Doris Day is known for her work in major Hollywood musicals from Calamity Jane to April in Paris. Not only did she star in the movie, she had some big hit charts of songs from musicals and had three of her songs inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. But in the late 1960s, when she was at her peak, a financial shock forced her to go somewhere she never wanted to go: work on TV.
Reports have suggested that Doris Day didn’t mind working on TV, but she did end up starring on The Doris Day Show for five years.
Considering how long the show lasted, it might come as a surprise to many that Doris didn’t want this job.
However, it turns out that this was caused by poor management of her affairs by those she trusted.
Not only was she taken the money away, but her third husband and manager Martin Melcher also made career decisions without letting them pass her.
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Doris Day – how she lost her fortune and was forced to watch TV
In 1996, Doris told OK magazine: “It was awful. I really wasn’t that good back then Marty [Melcher passed away, and the thought of going into TV was overpowering.
“But he’d signed me up for a series. And then my son Terry [Melcher] took me to Beverly Hills and explained it was far from the end.
“I also signed up for a lot of TV specials, all without anyone ever asking me.”
Doris, despite her husband signing her up for a TV series she didn’t want, could have walked away from the project.
Doris Day and Martin Melcher
But as financial expert Gemma Godfrey revealed exclusively to Express.co.uk, Doris had little choice because her attorney left her barely any money after her husband’s death.
Gemma said, “Doris Day, she was worth $ 200 million (£ 145.5 million).
“But she had to go back to TV because it was being exploited … and there are lessons we can all learn because I think anyone can [learn from this.]
“You see that nowadays with financial abuse between people … it shows how important it is to have control over your own finances.”
Doris Day in Pillow Talk
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For Doris, her finances were handled by her husband and Jerome B Rosenthal, who acted as legal counsel and her business manager.
While the jury is still out on Martin’s cases of Jerome, it was Jerome who was forced to pay back $ 22 million (£ 16 million) to Doris after taking him to court for his handling of her finances .
According to LA Times writer Myrna Oliver, who reported on the case in 1974, Martin was “blindly in awe” of Jerome, which meant many issues about money went unaddressed.
Myrna wrote, “Entertainer Doris Day received $ 22,835,646 for fraud and malpractice from her former attorney and manager, Jerome B. Rosenthal, whose conduct was repeatedly labeled ‘rude and scandalous’ by Judge Lester E. Olson of the Supreme Court.
Doris Day on The Doris Day Show
The one-hour oral decision by Olson, which settled the 99-day trial without a jury, ended 13 consolidated lawsuits over Rosenthal’s handling of Miss Day’s finances and her late husband and manager, Martin Melcher, for 20 years. ..
“I understand that Rosenthal and Melcher had adjoining offices, keeping a close eye on each other, and each knew how cunning and deceitful the other was.”
After dealing with Doris’ finances, her fortunes were believed to have shrunk from the millions she was previously worth to nearly $ 500,000 (£ 364,000).
This, as well as a sense of duty, was what led Doris to work for TV, although she had previously hoped this wouldn’t be where she ended up.
After five years of The Doris Day Show, she hosted a short-lived talk show on the Christian Broadcasting Network in the mid-1980s.
Aside from her talk show, Doris mainly stepped out of the public eye from the end of The Doris Day Show in 1973, focusing instead on her philanthropic work involving animal rights.
She founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978 and the Doris Day Animal League in 1994, an advocacy group dedicated to animal rights.
Doris died on May 13, 2019 at the age of 97.
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