscar-winning girl-next-door has had her fair share of heartache, with four marriages, a messy, multi-million dollar legal battle and the death of her beloved only child.

Ever the professional, Day has never been one to let her private problems affect her smiling public image. The wholesome Calamity Jane star – once cheekily dubbed America’s oldest virgin – made 39 films and recorded more than 650 songs before quietly retreating from the spotlight to focus on her charity work.

Now, aged 87 and almost two decades since the release of her last album of fresh material, the reclusive star is back with her new record My Heart.

So what made her return to the fray after so long?

“I completely forgot about these recordings and honestly thought no one would be listening to my music anymore,” Day laughs modestly.

“It was brought to my attention that the recordings were in storage and Sony was interested in releasing them. So I listened to them and at first had some misgivings, but after they were re-mastered, I liked them and hoped my fans would too.”

Devotees won’t be disappointed. The album is classic Day, with a smattering of covers and new songs added to the mix.

“I had to sing some modern songs, because I had already done all the old ones,” she quips.

Day puts her own stamp on Joe Cocker’s You Are So Beautiful and the nostalgic Beach Boys song Disney Girls. She even challenges the virgin moniker with a sultry, lingering performance of My One And Only Love.

The George Gershwin-penned Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries, all about having a sense of humour and refusing to dwell on worries, “absolutely” rings true to her.

“We should never take ourselves too seriously. I certainly don’t,” Day says, before adding: “That was my son Terry’s favourite recording of mine.”

The new track was laid down by Day’s son, gifted producer and musician Terry Melcher, before he died in 2004, aged 62, after a lengthy struggle with melanoma. His presence is felt throughout the album.

The determinely upbeat tempo and cheerful mood of the album only falter near the end when Day – for the first time sounding like the octogenarian she is – softly introduces the penultimate song Happy Endings.

Directly speaking to her listeners, she says: “Terry was not only my son, but he was my buddy for all of his life. He was a very talented musician, producer, composer and singer.

“He wrote this song for me but when I heard it, I insisted he sing it. I’m so glad that he did.”

Day is the first to admit she hasn’t had happy endings in many aspects of her life, even before the loss of her son.

She was already divorced twice when her third husband, Terry’s stepfather Marty Melcher, died in 1968. The grieving Day was shocked to learn Melcher and his lawyer had recklessly mismanaged her hard-earned millions – in her words, “to the point of wipe-out” – and signed her up for a TV series without her knowledge, which started shooting shortly after his death. It became The Doris Day Show, which ran from 1968 to 1973.

Following intense legal wrangling (which concluded with Day being awarded more than $20m in damages), and after her TV work ran its course in the early 1970s, the singer quit Hollywood to dedicate herself to animal welfare, campaigning from her home in Carmel Valley, California.

Not that she doesn’t feel a pang for her old day job every so often.

“At times, I’m sorry I left Hollywood when I did,” Day admits. (Never heard her say that before! - webmaster)

“I probably could have done a lot more work but I wanted to devote myself to helping animals.”

Besides, she adds: “I never dwell on regrets.”

Day’s work has included lobbying the US Congress to encourage animal rights legislation, setting up a national ‘spay day’ to encourage pet neutering, and more recently setting up a horse rescue centre in Texas.

“I’ve been able to accomplish a great deal in animal welfare through my Doris Day Animal League and the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which are both still very active,” she says with palpable pride.

“When you’re working with animals, you don’t have a lot of spare time, but I enjoy visiting with friends, taking care of my gardens and listening to music.

“I don’t really listen to many current singers, especially those whose lyrics I can’t understand.

“I think Michael Buble is marvellous but perhaps that’s because he sings in the style I’m so familiar with.”

More than 70 years since she took to the microphone at a local Chinese restaurant for her debut gig, singing remains Day’s first love.

“It’s the thing I enjoy most,” she says. “I love taking a lyric and putting in all the feeling and emotion that the writer intended.

“I feel so fortunate that I was able to do something I loved so much. I would have worked for nothing – and I really mean it.”

Without missing a beat, the showbiz veteran adds: “My mother once said to me, ‘Don’t tell anyone that’.”

* Doris Day’s new album My Heart is released on Monday, September 5.

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyl ... _1_3675431
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Re: Doris the role and the person

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http://stacjakultura.pl/7,36,21723,Juz_ ... tykul.html
Beautifully write about Doris and her new CD on the Polish side of the
"Culture Station" :D
"Album jest fantastyczny i radosny, przedstawia zarówno nowy materiał jak i standardy. Głos Doris brzmi niesamowicie a muzyczne aranżacje są wybitne".
"The album is fantastic and exhilarating, presents both new material and standards. Doris's voice sounds amazing and the musical arrangements are outstanding".

