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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dj Buddy B's Diva Dish 4/5/14

It's all about Love this week, diva devotees! And, of course, by that I mean none other than the Twenty Feet from Stardom diva, Darlene Love. What a success story! What a career! What a life! And now it's coming to cable as a tv-movie. Adapted from Darlene's autobiography, My Name Is Love, the movie is produced by the man behind Twenty Feet, Morgan Neville, and will be on Oprah's own OWN cable channel.

And who will portray Darlene? None other than diva Toni Braxton! Darlene thinks that is, in her words, a "FANTASTIC choice!" Couldn't agree more. Can't wait! Ms Braxton, meanwhile, recently wrapped up her run in After Midnight on Broadway March 30th.

Darlene Love, however, will be singing her last "Baby, Please Come Home" this Christmas season on Late Night with David Letterman. Letterman announced his retirement, this week, as host of the nightly talk/variety show. Love has performed this song on his show every year since 1986 and it sparked her career revival.

This was also a week for birthdays for classic divas of the silver screen. Doris Day, American movie star, recording artist and animal rights activist turned 92 on April 3rd. Nee Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, she began her professional career as a big band singer with Les Brown and His Band of Renown. She scored her first hit record with Brown, which was "Sentimental Journey." Her clean-cut good looks got her into movies and she became the top-ranking female box-office draw throughout the 1950s and '60s.

Her three comedies opposite Rock Hudson (Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Send Me No Flowers) are legendary at this point. The two remained good friends until Hudson's death from AIDS. Day had serious roles as well, notably in Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (asked how he got such a great performance from the actress, Hitchcock replied, "It wasn't me; it was Doris.") and as singer Ruth Etting in Love Me or Leave Me.

Day received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an Oscar nomination (for Pillow Talk) and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is truly "America's sweetheart" with a squeaky-clean image that, sadly, undercut her being taken seriously as an actress at times. She was offered the role of Mrs Robinson in The Graduate by director Mike Nichols, against type. Day was interested but her husband/manager, Marvin Melchior, turned it down, preferring to cast his golden goose in fluffy comedies that did nothing for her career.

When Melchior died in 1968, Doris Day (who was married and divorced three times) was shocked to discover he had bankrupted her by squandering their earnings she'd worked for. She retired from show buiness in the late 1970s, although, in 2011, Day was the oldest living artist to have a top 10 album in the UK featuring new material. Since the 1970s, Ms Day has been an animal rights and welfare activist until this day, her home in Carmel-by-the-Sea full of well-cared for domesticated animals.

By the way, Doris Day had a very special relationship with Vaseline. Not only did she reportedly slather her face and body in it before sleep every night (to stay young-looking), but Vaseline ~ along with special lens filters ~ were employed to eliminate DD's seriously freckled face on-screen.

April 5th was the iconic Bette Davis' 106th birthday. She left us in 1989, however. Ms Davis' image and film career are so well known, and I've blogged about her so many times, I simply want to acknowledge her birthday and just say ponder how interesting it would have been if she'd co-starred with Doris Day at some point. What Ever Happened to Calamity Jane?

Finally, I leave you with this gone-viral video of Kristen Bell singing "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" (a song she performed in Disney's Frozen) live because it's wonderfully touching, funny and poignant:

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