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LA Film Critics Pick Date, Honor Doris Day with Career Achievement Award

LA Film Critics Pick Date, Honor Doris Day with Career Achievement Award

Thompson on Hollywood

Now that the New York Film Critics have jumped ahead of the pack by voting on November 28, the LA Film Critics Association have selected their date, which is comfortably late: December 11. (The Hollywood Foreign Press Association screening deadline is December 7.) This means the LA critics want to have ample time to see all the year-end films they can before voting. (Why not wait until December 30?)

The winners will be announced via Twitter (@LAFilmCritics) and press release. Plaques of recognition will be presented to winners during LAFCA’s 37th annual awards ceremony in mid-January, where the LAFCA will give their 2011 annual life achievement award to actress/singer Doris Day (bio below).

Still one of the top box office performers of all time, Doris Day starred onscreen alongside some of the biggest male stars of her day, including Clark Gable, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, David Niven and of course Rock Hudson. Her screen credits include Calamity Jane, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Tunnel of Love, Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back and That Touch of Mink. Her career as a singer was just as impressive; indeed, Day received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2008. She released more than two dozen albums, experiencing Billboard chart success and in 1957 winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Que Sera Sera,” which would become her signature tune. A passionate animal rights activist for several decades, Day just this year released an album of jazz standards and cover tunes produced by her late son, Terry Melcher, her first new material in more than four decades.

Said LAFCA president Brent Simon:

“Decades on from the main body of her work, Doris Day is still arguably the template to which Hollywood turns when trying to quantify and capture ‘girl-next-door’ appeal,” said Brent Simon. “Equally at home in snappish romantic comedies and more dramatic fare, Day was the biggest female star of the 1960s, giving a series of delightfully perceptive performances. LAFCA is thrilled to be able to honor her.”

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Bio Correction: Doris Day did not win the Oscar for Best Song for “Que Sera Sera.” Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, who actually wrote the song, won Oscars for it. The singer gets the Oscar only if he/she wrote or co-wrote the Best Song.

In any event, Doris Day deserves whatever honors and accolades can be given to her. She was a remarkable comic actress–just watch PILLOW TALK and LOVER COME BACK to see her at her peak–as well as a fine dramatic actress (check her out in STORM WARNING and YOUNG AT HEART). She’s always gotten a demeaning rap as the “girl next door,” when the range of her roles was so much wider than that. She wasn’t so easily labeled when you’ve actually seen her films.

Hollywood cinema suffered when she retired. I think she could have played some awesome roles in middle age.


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