Search Search. Menu Sections. Tomorrow, Doris Day turns The actress retired from show-business over three decades ago, and has been living as a virtual recluse for longer than that, but still exercises a powerful hold on the public imagination, particularly in America, where her memory is especially revered. Last year, the entertainment media got themselves in a flap when a rumour emerged that Day was about to make a comeback in a film directed by her friend and neighbour, Clint Eastwood.
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This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site. Within the space of two days, we saw the passing of two icons of white femininity: Doris Day and Peggy Lipton. While these two Hollywood actors occupy opposite sides of the American postwar sexual revolution, their deaths in the same week provoke some reflection on the sexual and racial politics that persist in popular culture. Marilyn Monroe is an icon of white femininity, as is Princess Diana. Examining the cultural significance of such women can help untangle the ugly persistence of this ideology in its contemporary form. The most famous of these, Pillow Talk , the first of three that co-starred Rock Hudson, established her persona as an independent and successful career woman, as comfortable in the board room as she was in jazz clubs.
Remembering Doris Day and Peggy Lipton: Icons of white femininity
She was only 16, but Doris Kappelhoff didn't mince her words when trombonist Al Jorden asked her to accompany him to the cinema. Her mother, Alma, agreed. She didn't like the surly Jorden one bit. And those musicians were unreliable.
For some men of a certain age, the sad news that Doris Day had died rekindled conflicted memories. You see, for those of us who first felt certain stirrings at about the time when we originally saw a bunch of Doris Day movies on TV, that thing about her relentlessly wholesome image was, well, laughable. OK, if the thought of pubescent American boys longing to commit all manner of sins with the lovely Miss Day is too much for you to take, you may be excused. Feel free to move on. It happened.