Name at birth: Doris von Kappelhoff
Doris Day started her singing career in the 1940s and hit it big with the million-selling "Sentimental Journey." In 1948 she started her movie career, hitting her stride in the 1950s with a series of romantic comedies, including Pillow Talk (1959) with Rock Hudson. Her singing career was just as hot as her acting career, and her hit from the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man who Knew Too Much, "Que Sera, Sera," won an Oscar. After starring in a TV series (1968-72), Day turned her attention to political activism on behalf of animals.
Day got her stage name from Cincinnati bandleader Barney Rapp, who told her that Kappelhoff would take up too much space on a theater marquee… When Day was widowed in 1968, she discovered that the fortune she had earned as one of Hollywood’s top stars had been misappropriated by her lawyer, leaving her nearly penniless. In 1974 she won a court case against the lawyer and was awarded $22 million… Some sources list her birth year as 1924. We believe it to be 1922, based on the 2008 biography Doris Day by David Kaufman.