PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

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howard
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PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

Unread post by howard »

Guys:

I just completed a four week, 2-hours each, course entitled “More Than Just Freckles,” conducted by our good friend, Paul Brogan. I don’t think anyone knows more about our beloved Doris Day than this wonderful man who was fortunate enough to enjoy a long friendship with her.
I had many questions, all of which, he answered, and he offered so many new facts about our girl. Here are the things I was happy to discover. I wanted to share it with you guys:
After having seen Doris at the Golden Globes in ’89, Director, Mike Nichols offered her the role that eventually went to Shirley MacLaiine in the terrific film, “Postcards From the Edge.”
At that Golden Globes event, Doris reminisced with some of her old co-stars: Gene Nelson, Richard Widmark, and her old friend Candy Bergen all came to her table for a chat. Also, at that same event, Meryl Streep, who was seated at the table directly behind DD, came up to her, told her how wonderful she felt Doris was in doing comedy, and then mentioned that her mother, who was at Meryl’s table, was a big DD fan. Doris came over to the table and chatted with momma Streep for awhile.
Alright, a little tittilation here: When she worked with Sinatra on Your Hit Parade, with Bob Hope on his radio program, and Harry James on the soundtrack of “Young Man With a Horn,” they all attempted to make the moves on her … no dice! … That’s our girl! All three had been married at the time!
Doris was not one to pull rank on a movie set, but on the set of “Pajama Game,” she learned that dancer Carol Haney was extremely ill. Doris, in the middle of the film set, announced that if Haney was not sent to the hospital immediately, Doris was going to walk off the set. Some time later, Haney sent Doris a thank you note expressing her gratitude, and the chance that DD might just have saved her life. Well, director Stanley Donen had made a pact with Warner Brothers that if he brought the film in under budget, he would receive a thousand dollars for each day saved. And so, Donen worked his cast to the bone, sometimes having them work until midnight. Doris’ action did not sit well with Donen, and he rarely brings Doris up in conversation. In fact, he had been offered a chance to direct DD in “That Touch of Mink,” and he firmly refused to work with “that freckle-faced actress” again. … His loss! “Mink’ was a huge hit.
In 1943, producer Joe Pasternak, a big wheel at MGM, offered to bring DD, still a big band vocalist, over to the studio. But DD didn’t feel she was ready, and stayed with Les Brown. … Too bad, it would have been a great move career-wise had she accepted.
Back in the 80’s, singer, Linda Ronstadt released a series of albums arranged by the great Nelson Riddle, and highlighting songs from the Great American Songbook. Doris loved those albums, and wrote Ms Ronstadt a fan letter praising her for her performance, and for bringing that style of music, which had meant so much to DD in the past, to the attention of a new generation.
In 1965, Richard Zanuck, former president of film studio, 20th Century Fox, invited Doris and hubby Martin Melcher to accompany him to the Oscar ceremony. They politely refused as they had front row seats for a Lakers game that evening.
During the course of her recording career, her hits, all together, spent over 450 weeks on the charts.
Doris and Clint Eastwood played tennis together in Carmel, but not for very long. She felt that she had lost that skill over the years, and bowed out after a few games.
Doris had six of her movie songs nominated for Academy Awards as Best Song, In ’55, she had two nominated songs - “Que Sera, Sera” and “Julie.”
At one time, after TCM began showing her films, and with the advent of dvd’s, Doris was receiving approximately 2,000 letters a month.
The tv movie, “These Old Broads” was offered to Doris, and after having read the script, she said to Terry, “This has to be a joke.” She was right - the movie was awful. Funny in the worst of ways. By the way, the film was written by none other than Carrie (Princess Leia) Fisher.
In ’76, she had been offered the Shirley MacLaine part in “The Turning Point.” But Doris was busy at the time with promoting her (sort of) autobiography, “Her Own Story.” And this part really gets me, Barry Comden, her fourth husband did not want her to be working in films. He selfishly wanted her to himself.
Doris loved many types of music, including Motown, and The Beatles. In fact, in ’68, there were talks about a possible teaming of Doris and the Beatles on Terry’s Equinox record label. In that same year, the great Johnny Mathis wanted DD to duet with him on a song (the theme from “With Six You Get Eggroll - “You Make Me Think About You” ), but Fartey Belcher, oops I mean Marty Melcher, wanted a small fortune for the project. Doris and Mathis were friends, and they spoke on the phone now and then while DD lived in Carmel.
Great director, Vincent Minnelli offered her the leading role in the movie version of the Broadway hit musical, “Bells are Ringing,” but Doris turned it down.
MGM purchased the rights to the Broadway musical, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” for Doris, but she declined. She felt that she didn't want to do the amount of dancing, etc. that "Molly" required. Director Charles Walters was "hot" to work with her again, but she turned it down in the fall of 1962.
