Iconic American actress and singer Doris Day dies aged 97

Brenda Watkins
May 14, 2019

Written mainly with Bruce Johnston and her son Terry Melcher, the pieces were meant to serve as background music for segments on her Doris Day's Best Friends TV show in the mid-1980s.

Doris Day, the sunny blond actress and singer whose frothy comedic roles opposite the likes of Rock Hudson and Cary Grant made her one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the 1950s and '60s and a symbol of wholesome American womanhood, died Monday. "Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death".

Her 1976 tell-all book, "Doris Day: Her Own Story", chronicled her money troubles and three failed marriages, contrasting with the happy publicity of her Hollywood career.

In addition to her screen appearances, Doris released 29 studio albums across her career with her hits Secret Love and Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Será Será) reached Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart.

Born in Cincinnati in 1922 as Doris Mary Ann Kappeloff, Day had dreams to become a professional dancer, until an injury in a vehicle crash hurt her chances of breaking into that business. "She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed".

Perhaps Doris Day's most famous romantic turn was in 1959's Pillow Talk, which paired her with Rock Hudson, and that's because it was regarded as quite the steamy sex comedy at the time.

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Despite withdrawing from the limelight 30 years ago, and giving her final interview in 1994, Day remained an endlessly popular cinema figure whose works continue to inspire. In 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in recognition of her service to her country and the needs of others. The league continues to lobby on behalf of animal rights, while the foundation operates as an animal welfare charity. She did some dramatic and more ambiguous roles too, but later wrote in her memoir that fans struggled to accept her in them.

Each of Doris Day's musicals only bolstered her career in the recording industry too. That song and "Que Sera Sera" would be her biggest hits. "I want to wear handsome clothes and look pretty", the actress was once quoted as saying.

Her last film was Caprice in 1967; she left Hollywood after this.

"She was a wonderful friend to us and a lovely and very talented lady", singer Tony Bennett said on Twitter. Her only child, son Terry, was born in 1942, and the couple divorced the following year.

New success came, however, with "The Doris Day Show" on television, which ran for four seasons.

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