Doris Day Passes Away at 97:
How Finding Faith Gave Her Peace
By Diane Howard, Contributing Writer
Doris Day, America’s Sweetheart, has died at the age of 97. She was known as a multi-talented American singer and actress with a smile and personality that lit up the screen. In 1939, she began her career as a big band singer. Her first recording was “Sentimental Journey” in 1945 with Les Brown and his band. Afterward, she began a solo career, recording more than 650 songs from 1947 to 1967.
She was also a delightful actress on the big screen. During her solo career, Warner Bros. cast her in ROMANCE ON THE HIGH SEAS in order to compete with MGM’s successful romantic musicals. She was then cast by other studios for movies like CALAMITY JANE, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, PILLOW TALK, and her own sitcom THE DORIS DAY SHOW. See her prolific resume on IMDb.
She was very successful as a recording artist and screen actress, but although she was raised in a Catholic home, three of her four marriages ended in divorce. Before her third marriage to Martin Melcher, she was introduced to the Church of Christian Science.
In an article for Guideposts, Day recounted how faith came into her life. She says, “… before I became Mrs. Martin Melcher, a man I once knew well, phoned and asked to see me. I hadn’t seen John in a long time… John always had been tense, mixed up, going nowhere, and in a hurry to get there. But now, he was calm and sure. He’d stopped drinking. There was a strange, new peace in him. ‘Say, you’re different,’ I finally said. ‘What’s happened to you?’… ‘I’ve discovered that none of us can do anything alone,’ he said…At first, I didn’t get it. ‘Who’s the fellow who helped? God,’ he said simply. I stared at him, and then begged… ‘Tell me. I need the same thing… (John said) “in finding a faith in God I found myself, new friends, a new life. I’ve just started living. I wasn’t before.’ “
Day then contemplated if she was a success. She realized that she had everything except peace. After meeting with her friend John to discuss his newfound faith, she shared it with her husband Marty, and they both decided they needed what John had.
She says, “…what we were both searching for alone we began to search for together. When we were married, Marty adopted Terry [her son] legally. That’s when I think I became a mother, a wife, and a grown-up girl for the first time. We joined a church and began attending regularly. Together we discovered a harmony and a sense of peace we didn’t know before. Then we tried to apply what we found to our daily lives….”
The life and legacy of Doris Day has left us with many uplifting songs and movies, as well as an example of how faith can bring a sense of peace. While it’s not entirely clear how many Christian Science teachings Day held to and how late in her life she held to them, it must be noted that the religion of Christian Science, which was very popular among Hollywood stars, teaches anti-biblical, gnostic doctrines about health and sin.
Sickness, sin, pain, and death are all real, which is why we need a real savior, Jesus, who took on our sin, died, and three days later defeated death. Doris Day’s life and work brought joy to many millions of people, we hope she is experiencing a far greater joy of eternity with Jesus.
What was your favorite Doris Day role? Let us know in the comment section below.
By Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), https://dianehoward.com/