Hollywood Legend Doris Day Dead at 97

Hollywood legend Doris Day dies at age 97

Legendary actress and singer Doris Day dead at 97

Day's foundation told the Associated Press that Doris Day "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia". Her friend goes in her place, which complicates matters as she is being watched by a private detective who is hired by the supposedly-cheating husband who also suspects his wife is unfaithful.

After stepping away from acting, Doris dedicated her life to the welfare of animals. This was the age when musicals transported you into a dreamworld of momentary escape and Doris Day was the wizard of the genre. Those films saw her starring alongside Hollywood hunks such as James Stewart, Rock Hudson and James Garner. Though she never won an Oscar - an ongoing source of outrage among her fans - she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2008.

The death of the retired actress, known for her iconic roles in the late '50s and '60s, was announced by her foundation on Monday 13 May.

She never won an Academy Award, but Day was given a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, as George W. Bush declared it "a good day for America when Doris Marianne von Kappelhoff of Evanston, Ohio made a decision to become an entertainer".

Day is regarded as one of the leading actresses of the '50s and '60s, and was one of the last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, working in 39 films that spanned almost every movie genre.

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The actress was married four times, to musicians Al Jorden (1941-1943) and George Weidler (1946-1949), film producer Martin Melcher (1951-68) and restaurateur Barry Comden (1976-1981).

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.

In music, Day got her start as a big band singer.

"Doris' wishes were that she have no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker", the statement concludes. Day had two stints singing with Les Brown and his big-band musical group, The Band of Renown.

From 1966 to 1973, Day starred as a widowed mother in CBS sitcom The Doris Day Show. Melcher was the adoptive father of her only child - son Terry Melcher, who died of cancer in 2004. It was Melcher's former house that the Manson family visited and murdered Sharon Tate and her friends in.

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