Hollywood lost another great. America’s Sweetheart, Doris Day died at her California home after suffering from a serious case of pneumonia. She was 97. There is much more to her amazing story and her faith.
Day was a multi-talented American singer, actress, with a sunny smile, and bright personality. In 1939, she began her career as a big band vocalist. Her first recording was “Sentimental Journey” in 1945 with Les Brown and his band. Afterwards, she began a solo career, recording more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967.
She was also a beloved actor on the big screen. During her solo career, Warner Bros. cast her when they were competing with MGM’s romantic musical films. See her prolific resume on IMDb.
On Finding God
In Guideposts, Day, recounted how faith came into her life. She says, “… before I became Mrs. Martin Melcher, a man I once knew well, phoned, and asked to see me. I hadn’t seen John in a long time…John always had been tense, mixed up, going nowhere, and in a hurry to get there. But now he was calm and sure. He’d stopped drinking. There was a strange, new peace in him. ‘Say, you’re different,’ I finally said. ‘What’s happened to you?’… ‘I’ve discovered that none of us can do anything alone,’ he said…At first, I didn’t get it. ‘Who’s the fellow who helped? God,’ he said simply. I stared at him, and then begged… ‘Tell me. I need the same thing… (John said) “in finding a faith in God I found myself, new friends, a new life. I’ve just started living. I wasn’t before.’”
Day then contemplated if she was a success. She realized that she had everything but peace. “You’ve been searching a long time for the same kind of peace I found,” he had said, “…only you don’t know it. That’s why I wanted to see you.” Day then came back from the meeting with John and told Martin (Marty) about it. She said that she and Marty both needed what John had.
She says, “…what we were both searching for alone we began to search for together. When we were married, Marty adopted (her son) Terry legally. That’s when I think I became a mother, a wife, and a grown-up girl for the first time. We joined a church and began attending regularly. Together we discovered a harmony and a sense of peace we didn’t know before. Then we tried to apply what we found to our daily lives….”
She goes on to say how their new faith brought peace and harmony into their lives. “Our new-found faith also taught us that whatever we do individually should in some way benefit someone else. Harmony is not a solo. So, we try never to quarrel with directors, writers, a contract, or with any role I am assigned. We want the same feelings inside our home as we do out of it…. The lack of harmony in anyone around us diminishes ours; when it’s missing it can lead to anxiety and anguish…. Faith is the only way a marriage really sticks. Everything else in it depends on what you believe.”
When she and Marty would argue: “The argument would end quickly when we reminded each other there was only one real Boss. One mind—God’s mind…In forgetting harmony we were losing the only real way to communicate with each other. But soon we were able to do so by putting God between us and using His love. No one can fight that. Try it. It makes your heart sing.”
The life and legacy of Doris Day has left us not only with many uplifting songs and movies, but expressions of faith that can bring us all harmony. Her life and faith have given us gifts that keeps on giving.
By Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), https://dianehoward.com/