5 Intriguing Facts on Doris Day in Honor of Her Birthday

SEND ME NO FLOWERS, Doris Day, 1964
Everett Collection

April 3 is a big day for celebrity birthdays! We celebrate the late Marlon Brando, Alec Baldwin, and of course, the late Doris Day. Doris was a pop singer, movie and television star mainly in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

Her first starring role came in 1948’s Romance on the High Seas, followed in 1949 by My Dream Is Yours and It’s a Great Feeling. Over the next 19 years, she would make another 36 films, most of them romantic comedies, the most popular of which teamed her with Rock Hudson and Tony Randall (Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and Send Me No Flowers), while scoring hits on the music charts with tunes including “Secret Love” and “Que Sera, Sera.” Still, her bubbly charm didn’t translate so well to the culturally shifting ’60s, and she found better success on television in The Doris Day Show, playing a widow with two sons who moves to the country.

She is forever remembered for her sunny disposition, love of animals and beautiful looks and personality. Doris passed away in 2019 at the age of 97.

In honor of Doris, let’s learn some fun facts about her life and career!

1. She almost turned down one of her most iconic songs

At first, she didn’t want to sing “Que Sera, Sera” which became one of her most famous songs. The song was written for the 1956 film The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring Doris and Jimmy Stewart. She thought it sounded too much like a children’s song but eventually caved and sang it all in one take. Even then, she never thought the song would be popular. Boy, was she wrong!

2. She never wanted to move to TV.

THE DORIS DAY SHOW, Doris Day, 1968-73 (1968 photo)

Everett Collection

We almost never had The Doris Day Show! She reportedly did not want to move from movies to TV shows but discovered that she was signed on to do a television show and specials without her knowledge after the death of her third husband, Martin Melcher.

3. Her father on The Doris Day Show was only a few years older than her

THE DORIS DAY SHOW, Denver Pyle, Doris Day, 1968-73

TV Guide/Everett Collection

Denver Pyle played her father in the early seasons of The Doris Day Show but in reality, he was just a few years older! He was born in 1920, while Doris was born in 1922.

4. She was deathly afraid of flying.

JULIE, Louis Jourdan, Doris Day, 1956

Everett Collection

Her airplane phobia caused her to turn down gigs and award ceremonies. She developed the fear in the ’40s when she used to fly with Bob Hope on tours and the flights would often still fly in severe weather.

5. She is mentioned in many popular songs.

BILLY ROSE'S JUMBO, Doris Day, 1962

Everett Collection

Doris became such an iconic Hollywood star that she was used as a muse for several artists. Wham! hit “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” features the line “You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day,” while she is also mentioned in songs from The Beatles, Billy Joel, and Elton John.

Stars We Lost in 2019
Want More?

Stars We Lost in 2019

December 2019

This issue pays tribute to the remarkable stars we loved and lost in 2019 Tim Conway, Doris Day, Valerie Harper and more!

Buy This Issue