Local Memories of a Movie Legend
The passing of movie legend Doris Day today at 97 will certainly bring back memories to a lot of movie fans. It should also spark more personal thoughts of some North Adams residents.
Let's travel back in time to a bustling downtown North Adams in the 1940s-50s, before urban renewal projects changed the landscape. On his website, local historian Paul W. Marino remembers Melcher’s Hardware, on Center Street. One of their sons, Matthew or “Marty”, after moving to New York City would meet and marry Doris Day. He would also become her manager.
Marino writes that the couple "made numerous visits to North Adams", where Day helped out in her in-laws’ store. This was even at the height of her stardom in films like "Calamity Jane", "Lucky Me", "Love Me or Leave Me", and "The Man Who Knew Too Much", which included what would become her theme song, "Que Sera Sera."
The pair were married for 17 years until Melcher died unexpectedly in 1968. It was then that Doris Day learned that due to her manager/husband's "numerous bad investments" there was nothing left except considerable debt. Actually, there was one thing: a TV series which Melcher had committed her to, also apparently without her knowledge. "The Doris Day Show" ran for five seasons from 1968-73.
Feel free to share any of your North Adams memories of Doris Day.