I tried to translate a small piece of :wink: Sony Music Poland admire the new album and the voice of Doris :D

Have a nice day :D Ania
I LOVE YOU DORIS♥

“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day
Ania YouTube

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Re: Doris the role and the person

Unread post by suzie »

Bryan...that was a great statement that you made and how very true . Very well thought out !!! I loved it.
webmaster wrote:Good topic, Suzie.

I remember Paul Brogan, whom we know has formed a close relationship with Doris, saying that fans, and people in general, usually confuse the "screen Doris" with the real person he knows, We have to remember, I think, that Doris is 'performing' in her screen roles and while we can see the real person behind the acting, it is not the whole person we see. Rather like us when we are at a party on good form and enter into the spirit(s) of it, performing ourselves on a smaller scale due to the stimulation of friends and other people having a good time - but the next day we might feel very tired and not want to see anyone!

Real life isn't usually as exciting as the movies and brings a series of challenges that aren't always easy to deal with, unlike the movies where everything is sorted out in about an hour and a half. In between making all those great films (the effort required sometimes causing her health to suffer and in some cases (Calamity Jane/Midnight Lace) leading to exhaustion and near breakdown, Doris also had to deal with divorces, the death of her closest family members; husband, mother and son and a depressing court battle that lasted years to try and recover the millions stolen from her from 20 years working in Hollywood.

So I imaging her seeing "Jan Morrow" as someone who is definitely not Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff from Cincinnati who's parents divorced when she was a young girl leaving her to be the breadwinner, but rather someone who has had an easy life compared to her. If the film had continued beyond the closing credits and were to reflect Doris' real life, she'd find out that "Brad" really was gay and they would divorce. "Alma" would die of alcoholism and she would then marry "Jonathan" who would ruin her business and run off with her money!

It's amazing she has survived all of that without become bitter and is still a caring and humble person who appreciates the love still shown to her by fans and the public in general.
suzie

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Unread post by webmaster »

Thanks for the topic, Suzie... :)

To go back to 'the role and the person', I'm wondering if 'the person' isn't feeling a bit nostalgic for 'the role'? Doris seems to have changed since her long-term PA, Betsy, left - I'm not criticising her but sometimes a star's 'minder' can have a big influence. I don't know who's advising her now but she seems a lot more open to acknowledging her film career and being willing to talk about it - and enjoy doing that - compared to a few years ago when she only seemed interested in her charity work and would only give interviews if it was about that.

I haven't done the maths but I think Doris has now spent more time on her animal welfare work that as an entertainer. Everyone rightly applauds that but Doris will still primarily be remembered for the songs and films she made during the period when she was often the most popular star in the world. She is big part of Hollywood history - even world history with her 1945 song "Sentimental Journey" her first No. 1 which coincided with the end of World War II in Europe and became the unofficial homecoming theme for many US veterans (Wikipedia).

She should be just as proud of her film and singing career and it's great that she now seems to be giving herself a little credit, modest as it is, and is also actively involved in the release of a new CD. I also agree with Jas, she should have ignored the 'Doris Day fans' and made more out-of-character films like "Love Me or Leave Me" - but I'm still very happy with what she gave us and I'm sure the rest of us are too. :wink:
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I agree Bryan.

Also, I don't think that Marty gets the credit he deserves for steering Doris' career to amazing heights. Sure, he made mistakes, but only in the last 4 years of her film years.

Let's remember Marty was instrumental in Doris tackling parts (out of character or genre - such as Love me or leave me; Julie and Midnight Lace) - without him (even by Doris' own admission) it is unlikely she would have travelled to do The Man Who Knew too Much - or stayed with the film when things were a bit difficult!

Also, through his wheeling and dealing - % of profits; publishing rights for songs (Arwin/Daywin companies) etc, - he (while yes, being involved whether deliberately or unknowingly in almost wiping Doris out) - in the long term - has ensure the residuals of these deals still come in and allow Doris to live very comfortably.

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Jas1 wrote:I agree Bryan.

Also, I don't think that Marty gets the credit he deserves for steering Doris' career to amazing heights. Sure, he made mistakes, but only in the last 4 years of her film years.

Let's remember Marty was instrumental in Doris tackling parts (out of character or genre - such as Love me or leave me; Julie and Midnight Lace) - without him (even by Doris' own admission) it is unlikely she would have travelled to do The Man Who Knew too Much - or stayed with the film when things were a bit difficult!

