September 18, 1974 : Doris Day wins lawsuit

Introduction

On September 18, 1974, actress Doris Day wins a $22.8 million malpractice suit against her former lawyer.

Day, one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s and ’60s, had allowed her third husband, Martin Melcher, to handle her finances. After his death in 1968, she discovered that her $20 million in life savings had disappeared, and sued her lawyer for mismanagement. She was not able to recover the full value of the award, however, and settling for $6 million.

Day was born in Cincinnati in 1924. Though she was a promising dancer as a teenager, a car accident ended her dancing days and turned her toward music instead. She sang and recorded with several bands. In 1948, she was pulled in at the last minute to replace singer/actress Betty Hutton in Romance on the High Seas (1948), Day’s first film. Audiences adored her, and she went on to star in dozens of other films, including April in Paris (1952), Calamity Jane (1953), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and The Pajama Game (1957). She made her last film in 1968, With Six, You Get Eggroll. After her husband’s death, she began work on a television series, The Doris Day Show (1968-1973) and also appeared in television specials.

Day was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her outstanding contribution to entertainment by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the Golden Globe Awards in 1989.

Article Details:

September 18, 1974 : Doris Day wins lawsuit

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    September 18, 1974 : Doris Day wins lawsuit

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/doris-day-wins-lawsuit

  • Access Date

    October 22, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks