BEVERLY HILLS. Calif. – Julien’s Auctions will present Property from the Estate of Doris Day, an exclusive two-day auction event celebrating the life and career of the legendary American actress, singer and animal rights pioneer, Doris Day, will take place a day after what would have been her 98th birthday, Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
All of the proceeds of the auction will benefit the Doris Day Animal Foundation, the Hollywood icon’s charity founded in 1978 that funds nonprofit causes that need assistance in their work, caring for and protecting animals. For more information, visit www.ddaf.org.
On offer is an exclusive collection of Day’s most iconic costumes and memorabilia from her films and television shows and specials, furnishings and household items from her beloved home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, as well as her most personal items, never before seen at auction, that offer a glimpse into the star’s fascinating public and private life.
More than 800 lots will be offered including her Golden Globe awards, a classic 1930 Ford convertible seen in the opening credits of her Best Friends television show, a red lacquer Young Chang upright piano gifted by her son, Terry Melcher, a brass embossed elephant jardinière gifted by Rock Hudson, and more treasures.
Also at auction will be costumes and event worn ensembles including, a brown leather jacket worn on numerous episodes of The Doris Day Show in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Day’s formal white ensemble worn when she received the Cecil B. DeMille Honorary Golden Globe Award in 1989, a classic red wool coat worn by the star in the early 1960s, and an event-worn white sweater dress.
Other lots include paintings by artist and singer Tony Bennett, Pierre Bonnard, Edward Szymyd, Cherry Jaffe Huldah and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
Another addition to this sale is a collection of her fine tableware of silver, crystal and porcelain and animal-themed decorative items, a yellow tole vase gifted by Paul McCartney, a collection of her mid-century Louis XV-style and vintage wicker furniture, a leather-bound issue of Architectural Digest with personalized cover featuring a pictorial spread inside Day’s Beverly Hills home from the 1950s containing photographs of her furniture that are featured in this auction, a cast aluminum Arthur Court bulldog ice bucket, and more.
Doris Day was the top box office draw of the 20th century and hit number one four times in the years 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1964.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio as Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, Day began her career as a dancer then later as a singer on the big band circuit singing with Les Brown & His Band of Renown and recording their No. 1 hits in 1945, Sentimental Journey and My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time.
Soon after embarking on a singing solo career, Hollywood came calling and offered her first film role in Romance on the High Seas (Warner Bros., 1948) which produced her No. 2 hit as a soloist It’s Magic. Shortly after, her duet with Buddy Clark Someone Like You became her first No. 1 as a solo star which was featured in the 1949 film My Dream is Yours.
From 1948 to the late 1950s, Day had 30 Top-20 singles, including the No. 1 hits Love Somebody and A Guy Is a Guy, and recorded over 30 albums. In 1950, U.S. servicemen in Korea voted her their favorite star.
Day starred in several hit films for Warner Brothers that displayed her singing and comedic talents, Tea for Two (1958), On Moonlight Bay (1951), By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953), Young at Heart (1954) opposite Frank Sinatra, Teacher’s Pet (1958) opposite Clark Gable as well as the western-themed musical, Calamity Jane (1953) which her song recorded for the film Secret Love won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year and became her fourth No. 1 hit single.
During the decade, Day had her own radio program The Doris Day Show and albums from six of her movie musicals charted in the Top 10, three of them at No. 1. In the latter half of 1950s, Day’s success on the silver screen and music charts reached even greater heights as she took on more dramatic acting roles as singer Ruth Etting opposite James Cagney in the film Love Me or Leave Me (MGM 1955) which Day considered to be her best film performance and which the film’s soundtrack went to No. 1.
The following year, Day would star in her breakthrough dramatic role as Josephine Conway McKenna in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much opposite James Stewart and became her 10th film to be in the Top 10 at the box office. In the film, she sang two songs We’ll Love Again and what would become the song most synonymous with Day, Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
She would return to her musical comedy roots in the 1957 film The Pajama Game with John Raitt and would achieve even greater box office success in a slew of romantic comedies from 1959 to 1968, beginning with her film Pillow Talk starring opposite Rock Hudson with Tony Randall. The film won an Oscar for Best Screenplay and an Oscar nomination for Day for Best Actress and from then on, Day became an even bigger household name with her roles playing working women in postwar America.
Day and Hudson went on to become one of Hollywood’s most iconic film duos of all time and would star together in two other hit romantic comedies, Lover Come Back (Universal Pictures, 1961) and Send Me No Flowers (Universal Pictures, 1964). Their on-screen chemistry continued off screen in their lifelong friendship and the incredible bond they shared throughout their lives and up until Hudson’s death from AIDS in 1985. Day helped open the door to tolerance and understanding of the disease by publicly demonstrating her support and empathy for Hudson who became the first celebrity to announce that he had AIDS.
From 1968 to 1973, Doris Day starred in her own successful television show on CBS, The Doris Day Show, and as well as two television specials, The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special (1971) and Doris Day Today (1975).
She devoted her life to her passion and advocacy of animal rights and welfare activism and helped found the Actors and Others for Animals, an organization that rescues stray and mistreated animals and later founded The Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Washington-based Doris Day Animal League. After her retirement from acting, Day lived in Carmel-by-the-Sea in California where she also co-owned a hotel called the Cypress Inn, considered one of the most pet-friendly hotels in the United States.
Day received many distinguished honors including the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Golden Globes in 1989, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award in 2012.
She recorded more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967 and her songs Sentimental Journey and Que Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) were both inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. On May 13, 2019, Doris Day died at the age of 97.
“Doris Day was a Hollywood giant as one of the screen’s legendary leading actresses, top box office stars and one of the greatest singers of the 20th century with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland,” said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s Auctions. “On this special occasion of what would be Doris Day’s 98th birthday celebration, we are honored to announce that 100 percent of the proceeds of the sale will benefit her charity The Doris Day Animal Foundation, to which she devoted her life’s work as an animal rights activist.”