Doris Day, the singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a big star in the 50s and ’60s has died.
The Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed Day died early this morning at her Carmel Valley, California, home. She was surrounded by close friends. The foundation said in a statement,
“Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death.”
She was a top box office draw and recording artist known for films like Pillow Talk and That Touch of Mink and for such songs as Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) from the Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Her ’76 tell-all book, Doris Day: Her Own Story, chronicled her money troubles and failed marriages, in contrast to her Hollywood image.
“I have the unfortunate reputation of being Miss Goody Two-Shoes, America’s Virgin, and all that, so I’m afraid it’s going to shock some people for me to say this, but I staunchly believe no two people should get married until they have lived together.”
In recent years, she spent much of her time advocating for animal rights. Friends and supporters lobbied for years to get her an honorary Oscar but she never took one home.
Her last film was 1968’s With Six You Get Eggroll, a comedy about a widow and a widower and the problems they have when blending their families.
She turned to television to recoup her finances with The Doris Day Show which was a moderate success in ’66-’73 on CBS.
When her co-star and friend, Rock Hudson, was the first major celebrity to publicly come out as having AIDS, she was at his side.
“They had a small plane to get him to the airport. We kissed goodbye and he gave me a big hug and he held onto me. I was in tears. That was the last time I saw him – but he’s in heaven now.”
So is she.
Doris Day was 97.
For more about Day’s incredible life, check out WOW‘s Stephen Rutledge #BornThisDay here.
(Photo, publicity still; via ABC News)