Tamar Jeffers McDonald’s research on Doris Day features on Great Lives

Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Reader in Film and Head of the School of Arts, has featured on BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives in an instalment on Doris Day, broadcast earlier this week on Tuesday 2 June 2020.

Great Lives is a biographical series in which guests choose someone who has inspired their lives. For this particular episode, the author and journalist Dolly Alderton chose Hollywood actress Doris Day.

The instalment draws upon Tamar’s research expertise on the actress. Her book Doris Day Confidential: Hollywood, Sex and Stardom (Bloomsbury, 2013) examines the star’s reputation for innocence and virginity, even though both Day’s personal life, and the roles she depicted, suggest a woman of maturely sexual desires.

Day did not originally intend to sing or act. In the episode, Tamar reveals some of her background: ‘Doris’s first ambition was to be a dancer, and she was quite well advanced in that even as a child. She was dancing professionally by the time she was 13 when she had a horrible car crash. And it was when she was recovering, listen to the radio, sitting around in her bedroom, that she learnt how to sing.’

To hear the broadcast, with Tamar first introduced at 4’30’, please see the page here: