Laraine Day

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Laraine Day, late Mormon film star

Laraine Day (nee Johnson) was an American actress and MGM contract star. She was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Day was born October 13, 1920, in Roosevelt, Utah, to a prominent Mormon family. The family moved to Southern California when Laraine was a teenager, and she became a member of the Long Beach Players. She obtained small roles in films in the late 1930's under several stage names. In 1939 she signed with MGM, going on to become popular and well-known as "Nurse Mary Lamont", the love-interest in a string of seven "Dr. Kildare" movies beginning with Calling Dr. Kildare (1939), with Lew Ayres in the title role. MGM never gave her the starring roles her talent warranted. Her best and most challenging roles came when she contracted with other studios. These roles included My Son, My Son! in 1940, the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Foreign Correspondent the same year, and The Locket in 1946. She played opposite major film stars, such as Robert Mitchum, Joel McCrea, Lana Turner, Cary Grant, and John Wayne. When television became a viable income source, Day found the small screen more inviting and less time-consuming than making movies, and she became primarily a TV actress. She hosted a TV show alternately called Daydreaming with Laraine or The Laraine Day Show (1951).

Day was married to Ray Hendricks from 1942 to 1947, then to the baseball manager Leo Durocher from 1947 to 1960. During her marriage to Durocher, she was a spokeswoman for the sport of baseball. While Durocher was managing the New York Giants, she wrote, Day With the Giants (1952). [1] Day married producer Michael Grilikhes in 1960 and went into semi-retirement, focusing on her family, which included two daughters with Grilikhes, two adopted children with Ray Hendricks, and one son and one daughter with Durocher. However, she continued taking occasional guest roles on TV series -- Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote, etc. -- through the mid-1980s. Her marriage to Grilikhes lasted over forty years. She moved back to Utah in 2007 after his death. She died on November 10, 2007, in Ivins, Utah, at the age of 87. [2]

The IMDb website reports this quote from Laraine Day: "I recall playing practical jokes with John Wayne. I once got a whole bunch of keys and had little tags made that said, 'If lost, please return to John Wayne, RKO Studios. Reward.' And I just dropped them all over town. [He got a lot of] phone calls, people showing up at the studio. He never learned who did it." [3]

Laraine Day has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6676 Hollywood Blvd., which she received in 1960.