Legendary Actress and Animal Rights Activist Doris Day Dies at 97
Actress Doris Day, who became an icon of wholesome Americana, has died at the age of 97, according to multiple reports.
Her animal rights organization, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, confirmed the news to the Associated Press in a statement Monday.
“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.
Day was known for being America’s sweetheart, starring in classic Hollywood films like Pillow Talk, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Love Me or Leave Me, as well as recording music like the iconic “Que Sera Sera.” At one point in the 1960s, she was the Number One box office star on the planet, People Magazine reports.
The actress also became known as a staple of pop culture memorabilia, with her name referenced in songs like Grease’s 1978 song “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” or Billy Joel’s 1989 hit “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” While Day was a huge star in her time, the actress turned down major accolades over the years, such as a reported honorary Oscar and a Kennedy Center Honor, because of a well-documented fear of flying.
Day was born Doris Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922 in Cincinnati. In recent years, she had thrown herself mostly into a quiet life of animal rights activism after a number of personal tragedies including the 2004 loss of her son Terry Melcher to melanoma.