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Alone, but happy: the last days of Doris Day

Iconic American actress and singer Doris Day died last week aged 97
Iconic American actress and singer Doris Day died last week aged 97 Credit:  Silver Screen Collection/Moviepix

With her bobbed blonde hair and flashing smile, Doris Day, who died last week aged 97, seemed the archetypal girl next door. However, hidden behind the bubbly personality was a life tormented by anguish, tragedy and pain. Like Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Billie Holiday and many other icons, Doris attracted mean and moody types. Like these women, she never learned from her mistakes.

She was born Doris Von Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio, in April 1922, her parents Catholics of German descent who dispensed with the “Von” when Hitler came to power. In her memoirs she recalled hearing her parents’ fights over her father’s womanising.

Was their acrimonious divorce the starting point of Doris’s life-long...

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