American actress Laraine Day, born Laraine Johnson, a descendant of a prominent Mormon pioneer leader, moved with her family from Utah to California, where she began her acting career with the Long Beach Players. In 1937 she debuted onscreen in a bit part in Stella Dallas; shortly afterwards she won lead roles in several George O'Brien westerns at RKO, in which she was billed as "Laraine Hays" and then "Laraine Johnson." In 1939 she signed with MGM, going on to become 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); Lew Ayres played Dr. Kildare. During the '40s and '50s she played a variety of leads in medium-budget films made by several studios. She rarely appeared in films after 1960, but later occasionally appeared on TV, portraying matronly types. She was married to famous baseball player Leo Durocher from 1947-60, when she was sometimes referred to as "the first lady of baseball." Her first husband was singer Ray Hendricks, and her third, TV producer Michael Grilkhas. She is the author of a book of memoirs, Day With Giants (1952), and an inspirational book, The America We Love; in the '70s she was the official spokeswoman for the Make America Better program of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, traveling across the country speaking on environmental issues. Day died at age 87 in November 2007.
by Rovi biography