OFFBEAT: Ready to set the record straight about Doris Day's age and today's birthday

Off Beat with Philip Potempa
2010-04-03T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Ready to set the record straight about Doris Day's age and today's birthdayBy Philip Potempa - philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Fans of singer/actress Doris Day are a dedicated and determined group.

It never fails that whenever I write about the long-retired and happy-to-be-out-of-the-spotlight Day, I receive loads of telephone calls and e-mails. (The same happens whenever I mention anything about singer Patty Andrews, who is equally beloved by legions of military vets and others and of course, shares an ex-husband connection to Day).

Today is Day's birthday.

And while the Associated Press wire service' "notable birthday listing" has her as 87-years-old, my personal reference books and online Web sites list her as turning 88 today.

Either way, I've received plenty of reader response about Day, including the following:

"Hi Philip

Having just read your article, I write just to inform you that Doris Day was actually born on 3rd of April 1924. Therefore, for her birthday in 2010 she will be 86 not 88. I believe online references state her birth year as 1922. This is incorrect. Jan Tamer, United Kingdom"

"Dear Philip,

Since NWI.com is 'the largest and most trusted media company in Northwest Indiana,' I thought I'd alert you to some inaccuracies in your column on Doris Day.

- Doris and Marty Melcher did not adopt son, Terry. Terry was Doris' son from her first marriage to Al Jorden. Only Melcher adopted him later in their marriage and gave him his last name.

- Doris Day made exactly 39 films, not 'more than 40' as you state.

- The Doris Day Animal League has been under the domain of the Humane Society (HSUS) for the past several years. She remains directly involved with the Doris Day Animal Foundation (ddaf.org).

Signed, Jay Lea"

I checked in with my author friend Mary Anne Barothy, who worked as Doris Day's personal secretary during the late 1960s and early 1970s while Day was primarily busy with her popular CBS television series.

Barothy confirms Doris is in fact turning 88 today and that much of the confusion about her actual birthday comes from the "publicity birthdate" supplied by Day's movie studios over the years.

"I was with Doris when she applied for her driver's license, as well as being familiar with her birthday from assisting with personal paperwork, such as insurance forms and other documents over the years," Barothy told me by telephone this week.

Barothy will be quite busy today, working with frednetradio.com since this radio station Web site is hosting a very special three-hour birthday celebration for Day today from noon to 3 p.m. (CST).

In addition to hearing all of Day's favorite songs and music, Barothy said fans are invited to call in to a toll free number (877-846-9180) to give their personal birthday wishes to Day.

The show will be recorded and a copy sent to Day to enjoy.

This Internet radio station plays great music from the '40s, '50s and '60s.

Barothy will also be attending the Kankakee Author Fair in Kankakee, Ill. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kankakee Public Library, 201 E Merchant Street, to sign copies of her book called "Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl's Sentimental Journey to Doris Day's Hollywood and Beyond" (2007 Hawthorne Publishing $18).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or 219.852.4327.

Today's Celebrity Birthdays

Actress-singer Doris Day is 87. Primate scientist Jane Goodall is 76. Actor Eric Braeden ("Young and the Restless") is 69. Actress Marsha Mason and singers Wayne Newton and Billy Joe Royal are 68. Singer Tony Orlando is 66. Singer Richard Thompson is 61. Bassist Curtis Stone of Highway 101 is 60. Guitarist Mick Mars of Motley Crue is 54. Actor Alec Baldwin is 52. Actor David Hyde Pierce is 51. Comedian-actor Eddie Murphy is 49. Singer-guitarist Mike Ness of Social Distortion is 48. Singer Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) is 42. Actress Jennie Garth is 38. Actress Cobie Smulders ("How I Met Your Mother") is 28. Singer Leona Lewis is 25. Actress Amanda Bynes is 24. Paris Jackson (daughter of Michael Jackson and nurse Debbie Rowe) is 12.

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