LOS ANGELES: Doris Day, the US screen icon famed for her wholesome, girl-next-door appeal in a string of box office hits, died Monday at age 97, her foundation said.
The Doris Day Animal Foundation said the actress and animal rights activist died at her Carmel Valley, California home, after a short illness.”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 in a statement.
“She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed.”
During much of her career, Day reigned as Hollywood´s top female box office attraction, a darling of an adoring public who snapped up tickets to see her in musicals, comedies, suspense thrillers and westerns.
The perky blonde star, whose career spanned nearly 40 movies from 1948 through 1968, excelled in one particular film genre of the day — the “bedroom farce” — typified by the 1959 hit film “Pillow Talk,” with Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, and James Garner. “Her 39 films – many still incredibly popular and shown frequently today — stand as a testament to her talent,” her foundation said.
Even without her accomplishments as an actress, Doris Day would have been celebrated as a chart-topping vocalist. Her first hit, “Sentimental Journey,” remained among her biggest, along with her signature mega-hit — the classic song “Que Sera Sera” — which she introduced to the world in the 1956 film “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”