Doris Day, singer and Hollywood icon, dead at 97

Doris Day, the Academy Award-winning singer of “Que Será, Será” and a Golden Age of Hollywood movie icon, died on Monday at 97 from complications of pneumonia, according to her foundation. Day had an enormously popular entertainment career, and is one of the top ranked female box-office stars of all time.

She also hosted the CBS sitcom “The Doris Day Show” from 1968-1973. Day was an accomplished singer, winning a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Legend Award from the Society of Singers. She recorded dozens of albums and saw numerous singles reach Top-10 status, most notably her breakout 1947 hit “Sentimental Journey.” Her gift for song translated onto the big screen, as she performed Academy Award-winning songs “Secret Love” in 1953 and “Que Será, Será” in 1956.

During her acting career, Day worked with some of the biggest stars and most well-known directors of the mid-century period, commonly known as the Golden Age of Hollywood. She starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” with Jimmy Stewart, 1958’s “Teacher’s Pet” with Clark Gable, and 1962’s “That Touch of Mink” with Cary Grant. Day was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1959 film “Pillow Talk” with Rock Hudson.

Along with her vast body of work in Hollywood, Day is also remembered for her role on television. From 1968 to 1973 she starred in “The Doris Day Show” on CBS, a sitcom that ran for five seasons.

Day was born Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the youngest of three children. Her natural talent for music was established early in her life, when she began singing at 15 and received a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1947. Her singing soon led to an acting career and starring roles in 39 films over several decades.

Aside from her accomplished entertainment career, Day was a committed animal welfare activist. She founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Doris Day Animal League and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. Day’s only child, her son Terry Melcher, a musician and music producer, died in 2004.

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