“Pillow Talk” took in a big twenty two million dollars back in ’59. In today’s world, that is the equivalent of 337.5 million. The hit film was listed in the New York Times as one of the ten best films of the year.
Mega producer, Aaron Spelling, offered Doris a part in the hit tv series, “Dynasty.” The idea was to cast her as Linda Evans’ older sister. John Forsythe (Blake) would be falling for her, causing a great deal of stress for Krystle. But eventually, Doris would fall into the arms of old pal, Rock Hudson. Costume designer, Nolan Miller went so far as to send Doris sketches of possible outfits in order to entice her to take the part, but she just wasn’t interested. They offered her $250,000 an episode.
It’s been widely reported that Doris was signed to do a tv series she knew nothing about. That is incorrect. Doris knew about the CBS deal in 1967 and that it included a series, as she noted to her friend, columnist Bob Thomas. What she didn't know, however, was a start date for the series. She thought, after completing “With Six You Get Eggroll" that she'd be doing her second CBS film - "The Panda Affair" written by Sol Saks. Paul Newman was reported to have been her co-star in the film, but the movie was never produced. It was only after her husband’s death that she found out the series she knew about was scheduled to start almost immediately, just weeks after Marty Melcher’s death. She had thought it was way off in the future.
In ’73, the last year of her tv series, during a fashion show segment, 51-year-old Doris displayed her still-sexy body in a skimpy bikini. She received 75,000 mostly positive letters after that show. I always wondered how she kept that magnificent figure of hers, and learned that she swam 100 laps a day in her pool, she played tennis, and as widely known, she loved to bicycle around Beverly Hills. Her early dance training didn’t hurt either.
MGM stars Jane Powell and Ava Gardner both wanted the role of Ruth Etting in “Love Me or Leave Me, but thanks to James Cagney, Doris, happily, got the part of her career. Powell was so interested that she even took a screen test. The soundtrack of the film stayed #1 on the charts for 17 solid weeks.
That great director, William Wyler, wanted Doris and Katherine Hepburn for the film version of Lillian Hellman’s best-selling book, “The Children’s Hour.” That fell through, and Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine appeared in the film along with Day favorite, James Garner.
That great director, Norman Jewison (“The Thrill of it All” and ‘Send Me No Flowers”) praised Doris’ sense of comic timing. He felt that being a singer, contributed greatly to that talent. He felt the same way about Sinatra.
“Teacher’s Pet,” A New York Times ten best film of the year, was filmed in black and white in order to be more flattering to the aging Clark Gable. (I liked it in black and white - it added to the flavor of a newspaper theme.)
Doris earned more money in 2005 than she had made in three years during the 60’s, which was the height of her popularity. Since most of her 60’s films were Arwin Productions, the residuals were coming in strong.
Doris’ philosophy about the Oscars - she felt that it was unfair to judge actresses for different performances. She felt it would have been fairer if they weighed the achievements for actresses performing in the same role. … Makes sense to me!
Director, Norman Jewison loved Doris’ ability to improvise.
For “The Graduate,” director Mike Nichols was thinking of “California blondes” for the main roles - he originally had Doris, Candy Bergen as her daughter, and Robert Redford in the role that originally went to Dustin Hoffman (who was fabulous). The year after it’s release, somebody asked DD if she regretted turning the part down. Contrary to popular opinion, Doris said she knew nothing about it. Marty never told her about the offer. When she approached her husband about it, he told her that he felt it was much too smutty and never even showed her the script.
Another fallacy: Doris’ appeal had not been on the wane in 1968. Her last film, “With Six You Get Eggroll” was one of her top ten grossing movies.
“The Doris Day Show” was the first sitcom to feature a gay couple … her San Francisco neighbors. Makes sense …. San Francisco!
As far back as 1982, Doris wrote me in a letter: “I may never work again.”
In the 70’s, Doris attended a party at Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme’s home. There, she met actor Warren Beatty. Mr. Beatty fell in lust with the still beautiful Doris, and sent her roses every day for a month in the hopes of dating her. She wasn’t interested - flattered, yes, but as she told son, Terry, he’s too young for me.”
In the early 80’s when the AIDs epidemic reared its ugly head, Doris’ pal, Paul Brogan became depressed, after having attended a multitude of his friends’ funerals. It became so bad, in fact, that he signed himself into a clinic, After not hearing from her friend, Paul, for awhile, she phoned his parents. They informed her of his situation, and she gave him a call. Upon release, he planned to pay out the $9,000 bill on a monthly basis. When he received the first bill in the mail, he was surprised to see that it had been paid in full by a D. Day. A small example of her kindness, and dedication to friends.