Also, through his wheeling and dealing - % of profits; publishing rights for songs (Arwin/Daywin companies) etc, - he (while yes, being involved whether deliberately or unknowingly in almost wiping Doris out) - in the long term - has ensure the residuals of these deals still come in and allow Doris to live very comfortably.
Jas , That has always been my opinion , that Marty Melcher was the reason we were able to see wonderful films like LMOLM and Midnight Lace and most of all Julie . All of the movies mentioned, Doris would not have done had it not been for Marty giving her a gental shove in these directions. Bryan , I think that you may have something there about the person missing the role. I think Doris seems to care much more about her time in show biz these days than she has in recent past years. In the short term Martys handling of her $$$ was dreadful (I for one do not think he was in cohoots with the lawyer ...I mean does it make any sense at all to steal from yourself ???) but as you mentioned the deals that he had with CBS and others made for a very comfortable life for Doris past the age of 50 . So in Doris fashion ...what was once something that started out bad , became a blessing in the long run. :wink:
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Re: Doris the role and the person

Unread post by unadka »

I open this site every day and love to read your posts.
Bryan, thank you for all you do for Doris and us.
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Re: Doris the role and the person

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To go back to 'the role and the person', I'm wondering if 'the person' isn't feeling a bit nostalgic for 'the role'? Doris seems to have changed since her long-term PA, Betsy, left - I'm not criticising her but sometimes a star's 'minder' can have a big influence. I don't know who's advising her now but she seems a lot more open to acknowledging her film career and being willing to talk about it - and enjoy doing that - compared to a few years ago when she only seemed interested in her charity work and would only give interviews if it was about that.
Bryan, I share the same perception as you. Some of her comments in recent print interviews as well as the radio interview with Johnathan Scwhartz left me with the impression that she was eager to talk about her career. At times during the Schwartz interview, I detected pure joy in her voice when she revisited certain experiences as a performer. Not sure what is behind the shift however. Perhaps after hearing the remastered tracks for the new album, she became excited about the new CD and realized what it meant to her fans. It could also be that with time, Doris has finally come to appreciate her talent and feels more comfortable about acknowledging it to the public. Maybe, just maybe, she has even begun to embrace some of the tiny flaws that only she can detect. Who knows?

I've always maintained that performers never quite get over the adulation they get from audiences, even someone as private as Doris. Garbo was quoted as saying near the end of her life that "I've said "no" so many times and now it is too late" -- or words to that effect. So to my way of thinking, it is not entirely impossible that Doris has moments of regret about leaving the business so early in her life. It's difficult to imagine in our early fifties that we will live another 35 years or more and have plenty of opportunities to contribute and express ourselves creatively. Many people don't realize they still have those creative juices flowing, nor do they dare to believe that anyone cares.

As for Marty, I too have softened my stance and believe he did more good than harm to Doris. His guidance certainly catapulted her to the top tier of superstardom after she left Warners and the deal he brokered with CBS for the "Doris Day Show" was very lucrative indeed. My only issue then becomes the way her finances became intangled with Rosenthal's machinations and the lousy films she was signed to make during the final years of her film career. At that point, Doris deserved far better scripts and needed to transition into more relevant films and roles that challenged her beyond the cookie-cutter blonde image. It was necessary for her to change with the times (with the caveat that her personal moral compass should not be compromised), and reap the critical acclaim that eluded her at that time. No regrets, perhaps, but I cannot shake a certain degree of wistfulness about what might have been.

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Re: Doris the role and the person

Unread post by Jas1 »

Well said Michael.

I actually listened to that radio interview again (just the other day) and Doris was so full of fun and life, it was a joy to hear!

Hope he takes her up on the offer to come back any time for more!

I really laughed at Doris' comment about her first film pay cheque/check = and her mother's reaction to her comment that she would work for nothing - she so enjoyed it!

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Unread post by webmaster »

I really laughed at Doris' comment about her first film pay cheque/check = and her mother's reaction to her comment that she would work for nothing
Unfortunately, Jas, she almost did work for nothing, didn't she? Getting back only a small amount ($3m, I think?) from the $20m+ badly inverted/stolen from her. But it all worked out in the end... :)


Hi Michael - liked your post - haven't forgotten "Rear Window" - coming soon.


Thanks Nada! :oops:
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Re: Doris the role and the person

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Bryan, hey, no worries. I put together something on "Don't Look Now" a while back but haven't had time to spruce it up. Will send after I improve it. Cheers!

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