Saturday, May 03, 2008

Gone To the Dogs

She was the girl next door, the perpetual virgin, and the biggest box office draw of her day. Ever wonder what happened to Doris Day?

She retired from films in 1968, and yet after forty years her legend lives on. And, at 86 years of age, so does she. Hollywood has tried to lure the reclusive star out of retirement for decades, but she continues to resist. She hides away in Carmel, California, along with dozens of...dogs.

After 4 failed marriages (the longest of which misappropriated her entire fortune), and the 2004 death of her only son (and confidante), one hopes the dogs provide some measure of comfort. She certainly deserves it.

There's a new biography coming out, and a chunk of it is featured in this month's Vanity Fair. Curiously, I found the following bit to be the most revealing:

Back in the 90's a producer tried to get Doris Day to participate in a documentary they were making about her life. The producer was a woman named Mary, who was nursing her baby at the time she went to Carmel. She found Doris Day to be very down to earth, very kind, but very reluctant to speak. She didn't, it was obvious, want to participate in the documentary.

At one point, excerpted below, Mary asks Doris about her career:

"Your first became a star overnight...You were number 1 on the hit parade...You got a seven-year contract!"

Doris became wild-eyed. She said, 'You just don't get it, do you, Mary? It was not a dream come true. All I ever wanted is what you have right now: a baby, a husband who really loved me, a home, all the happiness they could bring. I never got that, and that's all I really wanted.'

And then she started to cry--a lot.

For all the happiness she brought to so many, I am left deeply saddened. Is the grass always greener? Because how many beloved housewives and mothers are out there frustrated that their dream of becoming a world renowned movie star and singer has been stifled? And then there is Doris Day--whose simple dream never came true.

As she sings so famously: Que Sera, Sera. But really, people, what is success?

In other news, a fur seal was caught trying to rape a king penguin in the antarctic.


yet another black guy said...

the book, "Considering Doris Day", speaks on just this. out of all her accomplishments, happily married mother was never one of them unfortunately.

another case of someone seeming like they have it all, but according to their definition.

stephen said...

one thing for sure,, she is a loyal friend,,, when Rock Hudson had to come out because he had AIDS, she stood by his side... openly and proudly.. gotta love her!

Mark in DE said...

Good point. Really, each of us has to define success for ourselves. Despite Doris' career succees, she obviously feels that personal life success eluded her.

We all need to make sure what we're doing is what we want to be doing.

Mark :-)

Anonymous said...

And speaking about Doris Day. ( we were weren't we?) How about that blogging back a ways Jesse? Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff came into view (for me) with On Moolight Bay, or was it By the Light of the Silvery Moon? Anyhow, I distinctly remember her, dressed for winter with a tam o'shanter, dancing and singing her way along a snowy sidewalk. Wow, I loved every minute. Going home (winter and in the snow), I was doing my DD interpretation, singing and jumping around in the snow until I banged my leg a good one. Big blue/purple bruise. (well, I WAS pretty young). I believe she set out to be a dancer until a severe leg fracture in a car accident sidelined her. Probably fortuitous. What a singing life! movie nut.