Doris Day was a major star during the 1950s and '60s. Today, forty years after her last film, the star (who was ninety in April 2012) is often still invoked as shorthand for a kind of sexuality now felt outmoded, being typecast as 'the forty year old virgin'. Close attention to the facts of Day's own life (three times married) challenges this assumption and the majority of her film roles also prove otherwise, with Day most frequently portraying a woman of maturely sexual desires. How did such pejorative labeling arise, and why has it stuck so tenaciously to Day, even now?
This book addresses these questions through closely examining Day's characters and performances across her thirty-eight films and her TV work, as well as material from other popular media for the source of the virgin myth. It then focuses on contemporary popular culture contexts, using newspaper stories, articles from film, fan and lifestyle magazines, reviews and gossip to chart the developments in Day's screen 'persona' are charted, highlighting the changes in public perception of the star of Calamity Jane, Love Me Or Leave Me and Pillow Talk as aided and abetted by the media.
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Tamar Jeffers McDonald is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Kent, UK. She is the author of Romantic Comedy: Boy Meets Girl Meets Genre (2007) and of Hollywood Catwalk (I.B.Tauris, 2009).Review:
"An intriguing look at why and how the thrice married star became the epitome of Hollywood virginity." - The Sunday Times
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