Inside Cathy Timberlake's Apartment (That Touch of Mink) - Doris Day Blogathon

It might be easier to name a Doris Day movie interior that I don't envy and want to emulate should I ever own a house, because let me tell you, Cathy Timberlake's New York City apartment from That Touch of Mink is definitely up there!

This post is part of a tribute for Doris Day's 100th birthday, for the Sixth Annual Doris Day Blogathon, hosted by Love Letters to Old Hollywood. Make sure you click through to read all the posts! 


In the movie That Touch of Mink, Doris Day and Audrey Meadows share a chic, small New York City apartment. It's pretty nondescript, something that two career girls (well, one waitress, anyways, as Doris Day's character is unemployed throughout the film) could eke out the rent for, but it's got its own charm. 

Let's talk about That Touch of Mink. It starred Doris and Cary Grant in their first and only pairing. In her autobiography, Doris Day: Her Own Story, she wrote that she got to know him least out of all her leading men. "He is a completely private person, totally reserved, and there is no way into him. Our relationship on That Touch of Mink was amicable but devoid of give-and-take," and, since he served as a producer, he was heavily involved in every aspect of the shoot. He even chose the doorknobs, insisting that they had to be changed because the chosen emerald green-inset knobs were too ostentatious for his character. 

Doris said about working with him: "Not that he wasn't friendly and polite - he certainly was. But distant. Very distant. But very professional – maybe the most professional, exacting actor I ever worked with. In the scenes we played, he concerned himself with every little detail: clothes, sets, production values, the works. Cary even got involved in helping to choose the kind of mink I was slated to wear in the film."

I know myself enough to know that there's no way I would've been able to live in an apartment set-up like this, not even with my best friend, but there's still something I love about this. It's so girlish and practical, but at the same time, makes me think of having big dreams and trying to achieve career goals? Also, you know me, so I've got my eyes on that yellow rotary telephone. 

That Touch of Mink is one of Doris's '60s sex comedies—though I'd argue that her best movies were with Rock Hudson and James Garner, in that order—all about how Cary Grant is looking for a sex partner and Doris Day is looking for marriage. The whole movie is will-they-won't-they in New York, in Bermuda, back in New York, then back in Bermuda, then back in New York once more. 

Fun fact: Rock Hudson's name appears on a list of potential husbands for Doris's character. 

I love that clock and the plant. I keep thinking that I should get more greenery for my apartment, but I've only ever managed to keep cactuses going. 

Audrey Meadows is best known for her role in The Honeymooners as Alice (as in "One of these days, Alice" and "To the moon, Alice, to the moon!") but she got her role in That Touch of Mink through Cary Grant, who loved the show. 

I love the little vanity set-up in the corner of their bedroom. Makes it seem that much more chic. 

Speaking of chic, That Touch of Mink was a bonafide hit at the box office. It won Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) at the Golden Globes that year and was fourth at the box office overall. But let's be honest here: any movie that Doris Day made in this period of her career was no doubt going to be a certified hit. Her salary for this movie was reportedly $750,000 while Cary Grant, one of Hollywood's titans, received $600,000, but got a percentage of the box office. This was his first hit movie in years, and sort of sparked a revival of his career, that saw him make Father Goose, Charade, and Walk, Don't Run.

Another angle of their shared vanity, with the fun lamps and blue pots. 

A set of books behind Doris, and a creepy-looking clown. 

A typical mid-century bathroom, complete with icy pastels of blue, pink and yellow throughout. 

This is Cathy Timberlake once she's gotten a makeover by Cary Grant, complete with a personal fashion show at Bergdorf Goodman's. I love the wardrobe. I also love that little table in the corner; and the touches of blue throughout the apartment they share. 

One of my favourite Letterboxd reviews of That Touch of Mink is by Sara Clements, who wrote: "One day I’ll make a list of all the old movies that feature a fashion show for absolutely no reason." I'm waiting on that list, Sara!

See all of the clothing boxes strewn around the living room? Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman. 

Another favourite, and accurate, Letterboxd review: "Honestly a bit boring and very long, her friendship with her bestie is wholesome though (and I love the scene with the coats)."

Look at the little settee! 

Why were creepy portraits of children (with or without big eyes) so popular in the mid-century? Somebody explain. How could you sleep with a painting that looks like it could come to life and steal your soul in the room? 

The lamp! The radio and record player, the shelf that holds records. 

Another view of their entryway, with Audrey Meadows and Gig Young talking to Doris in one of the movie's will-they-won't-they moments. 

That Touch of Mink is fun, long, and fashionable, and though it's no Doris Day/Rock Hudson sex comedy, it's still a great watch! 


I took all the screencaps in this post.


  1. I greatly enjoyed your write-up! I loved the clock (I have a thing for clocks) and the beautiful blue pots, too, as well as the positioning of the beds, which lends itself to lots of late-night gossiping! I also love the sconces -- they're just like the ones in the apartment that my daughters share!

  2. What a fun post! One of my favorite things to do while watching a classic movie is drool over the sets (it can also be depressing, though, once you remind yourself that your own living quarters will probably never look as good!). That Touch of Mink definitely has issues, but it has its upsides too, particularly the aesthetics and the friendship of Day and Meadows. I might even argue that Meadows often steals the show!

    Thanks for participating in my event!

  3. As many times as I've seen this one, I've never really paid attention to the interior details. Thanks so much for pointing them out! As a long time fan of Cary Grant, I watched this numerous times when I was younger. But after seeing it again recently I didn't love it as much as I remembered. Doris of course is great, but it kind of felt like Cary phoned in his performance. He didn't seem as engaged and open on screen as in his earlier films. My favorite parts are Gig Young's sessions in his psychiatrist's office. The gag at the end of the movie between the two of them is hilarious.

    1. Agreed. Day is doing most of the heavy lifting. Grant looks a little bored (maybe he started thinking about retiring). But, Day is indeed great, and the movie looks great!

  4. It's been a while since I've seen this film, but I'll be looking more closely at the fab sets & wardrobe now that I've read your review. (Your review is just as fun as the film, BTW.)

    P.S. That yellow phone! It's a must have!

  5. Great review--this movie definitely looks intriguing. And I like the bit about pointless fashion shows in movies. Might make a good blogathon theme. :-)


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