Considering Doris Day

Tom Santopietro

Thomas Dunne Books

The biggest female box office attraction in Hollywood history, Doris Day remains unequalled as the only entertainer who has ever triumphed in movies, radio, recordings, and a multi-year weekly television series. America's favorite girl next door may have projected a wholesome image that led Oscar Levant to quip "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin," but in Considering Doris Day Tom Santopietro reveals Day's underappreciated and effortless acting and singing range that ran the gamut from musicals to comedy to drama and made Day nothing short of a worldwide icon.
            Covering the early Warner Brothers years through Day's triumphs working with artists as varied as Alfred Hitchcock and Bob Fosse, Santopietro's smart and funny book deconstructs the myth of Day as America's perennial virgin, and reveals why her work continues to resonate today, both onscreen as pioneering independent career woman role model, and off, as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor. Praised by James Cagney as "my idea of a great actor" and by James Garner as "the Fred Astaire of comedy," Doris Day became not just America's favorite girl, but the number one film star in the world. Yet after two weekly television series, including a triumphant five year run on CBS, she turned her back on show business forever.
            Examining why Day's worldwide success in movies overshadowed the brilliant series of concept recordings she made for Columbia Records in the  '50s and '60s, Tom Santopietro uncovers the unexpected facets of Day's surprisingly sexy acting and singing style that led no less an observer than John Updike to state "She just glowed for me." Placing Day's work within the social context of America in the second half of the twentieth century, Considering Doris Day is the first book that grants Doris Day her rightful place as a singular American artist.


Read an Excerpt

Considering Doris Day
BeginningsShe lives in the belief that happiness has to be made--and can be made--by the individual. In her sunny exuberance, she seems to be living proof of it. 
--Louella Parsons, 1954 
Nothing seems to daunt the persistent image of me as the unsullied sunshine girl ... . So there must be something about me, about whatever it is that I give off, that accounts for this disparity between who I am and who I appear to be. 
--Doris Day, 1976 
HOW, EXACTLY, DID DORIS DAY, NÉE DORIS MARY Anne von Kappelhoff, from Cincinnati,


Praise for Considering Doris Day

Praise for The Importance of Being Barbra:

"Not at all the average fan tribute, The Importance of Being Barbra mixes milk-and-honey admiration with bracing shots of vinegar. … His book is smart, funny, right-on. An encyclopedic must-read for anybody who has pondered the greatness, perfection, and oddities of Miss Streisand."
---Liz Smith, New York Post columnist
"An astute and thorough analysis of Streisand's career told in a brisk and engaging style while carefully establishing Streisand as a major cultural icon."
---A. R. Gurney Jr., author of Love Letters and Scenes from American Life
"Cheeky and essential to a well-rounded Streisand collection, this book is highly recommended."--Library Journal
"[A] fresh approach to Streisand's varied five-decade career, applying both a fan's affection and a cultural critic's analysis to the role Streisand has played in the larger culture of her times."--Boston Globe
"Santopietro's book ... fixates on Streisand's professional, not personal life, and that focus makes The Importance of Being Barbra a more valuable keepsake for devotees who prefer something more thoughtful than In Touch magazine."--Miami Herald
"[A] treasure of information.... a reader-friendly survey of the career of this major star." --EDGE magazine
"[A] fast, fascinating overview of this very varied career."--Playbill

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Tom Santopietro

  • Tom Santopietro has worked for the past twenty years in New York theater as a manager of more than two dozen Broadway shows, including A Few Good Men, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, A Doll's House, Master Class, Tru, The Iceman Cometh, and Noises Off. He is also author of The Importance of Being Barbra.
  • Tom Santopietro Photo: Courtesy of the author.
    Tom Santopietro


Tom Santopietro

Macmillan Speakers Bureau

represents thought-provoking authors and experts. We can find a speaker uniquely positioned for your audience and budget.

More info


Available Formats and Book Details

Considering Doris Day

Tom Santopietro



Thomas Dunne Books