Entertainment News

Legendary star Doris Day dies aged 97

Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in films in the 1960s, has died aged 97.

The actor died early on Monday at her home in Carmel Valley, California, surrounded by close friends, the Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed.

"Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death," the foundation said in an emailed statement.

The foundation also said she requested "no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker".

The honey-voiced singer and actor whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and 1960s was among the most popular screen actresses in history.

With her lilting contralto and beauty, she was a top box office draw and recording artist known for such films as Pillow Talk and for such songs as Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) from the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much.

AE Hotchner, who collaborated with Day on her memoir, said she had a "sweet and sour" existence.

"She was such a positive, absolutely enchanting woman," he told The Associated Press. "And she was so loved."

Paul McCartney, a friend, called Day "a true star in more ways than one".

"Visiting her in her Californian home was like going to an animal sanctuary where her many dogs were taken care of in splendid style," he said in a statement.

"She had a heart of gold and was a very funny lady who I shared many laughs with."

Her 1976 tell-all book, Doris Day: Her Own Story, chronicled her money troubles and three failed marriages.

"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," she wrote.

She never won an Academy Award, but Day was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

In recent years she spent much of her time advocating for animal rights.

Born to a music teacher and a housewife, she had dreamed of a dance career, but at age 12 her leg was badly broken in an accident.

Listening to the radio while recuperating, she began singing along with Ella Fitzgerald, and later began singing in a Cincinnati radio station, then a local nightclub, then in New York.

A bandleader changed her name to Day, after the song Day After Day, to fit it on a marquee.

Singing at a Hollywood party in 1947 led to early stardom and after a stint at Warner Bros, Day won the best notices of her career with Love Me Or Leave Me in 1955.

She followed with another impressive film, Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much and the 1958 comedy Teacher's Pet.

But she found her greatest success in slick, stylish sex comedies, beginning with her Oscar-nominated role in Pillow Talk

© AP 2019

You may also like...