I'm Remembering Doris Day
I was lucky to share an interview with the legendary Doris Day .
The location was her swank dressing room at Warners' Burbank Studios in 1969
Also present was the ageless TV critic for The New York Daily News, Kay Gardella.
Why would the legendary lady give me the time of the day?
Well, she was having quite a time selling the rights to a Canadian network and figured a little publicity might help.
Here are highlights of our conversation:
BAWDEN: Doris, why have you jumped to a TV series after decades of movie stardom?
DD: Why not? They just aren't making the kind of movies I'd want to star in these days.
JB: I've heard that you turned down the choice role of Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1968)?
DD: I've heard that story also but nobody ever approached me. I'm not sure I'd do it because Annie Bancroft was so tremendous. They might have asked my late husband Marty Melcher but he never told me.
JB: How does it feel to be on theWarners lot again?
Dd:Painful. All my old co-stars have departed. Ronnie Reagan is in politics these days. Others are in heaven.
Describe your first day on the lot in 1948.
DD: I'd been signed for one movie originally written for Mary Martin --Romance On The High Seas. I only got through it because my co-star Jack Carson helped me overstep of the way. I was so scared I'd never even go to the commissary without Jack. I remember I was in wardrobe one day and Joan Crawford looked me up and down as if to say Who Do You Think You Are.
JB: But you made it.
DD: Barely a few years later and Jack Warner was no longer signing long term deals. I barely made it and I think Virginia Mayo was the last unsigned --she lasted here until 1960.
JB: Is it true you have ordered all the freckles on your TV photographs be erased?
DD: Why not. I hate these freckles.
JB: Doris I see over there a wet bar in your five-room dressing room. What gives?
DD: I have a little nip from time to time. It was my late husband (Marty Melcher) who was the milk drinker.
JB: Criticise today's movies.
DD: It's girls showing their boobs and people screaming dirty words at each other. Is that entertainment. I think suggestion is sexier. When Rock Hudson and I made Pillow Talk (1960) that's all there was --suggestion. And moviegoers ate it up.
JB: You have yet to win an Oscar.
DD I'm in good company. After Love Me Or Leave Me (1955) premiered Louella Parson wrote a whole column about how I deserved an Oscar as Ruth Eating. But I was too Anna Magmnani beat me to the fifth nomination by a few votes. I did get nominated by Pillow Talk but comedies never win anyway.The actresses I most revere went Oscarless: Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy,. Jean Arthur, Carole Lombard. I'm in good company. .
JB: But I did see you at the AFI Salute to Jimmy Cagney.
DD: I'd go anything for that man. But I don't usually go to those things. They'll never give it to a singer anyhow. I didn't;t go for Jimmy Stewart or Alfred Hitchcock. I'd rather stay home and read a good book.
JB: Will you ever sing live again --such as at a high class nitery?
DD: Nope. I did that for years as a big band singer. I don't want to repeat myself although there have been some very big offers.
JB: What's next after TV?
DD: Nothing! I want to retire and look after my animals. I bought a small hotel in Pebble Peach where people can take their dogs and cats along with them. Cruelty tp amid,asls is rampant/ It's a disease.
JB: How often do you sing these days?
DD: In the shower every morning. The voice is still there I'm proud to report.
JB: What's your latest movie offer?
DD: It was for one of those horror things. But my aim is bad. If I ran around with a hatchet I might actually hurt somebody. I'm a singer so I can scream with the best of them. But why bother? I stopped doing murder mysteries after Midnight Lace --it made a bundle but I'd lie awake shuddering all night.
JB: Will you ever sing again public?
DD: I hope not. I sang for years with those big bands. We'd go by bus all night between stops. I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore.
JB: Clint Eastwood says he sees you in the supermarket at Pebble Beach.
DD: Now if he offered me a western I might think about it. I've never dopamine a western.
JB: What co-stars do you keep in touch with?
DD: I was talking to Lauren Bacall and Kirk Douglas last year. We're the three stars of Young Man With A Horn (1950) and we're all alive and still kicking. That is an accomplishment.
JB" Favourite movie of yours?
DD: On Moonlight Bay (1951) because I was a tomboy in it and I got to sing with the glorious Gordon McRae. And it was about a large family who struck by each other and I never had that in real life.
JB: Why was the format of your TV series changed after the first year?
DD: Because it wasn't working. I was a mom with two kids in the first year and my fans hated me in jeans. That's all gone, I'm m back in high society with lots of boyfriends my age.