Tony Randall is born Ira Leonard Rosenberg in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1920. His film roles were mostly comic, starring opposite Jayne Mansfield in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) and Debbie Reynolds in The Mating Game (1959). Then came the film roles for which he is perhaps best remembered, providing crack support to Doris Day and Rock Hudson in the three movies they made together: Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). “Comedy's a serious business,” the actor once remarked. “You've got to be true and funny and not look as though you're trying.”
Entries in doris day (5)
Doris Day is born in Cincinnati, Ohio, 1924. Throughout her film career, composer, arranger and conductor Ray Heindorf became one of her favorite collaborators and ended up working with Day on 17 of her movies, including her personal favorite Calamity Jane (1953). “When I first heard ‘Secret Love’ I almost fainted, it was so beautiful,” the actress said. “When we finally got around to doing the pre-recording, Ray Heindorf, the musical director at Warner's, said he'd get the musicians in about 12:30 so they could rehearse. That morning I did my vocal warm-up, then jumped on my bike and rode over to Warner's—we lived in Toluca Lake at the time, which was just minutes from the studio. When I got there I sang the song with the orchestra for the first time. When I'd finished, Ray called me into the sound booth, grinning from ear to ear, and said, ‘That's it. You're never going to do it better.’ That was the first and only take we did.”
This month TCM is showing a terrific new piece narrated by Day about the movies she’s made. Here’s a look:
What seems like an exercise in odd, unlikely parings—gangster film and musical, James Cagney and Doris Day—really works, delivering a hard-edged punch while generating a hit soundtrack album full of catchy tunes, including “Ten Cents a Dance,” “Stay on the Right Side, Sister”, “Shaking the Blues Away” and the title song. Day plays real-life 1930s nightclub singer Ruth Etting, who marries Martin “The Gimp” Snyder (Cagney), a hood from Chicago who falls for Ruth and builds her into a star of stage and screen. It’s a brutal, abusive, relationship characterized by Snyder’s jealous rages and Etting’s increasing alcoholism. Under Charles Vidor’s direction, Day gives one of her best performances. Cagney, Oscar-nominated for Best Actor for his role as Snyder, ranked this, among the 62 films he made, as one of his favorites.
Mary Wickes dies in Los Angeles, 1995. The character actress made movies for more than six decades, supporting the likes of Bette Davis, Doris Day, Meryl Streep and Whoopi Goldberg. She played nurses and nuns, busybodies and plain old bitties, and she had a way with a wisecrack that could steal a scene from a pro. Comedy was her forte, made obvious by her role as Miss Preen in the Broadway play The Man Who Came to Dinner. The play ran for years and, when it came time to film it, Wickes was brought along with the play’s star, Monty Woolley, to recreate their roles for the 1942 screen version. She continued providing ace work in some four dozen feature films, including Now, Voyager (1942), White Christmas (1954), The Music Man (1962), Postcards From the Edge (1990) and Little Women (1994). “I love playing good comedy with a heart,” she once said, “comedy which touches the audience.”
There is a moment in The Pajama Game, the 1957 movie version of the Broadway musical, that has had a history of problems. Babe (Doris Day), has just broken up with Sid (John Raitt), setting up a scene pregnant with musical possibilities. Several were tried.
When the show was in previews prior to its original 1954 Broadway run, Sid sang a song called "The World Around Us," which was dropped as soon as the show hit New York and replaced with Babe singing a reprise of Sid's first-act song, "Hey There."
When it came time to make the movie, Richard Adler (who wrote The Pajama Game score with Jerry Ross) wrote a song for Day called "The Man Who Invented Love," a number shot and later replaced with—care to take a guess?—a reprise of "Hey There."
The saga of the unloved reprise continued in 1973, when the show was revived and a new song, "Watch Your Heart," replaced Babe's "Hey There." The song was retitled "If You Win, You Lose" and it, along with "The World Around Us," were both part of the 2006 Broadway revival starring Harry Connick, Jr., and Kelli O'Hara. Also included? The “Hey There” reprise, this time sung by Sid (Harry Connick, Jr.).