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The 5 Roles That Defined Doris Day's Career

By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2015 02:39 PM

In her heyday, Doris Day was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood. Her quintessential appeal keeps her movies continually on the movie fan radar, especially those who crave happiness in movies. The Grammy Award winner shines on the big screen, having won her share of Academy and Golden Globe awards, too.

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While her signature song, "Que Sera Sera" immediately pops to mind when thinking of Day, it must be said that she was an actress first and, as such, she left her imprint on the film world. Consider the following, which are some of the roles that have come to define Day's acting career.

1. Josephine McKenna, "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
Day plays the wife of Dr. Benjamin McKenna (James Stewart) and they portray a couple visiting Morocco when their vacation is turned upside down. Day plays Josephine as strong willed and, thanks to the direction of Alfred Hitchcock, this role helped solidify Day's prowess as a dramatic actress. It also features Day singing "Que Sera Sera."

2. Jan Morrow, "Pillow Talk" (1959)
Day is best known for the number of different romantic comedies in which she starred, especially those pairing her with Rock Hudson. In "Pillow Talk," Day and Hudson share a party line, and their disdain for each other prompts Hudson to create a new relationship by disguising his voice on the phone. Tony Randall compliments the cast in a dynamic supporting role.

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3. Cathy Timberlake, "That Touch of Mink" (1962)
Day matches wits with Cary Grant in this romantic comedy. Grant plays Phillip Shayne, a wealthy businessman, who woos Day's character. Shayne is looking for an affair while Timberlake is saving herself for marriage, and so ensues the back and forth comedy.

4. Calamity Jane, "Calamity Jane" (1953)
Day exhibits her singing talents in this musical that follows the legend of Calamity Jane, her saloon, and her romance with Wild Bill Hickok (Howard Keel). Singing and dancing her way into moviegoer's hearts, this role helped define her as a complete entertainer.

5. Kit Preston, "Midnight Lace" (1960)
Another lauded dramatic role for Day, who stars with Rex Harrison, John Gavin, and Myrna Loy. She plays the wife of a financier (Harrison), one that is being targeted by an unseen person who threatens to kill her by the end of the month. This taut thriller earned Day a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama.

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