ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Doris Day: Reluctant Star

Updated on August 29, 2010

From her early musicals where she often played the cute but tomboyish young woman in love through to her comedies with the likes of Rock Hudson and James Garner, the public image of Doris Day was very much a nice one. Who would have known that in fact her life was as turbulent as those of Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland, suffering abusive marriages, financial deception, heart break, depression and so much more. In fact it is quite shocking what a contrast Doris Day's real life was compared to the one portrayed through her movies, album releases and general publicity.

Celebrity Biographer David Bret delves into the life of Day in his book "Doris Day: Reluctant Star" and for those who haven't read other biographies as well as Day's own memoirs will find the frank revelations quite a surprise. Not just those revelations surrounding Day's life but also of many celebrities whose name get a mention, such as an openly gay actor who is reported to have had relations with both James Dean and Elvis Presley, although proof his never given on these matters and as such there is speculation to the authenticity of these revelations. Needless to say by the sheer number of revelations "Doris Day: Reluctant Star" is an eye opening read.

As you would expect "Doris Day: Reluctant Star" follows a pretty much chronicle look at the life of Doris Day from her childhood in Evanstown Cincinnati where sometime after the age of 10 her parents divorced. As a young girl she trained to be a dancer yet tragedy happened when she suffered a severe leg industry which curtailed her plans to be a dancer but thankfully for us it meant she sang and what a voice. The chronological look carries on right through to when she finally shunned showbiz to concentrate on her work with animals.

Along the way Bret covers all the aspects of Day's life so we get her singing career, her break into movies and of course her personal life. It is in fact her personal life which delivers revelation after revelation. Having a public appearance of being a sweet innocent it is amazing to learn that Day not only swore like a trooper, smoked more than most would imagine but also had a variety of relations with various men. But as well as these relations she also suffered at the hands of some abusive husbands who weren't afraid to knock her about. At times some of the stuff you read, including the way one husband also swindled her and her son Terry out of money is blatantly unbelievable, yet the evidence is their to prove these revelations.

Alongside the look at Day's own life other prominent actors and actresses are mentioned most obviously is Rock Hudson who sadly died of Aids. There are other stars such as Frank Sinatra who didn't enjoy working with Day and Billy de Wolfe who had a more positive view point when it came to Day. In many ways it's very well rounded with all these mentions of other well known names who through historical interviews give their own impressions on Day both as a star and as a person.

Understandably with Day shunning the limelight the final chapters of "Doris Day: Reluctant Star" are shall we say a little slim as Bret tries to give us a look at the life of Day as she pretty much became a recluse. But with little to say these segments are a slightly disappointment although in a strange way humorous as in the epilogue it is mentioned that many people were shocked to learn that Day was still alive having assumed she had passed away having not been in the lime light for some time.

My one big negative when it comes to "Doris Day: Reluctant Star" is not that at times it feels all a bit revelationary but in the way Bret covers her movie career. In particular he often dedicates several pages to various movies she made but rather than filling those pages with behind the scenes information such as acting rivalries and so on he concentrates on giving a full synopsis on each movie. This means that at times it becomes a little tedious reading page after page of movie storyline rather than information on Day herself, although for fans of Day may find the look back at each film in detail enjoyable.

All in all "Doris Day: Reluctant Star" is a more than adequate biography of both a great singer as well as actress even if at times it seems to revel in some of the more revelationary facts. Despite this it is a pleasant enough read as well as being informative even if the look at each of her individual movies ends up being a little over long.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      howard green 

      8 years ago

      This book is filled with exaggerations and inaccuracies. Not worth the paper it's printed on!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)