Culture&Arts

Hollywood legend Doris Day has died at the age of 97

Hollywood legend Doris Day has died at the age of 97

Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in '60s films, has died. She was aged 97.

Doris Day, an actress and a singer popular through the 1940s to 1960s died May 13, 2019.

Hollywood legend Doris Day has died at the age of 97.

The Foundation told TMZ that Day "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia". She was also nominated for a Best Actress Oscar in 1959 for her role in Pillow Talk, and was given a Lifetime Achievement Golden Globe Award in 1989. And may we all remember Day like this - and remember how blessed we were to have her at all.

Though the increasingly formulaic films were successful, they'd prove to be Day's undoing and make her passé when the counterculture supplanted the "Mad Men" era.

"The more I study human beings", she once said, "the more I love animals".

Dressing to match her megawatt personality led to many colourful looks, as Day became a master of pairing colours.

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"Doris had a wonderful jazz vibrato voice and could have been one of the top jazz singers", said Frankie Laine, who sang a duet with Day on Sugarbush.

Amongst the tributes, George Takei tweeted: "For those of us in my generation, Doris Day was synonymous with Hollywood icon".

"All my life, I have never felt lonely with a dog I loved at my side, no matter how many times I've been alone", she said in her memoir.

Of German parentage, the actress was born Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 3, 1922. She abandoned that dream after her right leg was broken in an auto accident. She famously turned down the opportunity to play Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate because the seduction of a teenage boy "offended my sense of values". It was with Brown that she notched her first hit, 1945's "Sentimental Journey". She only ever garnered just one Oscar nomination for "Pillow Talk". They were together from 1941 to 1943, and had a son, Terrence Paul Jorden, who later was known as Terry Melcher and who went on to become a record producer.

In 2011 Day made United Kingdom chart history when she became the oldest woman to score a top 10 album. "The Doris Day Animal Foundation continues to provide support to smaller rescue organizations nationwide, with a special focus on those assisting senior pets". The sleeve notes for her compilation album A Day at the Movies say she rode a bicycle to the studio, did one take in front of a full live orchestra, and left the musical director "grinning from ear to ear". This eventually evolved into the Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Doris Day Animal League, a pair of non-profits, with the latter focusing on lobbying lawmakers.

Day made her last film in 1968 and transitioned to television, where she starred in The Doris Day Show, which ran until 1973. A facility to rehabilitate abused and neglected horses opened in 2011 in Texas and bears her name.