Published: Tue, May 14, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Hollywood legend Doris Day has died aged 97

Hollywood legend Doris Day has died aged 97

Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in 60s films, has died, her foundation says.

Legendary actress, singer, and philanthropist Doris Day passed away early Monday morning at the age of 97.

Doris Day, an actress and singer whose career and activism endured from the 1930s, has died, according to multiple sources.

Her first hit came at age 15, when she recorded "Sentimental Journey" with Les Brown's band.

In 2011 Day made United Kingdom chart history when she became the oldest woman to score a top 10 album. Day was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1959 film "Pillow Talk" with Rock Hudson.

Her business manager and close friend Bob Bashara tells PEOPLE Day "was fine at her birthday party" which she celebrated in April. Day was an accomplished singer, winning a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Legend Award from the Society of Singers. The league continues to lobby on behalf of animal rights, while the foundation operates as an animal welfare charity.

Arguably her most famous role, as Calamity Jane. But a successful singing career turns into much more after a recurring guest spot on The Bob Hope Pepsodent Show landed her a career in the movies.

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The star's last major hit in the USA, it is notable for the third verse - where Day's performance of the first and second verses superimposed, creating the illusion she's singing with herself.

Her screen partnership with Rock Hudson was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950s and '60s.

'I know many of you there have also experienced similar loss to mine, ' she added.

Her last film was Caprice in 1967; she left Hollywood after this. She did lend her voice to an episode of the series "The Governor & J.J." in 1970, but her only other major on-camera appearances - outside of sparse interviews - were hosting gigs related to her love of animals: "The Pet Set" (1971) and "Doris Day's Best Friends" (1985-1986). That song and "Que Sera Sera" would be her biggest hits.

She had one child, music producer Terry Melcher by her third husband, but he sadly died from melanoma in 2004. CBS's 1968-73 The Doris Day Show never rose above the level of being a poor man's Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Day herself was highly critical of it.

Day married a fourth time at age 52, to businessman Barry Comden in 1976.

At 17, Day married Al Jorden, a trombone player who she later claimed beat her.

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