Doris Day, singer, Hollywood star, animal rights activist, dies aged 97
Doris Day in "The Man Who Knew Too Much," 1956) by Alfred Hitchcock, ceded by TCM. EFE
Doris Day in "Tea For Two," 1950 by David Butler, ceded by TCM. EFE
Doris Day and James Stewart in "The Man Who Knew Too Much," 1956 by Alfred Hitchcock ceded by TCM. EFE
Los Angeles (USA), May 13 (efe-epa).- Doris Day, an actress and singer who reached a worldwide audience through her Hollywood films and exceptionally successful recording career before becoming a renowned animal welfare activist, died in California on Monday, aged 97, her foundation said.
Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, who later took the stage surname of Day, was born on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio and began her professional singing career at the age of 15, her foundation said.
"Day passed away early this morning at her Carmel Valley home, having celebrated her 97th birthday on April 3 of this year," the Doris Day Animal Foundation said in a statement. "Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death. She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed," the statement said.
Her fame saw a steady rise as a result of the 1948 movie "Romance on the High Seas," which led her to star in a long series of films that encompassed nearly all genres, from musicals, through comedies to thrillers.
The singer of "Que Sera, Sera" became one of the biggest movie stars of the 1950s and 60s and even today she is considered one the industry's biggest box office successes.
Day cut a memorable image as the lead role in "Calamity Jane" (1953) and starred in Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 drama "The Man Who Knew Too Much" alongside James Stewart.
She worked with a who's-who of leading Hollywood actors, including Cary Grant, Clark Gable, David Niven, Frank Sinatra and Rod Taylor.
Some of her most popular films, which including "Pillow Talk" (1959) for which she received an Oscar nomination, were co-starred with then Hollywood heartthrobs Rock Hudson and James Garner.
Day went on to become a television star in "The Doris Day Show" (1968–1973) after finishing her last Hollywood movie and also gained a huge following as a bestselling singer, recording 29 studio albums.
"Day’s music continues to attract new fans worldwide. The 2011 release of “My Heart,” a compilation of songs never before released, went to No. 1 in the United Kingdom," her foundation's statement said.
Day married four times, of which three unions ended in divorce, and she always maintained a skepticism toward love and romance often saying animals were more reliable companions.
Day began to channel her energies towards animal welfare and in the 1970s set up the Doris Day Animal Foundation.
She was a lifelong defender of the rights of dogs, cats, horses, sea lions, raptors and other animals to lead a life with dignity and helped many which were in need of rescue, veterinary care and adoption.
Her Early Spay Day program has become an international event, with World Spay Day providing thousands of free or reduced-cost spay and neuter surgeries in 75 countries, the foundation said.