One of the world’s most legendary entertainers, famed for her wholesome, girl-next-door image, has died at age 97.
According to a statement from the Doris Day Animal Foundation, Doris Day died this morning (May 13) at her home in Carmel Valley, California, after contracting a serious case of pneumonia.
As an actor, Day (who was born Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio) starred in 39 feature films from 1948 to 1968.
Her extensive film work includes roles in features such as Calamity Jane (1953), Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Pillow Talk (1959) with costar Rock Hudson.
After her film career wrapped up, she starred in the TV sitcom The Doris Day Show from 1968 to 1973.
She began her singing career at age 15 in 1939 and scored her first hit with “Sentimental Journey” (with Les Brown and His Band of Renown) in 1945. Among her most well-known songs was 1956’s “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” and she recorded over 650 songs from the 1940s to the 1960s.
Proving her star power and talents were still going strong, even her 2011 album My Heart made it into the U.K. top 10.
In 1978, Day transformed her interest in animals into activism by launching the national nonprofit Doris Day Animal Foundation to advocate for animal welfare, addressing issues such as animal testing and education about spaying and neutering.