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The 3 Faces of Doris - Will the Real Doris Day Please Stand Up

I'm a big Doris Day fan. Love her voice and thought she was an underrated actress. Not a big fan of those iconic movies with Rock Hudson and Tony Randall, but I enjoyed a lot of her earlier musicals and her few dramatic roles: Midnight Lace, Julie, Hitchcock's second version of The Man Who Knew To Much and her terrific turn as Ruth Etting in Love Me Or Leave Me. In those few roles she really got to show her dramatic chops.

The point of all this is because I am a big fan (and having access to a large amount of easily obtained material) from the early Nineties to the late Aughts I sent for her TTM many times. For myself multiple times and also sending to other names and addresses.  

Looking back, while I was organized enough to keep records of who I sent for as well as when and how many I sent and received, unfortunately what I did not do was record what specific items I sent each time. While I can get a good idea of what items were from when with someone I may have requested two or three times, someone like Doris whom I sent for 10 times over the years is an impossible call.

What I do remember is noticing that I would get different styles of signatures from Ms. Day on different occasions. And it wasn't in any specific order. Versions 1,2 and 3 would alternate at various times.

When JSA was in town several months back I had a few items I wanted to get authenticated and while I was there I had a chance to geek out a bit with one of their senior entertainment authenticators. We talked about Ms. Day and he indicated that, as expected,  JSA considers the Version 1 to be her authentic signature. It's hard to argue with that call, and I never want to be that collector wearing rose-coloured glasses when it comes to secretarial signatures. But while I'll concede the commonly held view is a logical scenario, there are a few things that keep me from being completely convinced.

The discrepancy that means the least to me is Ms. Day's claims that she always responded to all her mail herself. Humans lie. And it's logical that someone who uses a secretarial response in an effort to please fans with a response doesn't want to admit the deception. So while Ms. Day was said to be a lovely person who appreciated her fans and I'd like to think she was being honest, her claim doesn't mean much.

She was said to be a fairly reclusive person by the time I started mailing to her. What would make a recluse sometimes sign and sometimes pass the items received to others for signing?

TCM often airs little fillers between movies called Word Of Mouth with inside stories from those who were involved in making the movies. Doris did a very touching one about her beloved close friend and co-star Rock Hudson. At the end of those Word Of Mouth segments they close with the person speaking their name while signing their name over their picture. Doris signed with version 2. I've got to wonder: would she really use a secretarial signature in a segment about someone she cared for so much?

Doris Day had a lot of personal tragedy and was particularly bad at picking husbands. A lot of physical abuse. A later one stole all her millions and left her broke and deeply in debt to the IRS. The death of her only child that she was extremely close to, legendary music producer Terry Melcher, left her deeply despondent for the rest of her life. Her life was far from the sunny public image she projected.    

Now look at the signatures themselves.  While there are immediately obvious differences, there are also some notable similarities when you get past those capital "D"s.  

It may seem a bit far-fetched, but is it possible Doris Day had Dissociative Identity Disorder aka Multiple Personality Disorder? Hopefully we can get some thoughts from Professors Zarelli, Longo and some of the other excellent authentication minds on this forum.   

The photos above are Version 1, the version commonly believed to be be authentic.

The montage photo and vintage cards above are version 2. There are enough differences here beyond the capital "D"s that these could be considered two different versions. A lot of odd cross pollination between the versions.

The Good Housekeeping magazine cover above is version 3 

Views: 666

Comment by Eric Keith Longo on April 2, 2024 at 6:41pm

I hope you enjoy it :-) I always do. Nice simple comedy. To quote Norton on the way to the Racoon Convention - "Good clean fun!" Of course, he had bags of just the right consistency for filling with water and throwing out the hotel window... ;)

Comment by meggs on April 2, 2024 at 9:43pm

LOL!

Comment by Steve Viola on April 3, 2024 at 2:43pm

My Doris TTM about 1994, style #1

Comment by meggs on April 3, 2024 at 5:05pm

Very nice item! I'll call it version 1A, with squiggle underneath. 

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