One of Hollywood’s most beloved stars of the 1950s and 1960s,
Doris Day, passed away early today at the age of 97. Day was a seasoned vocalist with three number one hits (most notably 1945's "Sentimental Journey" with Les Brown) by the time she appeared in her first movie, , in 1948. Day was recommended to the movie's director, Romance on the High Seas Michael Curtiz, by composer Jule Styne, and despite having no acting experience, the seasoned Curtiz picked up on Day’s undeniable charm and promptly cast her. She would make a total of 18 films for Warner Bros. over the next nine years, nearly half of her entire filmography. In the early 1960s, she was the biggest star in the nation. Here is a photographic look back at Doris Day’s career on the big screen.
A gorgeous publicity shot of Doris Day from
Romance on the High Seas.
Doris Day as Judy Adams talks to Warner Bros. studio musical director
Ray Heindorf while Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan look on in (1949). The three men play themselves in this musical comedy set on the Warner Bros. studio lot, which features many cameos, including It’s a Great Feeling Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, and Errol Flynn.
Doris Day and
Kirk Douglas in the drama (1950). Young Man with a Horn
James Cagney, Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Virginia Mayo, and Gene Nelson in (1950). The West Point Story
Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, and
Eddie Marr in (1951), which was the biggest hit of her Warner Bros. career. The movie was partly based on the three On Moonlight Bay Penrod novels by Booth Tarkington, which has previously been the source for four films and several short subjects by WB in the 1930s.
A rare photo of Los Angeles civic leader Joseph Scott and Irish ambassador John Hearne visiting Doris Day during the filming of
On Moonlight Bay.
Doris Day and
Ronald Reagan in (1952), loosely based on the life of pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. The Winning Team
The success of
On Moonlight Bay led to a sequel in 1953, , bringing back the duo of Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, as shown in this studio publicity shot. By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Doris Day’s girl-next-door image, seen again in
, made her loved by millions of moviegoers around the world By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Doris playing the title character in
(1953). The movie featured Day singing “Secret Love,” which became a #1 hit and garnered a Best Original Song Oscar for songwriters Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster. Calamity Jane
Two Legends, ironically born just ten weeks apart: Doris, then filming
(1954) at Warner Bros., visits Lucky Me Judy Garland on the set of . (1954) A Star Is Born
In her first film for MGM, Doris gave what may be the finest performance of her career in
, based on the true story of the tumultuous relationship between singer/actress Ruth Etting and gangster Martin Snyder (played by James Cagney in an Oscar-nominated performance). (1955) Love Me or Leave Me
(1956) provided a change-of-pace for Doris, where she played a stewardess terrorized by her psychotic husband ( Julie Louis Jourdan).
Doris in the screen adaptation of the Broadway hit
(1957), where she joined most of the original Broadway cast. It was her 18 The Pajama Game th and final movie for Warner Bros.
David Niven on the set of (1960). Please Don’t Eat the Daisies
Jimmy Durante in (1962), her last appearance in a musical. Billy Rose’s Jumbo
Rod Taylor on the set of (1966). The Glass Bottom Boat
One more look at the woman who brought joy to countless moviegoers for multiple generations, and will continue to do so for generations to come!