Doris Day was an American actress, singer, real estate mogul, and animal rights activist who died in 2019 with a net worth of $200 million USD. Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in April 1922. She began her career as a singer with Les Brown & His Renown Band of Renown in 1939. She went solo and signed with Columbia Records shortly after. She made around 650 recordings between 1947 and 1967. She was also an accomplished actor.
Romance on the High Seas was Doris’s first film. She would go on to appear in 39 feature films over the course of her career. She is the highest-paid female box-office star of all time, and she is ranked sixth overall among male and female actors.
Day earned the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime accomplishment as well as the Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. She has 31 albums to her credit and has been honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
She began interested in animal welfare in 1971, co-founding the organization “Actors and Others for Animals.” She went on to found the Doris Day Animal League and the Doris Day Animal Foundation. In 2004, President George W. Bush honored her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She was married four times and had one son, Terry Melcher, the late music executive. She was a regular on CBS’s The Doris Day Show from 1968 to 1973. Doris Day, who was 97 years old at the time of her death, died on May 13, 2019. She spent most of her later years on a seven-acre estate in Carmel, California, which also acted as an animal rescue.
Doris Day Finances:
Doris assumed she was enormously affluent in the late 1960s, following decades of incredible success. Doris Melcher discovered that her husband Martin Melcher and a business partner had spent more than $20 million of her money after his death in 1968, leaving her $500 thousand in debt. In today’s money, that’s the equivalent of wasting $140 million and leaving her $3.7 million in debt.
Doris’ son Terry, a prominent and rich music businessman at the time, jumped in to protect her assets and prevent her estate from going bankrupt. To supplement her income, she agreed to star in “The Doris Day Day Show,” a sitcom that ran for five years and was a huge success. Doris’ finances were eventually straightened up, and she was allowed to keep her significant real estate portfolio, which included homes in Malibu and Beverly Hills, as well as several high-value hotels.
Doris eventually received a $27 million judgment against her former business supervisors after a ten-year battle. That’s around $80 million in today’s money. Unfortunately, the business manager was broke at the time and unable to pay much of the judgment. Doris did receive some compensation from several insurance companies, but it was insignificant in comparison to the amount she had lost.
Charles Manson Connection:
Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys introduced Doris’s son Terry to Charles Manson in 1968. Terry and his then-girlfriend Candice Bergen were living in a huge estate on Cielo Drive in the Hollywood Hills at the time. Manson paid several visits to Terry at the Cielo mansion before their connection ended when Terry became suspicious of the wannabe singer.
Terry and Candice moved out of the Cielo Drive soon after they broke up, and the home’s owner rented it to director Roman Polanski and his lover Sharon Tate. Manson’s followers assassinated Tate and several of her home guests at the mansion on August 9, 1969.
Manson allegedly believed Melcher and Bergen still lived on the property and that this was retaliation for their rejection of his music. Manson knew Melcher and Bergen were no longer living there, but that anyone who could afford such a lovely property would make a suitable target for his psychotic designs, it was later revealed.