Hollywood legend Doris Day dead at 97


The death of the retired actress, known for her iconic roles in the late '50s and '60s, was announced by her foundation on Monday 13 May. Her second husband told her by letter that he was leaving her after eight months.

Her only child, son Terrence Paul Jorden, who died in 2004, was with Al Jorden. The same year, she received a lifetime achievement honor from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. She initially balked at it, but the 1955 film became a box-office and critical success. Her talents scored her a role in the 1948 comedy Romance on the High Seas.

With his wife's film career in decline due to mediocre movies he initiated, husband Melcher began to explore options on TV despite her opposition.

She followed with another impressive film, Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much", starring her and James Stewart as an innocent couple ensnared in an worldwide assassination plot.

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In 1960 and 1962 to 1964, Day was ranked No. 1 at the box office by American Exhibitors but her last feature film performance was in the 1968 romantic-comedy With Six You Get Eggroll, directed by Howard Morris, and co-starring Brian Keith, Barbara Hershey, George Carlin, and Pat Carroll.

Martin Melcher produced many of Day's movies.

"The Doris Day Show" proved to be a lifesaver. Melcher died in 1969. Her hit songs at the time were radio mainstays. But he was also famous for an aspiring musician he turned down, Charles Manson.

In her autobiography, Day recalled her son, Terry Melcher, telling her the $20 million she had earned had vanished and she owed around $450,000, mostly for taxes. It was Melcher's former house that the Manson family visited and murdered Sharon Tate and her friends in. Her husband's reliance on attorney Jerome Rosenthal for business advice proved disastrous: The lawyer went through Day's millions with bad investments in oil wells, cattle and hotels.