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Doris Day films: Five of the stars most iconic roles

Doris Day (Getty Images)
Doris Day (Getty Images)

Since she graced the screens with her breakout role in 1948’s Romance on the High Seas, Doris Day has left an indelible mark on both the entertainment industry and the hearts of her fans. .

The screen icon has been one of the most celebrated stars since the Forties, starring in a number of classic films from romantic comedies, to musicals and dramas. Also a hugely popular singer, she recorded 29 albums over the course of her career, showing her versatility by shifting from big band jazz ensembles to string-laden classic pop. Having successfully made her mark in Hollywood, Day later turned to TV, starring in her hit sitcom the Doris Day Show between 1968 and 1973.

The star, who passed away in 2019 aged 97, is being celebrated at Airdrie Town Hall, Lanarkshire on April 24, with a viewing of the Doris Day Story. The production is a musical journey through her life, including some of greatest songs hits like Love Me Or Leave Me, Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, Pillow Talk, Black Hills Of Dakota, and Move Over Darling, to name just a few.

From early musicals to thrillers, these are five of Day’s defining roles.

Romance on the High Seas (1948)

Doris Day made the step from band singer to movie star in the late Forties, after landing the lead in Warner Bros. musical Romance on the High Seas in her mid-twenties. The film, which was released under the name It’s Magic in the UK, led to early success with the studio, and paved the way for appearances in Lullaby of Broadway and April in Paris, as well as Young at Heart with Frank Sinatra.

Calamity Jane (1953)

One of the biggest movies in Day’s early Hollywood career, Calamity Jane explores the rumoured romance between two of the Wild West’s most famous figures – Day’s heroine Calamity Jane, and Will Bill Hickok (Howard Keel). Day gives an absorbing central performance, and sings Secret Love, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song – the first song sung by Day to do so.

Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Day believed her best performance to be her turn in 1955’s romantic musical Love Me or Leave Me. The film tells the story of real-life star Ruth Etting, who started out as a dancer and later became a movie star, echoing Day’s own ascent to popularity and acclaim.

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Day worked with Alfred Hitchcock on the 1956 thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much, starring alongside James Stewart. Day famously sings a moving rendition of Que Será, Será in the film, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and remains a classic to this day.

Pillow Talk (1959)

Day picked up the first and only acting Oscar nomination for 1959’s Pillow Talk, for which she received a Best Actress nod. She gave one of the most assured and endlessly watchable performances alongside Rock Hudson in the movie, which follows the unlikely relationship between a charming womaniser and a interior decorator who share a telephone line.