That's it folks. Thank you, "Professor" Brogan!
Like Irene Dunne done.

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sihmonSELV
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

Unread post by sihmonSELV »

And thank you, Howard, for sharing all these interesting pieces of information with us! Great!

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howard
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

Unread post by howard »

You’re very welcome!
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Johnny
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

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Thank you so much Howard for these facinating stories about Doris from Paul. There are wonderful surprises

I do recall reading that Elizabeth Taylor phoned Doris trying to get her to accept a role in the movie These Old Broads. I would think the title alone would sound offensive to Doris.
Johnny

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paul
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

Unread post by paul »

Howard was an amazing member of the Class. He brought so much enthusiasm and had so many great questions.

It's a Class I have taught, in-=person, for about 8 years throughout New Hampshire. Because of the pandemic, it had to be via Zoom this time. That opened it up for folks from outside the region, who didn't mind footing Dartmouth College's fees associated with the Class.

It is my hope to one day do this Class, for free, for everyone who might be interested.

Doris, both the public performer and the amazing human being, are so worthy of being celebrated.

I love the story about doing this Class in Manchester, NH about 6 or 7 years ago. It ran, as it did this time, for 4 weeks.

Right before the start of the 3rd Class, a member of the Class came up to me and asked me to guess what she'd done that week. I had no idea and was curious as to what she'd done.

"I went out and spent $ 1200 on Amazon buying Doris Day CD's and DVD's. After the first two Classes, I realized I wanted to know what I'd missed..."

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puck
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

Unread post by puck »

Thank you Howard, amazing story on Paul. Didn’t know that she was asked in 1943 by Joe Pasternak, when she was with Les. Very interested to know that she got so many fan letters.

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howard
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

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I thought I would add the following to my original posting: Through the years, Doris had maintained a friendship with former co-star, singer-actor Gordon MacRae. After his divorce from wife, Sheila, he went into a downward spiral, and turned to the bottle. He was also in dire financial straits. Speaking to Doris on the phone, and spilling his guts out to her, she offered to give him $250,000, but on one condition. He must go into rehab. He did that, and straightened himself out for a number of the following years. Sad to say, he past away in 1986 at the age of 64. ... Stay tuned for Paul Brogan's upcoming book entitled "More Than Freckles," due to be released in April, 2022, just in time for Doris' 100th birthday! It's going to be a real page turner!
Like Irene Dunne done.

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Johnny
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

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I am excited to hear about Paul's book More Than Freckles, ( Perfect Title). Thank you Howard for sharing the story about Doris' kindness towards Gordon MacRae. I imagine there are many more similar stories . Doris spent her life helping make animals' lives better through kindness and advocacy.
Johnny

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paul
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

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The book, named after the Classes I've been teaching for years, will celebrate the astounding success of Doris Day, complete with a wealth of new career information that hasn't been published. It will also talk about why she resonated on a scale never equaled before or since Doris Day. In addition, her tireless efforts on behalf of others, especially the "four-leggers" will be detailed.

There have been so many good books but there is so much left unreported (NOT GOSSIP AND NOT ANYTHING THAT WOULD EMBARASS DORIS OR BETRAY HER), that should be told. Future historians and scholars should be able to find a source that gives them the career information that has sometimes been spotty or inaccurate.

NO actress in the history of motion pictures comes close to equaling what Doris accomplished. She could sing, dance and act in drama, comedy, suspense thriller, westerns and even in a spy thriller. After some two decades of making films, her box-office power was still as strong as ever, as proven out by the huge success of "With Six You Get Eggroll". She didn't stop making movies because the public had tired. Sure they stayed away from "Josie" and "Caprice" but in a good film, she remained magic.

No doubt she could have continued in films throughout the 70's and beyond, had she chosen. Unlike most stars, she recognized the value of doing something else and invested her heart and soul in another direction, achieving the same level of success that she achieved with singing, acting in both films and television, and in living.

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puck
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

Unread post by puck »

Thank you Paul, do love the title of your new book, and she was more, she was a great human being, she loved her friends and her fans, and help those in need. She dd care. Can’t wait to read it, long wait till 2022. But it will be worth it.

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Johnny
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Re: PAUL BROGAN'S "MORE THAN JUST FRECKLES" CLASS

Unread post by Johnny »

Hi Paul,


I love and agree with everything you said in your eloquent post on Doris.

Doris Day's kindness, humility and humanity is evident in everything she did in her films, music, dance and advocacy for animals.

Hollywood underappreciated Doris' talents and only looked at her as a money - making machine. Audiences around the world loved and understood her talent because Doris was able to emotionally connect with them through her humanity.

Thank you for your class More Than Just Freckles that enlightens and educates people about Doris Day as an immense talent and person who personifies kindness.

I am so looking forward to your book. I think the title More Than Just Freckles would be a wonderful title when Doris' life is made into a feature film.

Thank you again.
Johnny

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