6 of 10
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times
The former band singer who became one of Hollywood's top stars in dramas, musicals and comedies never really was cast as a "dumb blond." She was spunky, spirited, intellectual and curious in such films as 1948's "Romance on the High Seas," which marked her film debut, 1958's "Teacher's Pet" and 1959's "It Happened to Jane."
But starting with 1959's sex comedy "Pillow Talk," which marked her first collaboration with Rock Hudson, Day frequently found herself cast as thirtysomething virgins, a fact that led actor-composer Oscar Levant, who appeared on "Romance on the High Seas," to quip: "I can remember Doris Day before she was a virgin." Day, now 84, quit films in 1968 and did a TV series, "The Doris Day Show," for five seasons. She's been retired in Carmel for more than three decades.