Doris Day Net Worth

How much was Doris Day worth?

Net Worth:$100 Million
Profession:Professional Actress
Date of Birth:April 3, 1922 (aged 97)
Country:United States of America
5 ft 6 in (1.7 m)

About Doris Day

Doris Day, whose full name is Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff was a popular American actress, animal welfare activist, and singer. She began her career in 1939 and immediately became popular thanks to her beauty, charismatic looks, and fantastic acting and singing abilities. Initially, Day started off as a big band singer in the late 1930s before she pursued a solo career and released some commercial hits such as My Dreams Are Getting Bigger All The Time and Sentimental Journey.

American actress, singer, and animal welfare activist Doris Day had a net worth in excess of $100 million dollars at the time of his death, in 2019. To date, Day has been the top box-office earner in the United States a total of four times.

Doris was born on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio to a music teacher/choirmaster and a homemaker. During her childhood, she was interested in dancing and was planning to become a professional dancer, however, after she injured her knee during a car accident in 1937, she decided to pursue other dreams. In the late 1930s, she began singing and attended a few singing classes to improve her skills.

The one of a kind actress began her career in 1939 at the age of 17. While she was still recovering from the car accident, Doris began singing on different radio shows. During that time, she stated multiple times that she was inspired by the likes of Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and Tommy Dorsey.

While she was attending her singing lessons, the talented Day received offers to become a vocalist for the radio program Carlin’s Carnival on the WLW radio, as well as in the local restaurant Charlie Yee’s Shanghai Inn. After he saw one of her many performances on the radio, Barney Rapp, a well-known musician and orchestra leader contacted the aspiring singer and offered her to work with him as a vocalist. It was at that time that Doris adopted the name “Doris Day”.

At the peak of her career, Doris Day focused her attention on acting and took over Hollywood in a very short period. She began her film career during the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood. In her first role, she starred in the 1948 musical drama Romance on the High Seas.

Besides becoming one of the biggest film stars of the 20th century, Doris Day easily accumulated many awards thanks to her enchanting singing abilities and mesmerizing acting skills. Among some of her many achievements are ten Laurel Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and one Grammy Award.

Her very first song, “Sentimental Journey” was released in early 1945 and soon, it became a worldwide hit. That same year, Doris continued to release more hit singles such as “My Dreams Are Getting Bigger All The Time”, “Till the End of Time”, and “Aren’t You Glad You Are You?”, all of which were released while Doris was part of the successful Les Brown band.

“The happiest times in my life were the days when I was traveling with Les Brown and his band,” Doris Day has said.

The association with Les Brown and Bob Hope played an important part in Doris Day’s wealth. Simultaneously with singing with Brown’s band, Doris also appeared for almost two years on the weekly radio program of Bob Hope. She also toured the United States to further promote her work. The performance of her song “Embraceable You” really impressed the songwriter, Jule Styne, and Sammy Cahn. The couple eventually recommended her for a role in what would be her film debut – Romance on the High Seas, released in 1948.

After her well-received and impressive performance in the musical drama, Doris received a lot more acting roles. At the same time, she not only took part in several films but also began releasing her own studio albums.

In August 1949, she released her debut album You’re My Thrill, issued with the record label Columbia Records. The album was met with positive reviews by the music critics and entered many album charts, including the US Billboard 200 where it peaked at number 9. That same year, she took part in the musical comedies My Dream Is Yours and It’s a Great Feeling.

Towards the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, Doris Day continued to build her legacy. In just 20 years, from 1947 to 1967, she recorded more than 650 recordings, and from 1949 to 2011, she released 32 studio albums. During her five decade long career in the entertainment business, Doris Day also starred in some of the most classic films of the century such as Calamity’s Jane, The Thrills of All, and Lovers Come Back among many others.

After starring in more than 15 movies as well as releasing 10 well-received studio albums in the early 1950s, Doris Day hit the peak of her career. She enjoyed it so much that she once said, “Sometimes I think I should have stayed longer and I should have done more films.”

In 1955, she became known primarily as a musical-comedy actress, although she did receive a lot of praise for her roles in more dramatic productions. One of her most fascinating roles at that time was the role of Ruth Etting in the 1955 drama Love Me or Leave Me. Day’s performance not only had commercial and critical success but it was also compared to Laurette Taylor’s performance in The Glass Menagerie – one of the greatest American performances.

In the late 1950s, the actress continued to make a name for herself. Her performances in the films The Man Who Knew Too Much, Julie, and The Pajama Game not only helped her gain more exposure but earned her several awards and nominations. For the first, she received her first Academy Award in the category of “Best Original Song” (for the song “Que Sera, Sera”). Her career skyrocketed in 1959 after she starred in the classic Pillow Talk. For reprising the role of Jan Marrow, the actress received her first (and only) Oscar nomination in the category of “Best Actress”.

Day’s Total Net Worth

Doris Day earned a tremendous amount during her career, in fact, when adjusting for inflation she earned around $195 million, or about $23 million by 1968. Unfortunately, when her husband Martin Melcher died that year there was revealed more dreadful news. It seems that Melcher, and a business manager, were not strategically investing her earnings, instead they had lost some $20 million, the equivalent of $170 million in 2022 dollars. Instead of realizing investment returns she was landed with debts to pay in the region of $500,000, or around $4.3 million in today’s dollars.

In not too long, her son Terry, who had become rich as a music executive took her for a walk in Beverly Hills and explained that “it wasn’t nearly the end of it” and that it would take quite some doing to mount a recovery. Doris Day was not just going to lay down however, it included her going back to working in TV, she said that “the thought of going into TV was overpowering.” However that is exactly what she did.

According to an interview she gave to OK magazine in 1996, Doris said: “It was awful. I was really, really not very well when Marty pass away, he’d signed me up for a series. I had also been signed up for TV specials, all without anyone ever asking me.”

It did work out in the end however and being paid around the equivalent of $100,000 per episode on the The Doris Day Show she began to manage her finances and make new investments. With the help of her son Terry, she eventually built up a valuable real estate portfolio with various luxury properties in Los Angeles. Ten years after her major financial disturbance that left her in debt, she received a settlement of $27 million dollars after a judge ruled against a previous business manager in the management of her assets. Today, that amount is the equivalent of $123 million. However, Day would never see the majority of that money. The business manager did not have that kind of money to pay, despite the judgement. In the end, some of the amount was collected from insurance companies that Day was covered by and she continued on The Doris Day Show until 1973.

Through careful investment and the management of her new wealth. At the time of her death in 2019, her assets are estimated to have grown to an estimated $100 million.


Often considered to be one of the greatest and most iconic actresses of the 20th century, Doris Day quickly took over the world with her stunning beauty, incredible acting skills, and fantastic abilities to sing. The legend spent more than 50 years in the entertainment business and to this day, she remains one of the eminent names in Hollywood.

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