On 03 April 2016, an icon of Hollywood’s “Golden Era” turned either 92 or 94 years old – that we don’t know for sure is a phenomenon of the times when the truth about stars could more easily be hidden or manipulated then in today’s digital age.
In the late 1950s she became one of the biggest box office stars of her time, known worldwide most famously for her romantic comedies with celebrity screen partners such as Jack Lemon, Cary Grant and, several times, Rock Hudson. She was not only known as an actress, though: Up until today an international audience also remembers her musical performances in many of her movies – the most famed is surely her "Que sera, sera", the lullaby in Alfred Hitchcock’s "The Man Who Knew Too Much" with James Stewart by her side.
Yes, you are right- it is Doris Day.
Yet, how many viewers and listeners in this part of the world, then or now, know that Doris Day is in fact not her real name? Just as many of her fellow artists at the time she early on, during her radio and music career, assumed an American-sounding stage name. Her audience would never know her as “Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff”.
Many readers will surely and correctly assume that the name “Kappelhoff” is of German descent: Doris’ grandparents hailed from Westphalia and Baden in Germany before they emigrated to the United States and settled, like many of their fellow German immigrants, in the state of Ohio.