Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door

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Doris Day
HER LIFE on screen played like an American fairy tale.

A new biography looks into the shadows and 'Untold Story' of Doris Day On screen, she was America's smiling, singing darling. But off screen, her husbands weren't Rock Hudson and her life was no light romp.

A former singer with Les Brown's band in the 1940s, Day also was a bestselling recording artist whose trademark songs -- “Sentimental Journey" and the Oscar-winning “Que Sera, Sera" -- seemed to epitomize her upbeat spirit. During her years in the spotlight, Day was always portrayed as happily married -- to third husband and manager Martin Melcher -- and loving mother to son Terry.

Blond, bouncy and beautiful, Doris Day captivated mid-20th century moviegoers in a series of rollicking romantic comedies with her favorite leading man, Rock Hudson, including Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back, as well as the western musical Calamity Jane, Alfred Hitchcock's thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much, the musical drama Love Me or Leave Me and many more.

But the real story couldn't be further from the truth, according to David Kaufman's expansive new biography, “Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door." captivated Instead it's a sad story -- partially told in the actress' 1975 autobiography -- of a talented woman who was unloved by her father, pushed by an ambitious stage mother, with four failed -- and mostly loveless -- marriages, who never got what she wanted: simply to have a happy home life.

“What is even sadder to me and what I have learned in the course of researching this book, interviewing people and from quotes from her own autobiography is how insecure she is about her looks and about her talents," said Kaufman, a theater critic and author. “This woman has lived so much of her life unhappy with herself, I think, and yet she brought so much happiness to so many people all around the world," he added.

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