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Barry Comden, ex-husband of Doris Day, dies at 74

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | 5:12 p.m. CDT; updated 5:40 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Barry Comden, a maitre d' at a Beverly Hills restaurant, became the fourth husband of singer-actress Doris Day. Comden died of heart failure on May 25 in Los Angeles, according to his son.

LOS ANGELES — Barry Comden, a maitre d' at a Beverly Hills restaurant who became the fourth husband of singer-actress Doris Day and later complained that he took second place to her many dogs, has died. He was 74.

Comden died May 25 of heart failure at his Los Angeles home, said his son, Danny.

Comden was previously divorced and working at the Beverly Hills Old World Restaurant in 1976 when he married Day, a favorite customer. She was in her 50s and a dozen years his senior.

(Click here for a YouTube video of Doris Day and her friends talking about Day.)

The couple bought a home in scenic Carmel on the California coast in 1978 but soon separated. They were divorced in 1981 and had no children.

Day once said the couple were "just incompatible."

Comden told the London Sunday Mail in 1996 that Day, a famous animal lover, preferred her dogs.

"She had 14 dogs, and the final straw was when I was kicked out of bed to make way for Tiger, a poodle," Comden said.

Comden never remarried.

He preferred to remain a "quintessential bachelor" and a "charismatic, fun-loving guy" whose main interests were "women and golf," his son said.

In addition to his son, Comden is survived by two daughters, Susannah and Maude, and a sister, Ellen Lichterman.


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Comments

Dr B J Griffin PhD September 7, 2009 | 6:57 a.m.

Hello, and my condolences...

Barry and I dated for a brief period.

Aside from being a handsome gentleman... He weilded a spectacular and brilliant personality.

We met at Stellini's, through a mutual acquaintance, (an Italian restaurant/bar,) in the Valley.

During that time, I resided in Glendale, CA.

I was employed as a flight attendant in Long Beach, CA; a student at UCLA, and additionally, worked as a p/t model/actress... in the latter part of 1997, when we became acquainted.

I truly enjoyed our time together.

He is truly missed.

May God bless and keep his family, friends and associates.

B.J. Griffin, PhD

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