Laraine Day, American actress, Died at 87

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Laraine Day died on November 10, 2007 at the age of 87; she was an American actress and a former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract star.

Born La Raine Johnson in Roosevelt, Utah, one of eight children in an affluent Mormon family.

She had a twin brother, Lamar. The family later moved to California where she began her acting career with the Long Beach Players.

In 1939 she signed with MGM, and became popular and well-known (billed as Laraine Day) as “Nurse Mary Lamont”, the title character’s fiancee in a string of seven “Dr. Kildare” movies beginning with Calling Dr. Kildare (1939), with Lew Ayres in the title role.

She was paired opposite major film stars, including Lana Turner, Cary Grant, and John Wayne, and hosted a TV show alternately called Daydreaming With Laraine or The Laraine Day Show (1951).

During a time when she had a break in her film career she made her stage debut opposite Gregory Peck in the national theatre tour of Angel Street.

She also made other stage appearances in Lost Horizon, the 1973 revival of The Women, and a revival of The Time of the Cuckoo.

In C. David Heymann’s 2009 book “Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story” it claimed that Laraine had at one time been a lover of John F. Kennedy during the 1950s.

Laraine’s children sued Heymann on slander charges claiming that their mother never had any kind of an intimate relationship with Kennedy based on the fact that she strongly believed in the concept of marital union with her three husbands and that during the time he held office Laraine wasn’t a supporter of his administration based on both his sexual escapades and liberal policies.

Day’s first marriage was to singer turned airport executive, James Ray Hendricks in 1942.

The couple adopted three children: Christopher, Angela and Michelle.

Day filed for divorce from Hendricks in December 1946.

Day was granted an interlocutory divorce from Hendricks on January 20, 1947, which required her to wait one year before remarrying.

A very patriotic woman, she displayed the American flag outside her home every day of the year.

On days when the weather was unfit for the flag to be displayed outdoors she hung it within her home.

During her time in Hollywood, she hosted a big BBQ at her home every July 4 and invited not just her family but many of her friends from the acting world.

She was also active with the VFW as well as such organizations as The Red Cross and Paralyzed Veterans of America to name a few.

In the 1950s, Day became a board member for SHARE, Inc., an organization that aids women and children suffering from developmental disabilities.

She remained active as a chairwoman until her death and in her will stipulated that in lieu of flowers that donation be sent there in her memory.

During her marriage to Mr. Durocher (who died in 1991), she was the host of “Day With the Giants,” a 15-minute television interview program broadcast before New York Giants home games.

She published a book in 1952 about her experiences as a baseball wife, also titled “Day with the Giants.”

 

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