Happy Birthday, Doris Day!

Doris Day turns 97 years old today. Here's why I love Doris, and what she's meant to me through the years.
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I’m postponing my introduction to our April Star of the Month, Greta Garbo, until next week because…

Today is Doris Day’s Birthday!

Doris turns 97 years old today.

happy birthday doris day
Doris in 2014. She’s still got that 100-watt smile.

Doris Day: A Star of Many Talents

During her career, Doris went from popular big band singer to instant movie star after her first film role—how often does that happen—to starring in the beloved Doris Day Show on television, with a five season run no less.  Along the way, Doris made more than 650 recordings as a solo artist, and consistently ranked among the top ten box office stars.  Frequently, she was number one at the box office.  The box office records and popularity of Doris Day have yet to be matched today.

Doris' Greatest Passion

Doris left Hollywood and settled in beautiful Carmel-by-the-Sea in 1981.  Animals have always been her great passion, and throughout her career, Doris encouraged the world to care about animals.  Since her retirement, Doris has dedicated her time to helping all four-leggers.  The Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF) is her grant giving, non-profit foundation that provides funding to animal rights, education, care, and rehabilitation programs/organizations throughout the country.

Doris with good friend Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk (1959)

The Annual Doris Day Birthday Celebration

Doris has brought sunshine, love, and hope to millions—humans and non-humans alike.  Every year, fans flock to Doris’ beloved Carmel-by-the-Sea to celebrate her birthday with a weekend full of festivities, organized by the warm and friendly folks at DDAF and countless volunteers.  DDAF then grants proceeds from the weekend to worthy organizations.

My husband and I have been lucky enough to attend Doris’ birthday weekend celebration for the last three years now.

We just returned from Doris’ 2019 birthday bash on Monday.  As usual, it was amazing.  There are countless reasons why this is the weekend I look forward to every year, and I will share all of the fun event details and my awe at the celebrity guests in another post.  For now, I want to wrap up my birthday tribute to Doris with what she has meant to me and my family through the years.

I remember the first time I saw Doris.  I was nine years old, watching TV when an ad for a Warner Brothers Doris Day film collection came on screen.  Of course, at the time, I had no idea who Doris Day was.

The ad started with a slow motion dance sequence of a beautiful blonde dancing gracefully and effortlessly with her dashing partner. 

I was mesmerized.

I soon learned that the dancers were Doris Day and Gene Nelson, and the film was Lullaby of Broadway (1951).

And I’ve been a Doris Day fan ever since.

Doris in Lucky Me (1954). This is the scene I modeled my fifth grade book report Float Project on, complete with a Doris Barbie my mom and I put together.

Doris' Greatest Fifth Grade Fan

I don’t know of many third graders who opted to read Doris’ autobiography for fun, or who, in fifth grade, chose to do their final, big book report Float Project on Doris’ book, complete with a Barbie fashioned to look like Doris at the center of said float.  (Thankfully I had a patient and creative mom who worked with me to bring this very niche float to life!)

Doris’ eternal optimism onscreen and off has inspired me time and again.  If Doris can get through all the hardships that have come her way with a smile, then certainly I can.

Writing to Doris Day

I’ve written to Doris a few times over the years.  It may sound silly, but I’ve had to tell her what a wonderful example and light she’s been for me.

And each time, Doris has kindly responded to my letters.  Doris personally responds to all of us who write her.  It’s absolutely amazing.

white chocolate blondies

So Happy Birthday Doris!  I hope you have your best birthday yet! ♥️

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