Doris Day died: Hollywood actress and singer, dies aged 97

Doris old picture 1976

Doris Day, a Hollywood charming star who achieved incredible fame in the 20th century, she got an iconic career filled with decades worth of acting and singing, passed away on Monday aging 97.

Day left life surrounded by her close friends at her home in California near Carmel Valley.

She was best known for her thoughtful song “Que Sera, Sera” basically meaning in french: “what will happen, is gonna happen”. And her foundation “Doris Day Animal Foundation”.

The death of her was surprising, as her foundation said that she had been in excellent physical health for the age she’s in, but recently she contracted a serious case of pneumonia, according to the foundation.

Day turned 97 on April 3rd of this year.

Day had some big records from her singing career that topped the charts. She recorded her first hit “Sentimental Journey” with bandleader Les Brown in 1945. About a decade later she released her famous record “Que Sera, Sera” which Day performed in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 thriller “The Man Who Knew Too Much”.

On the other shelf of her career, Day also made her home in the big screen, with her contribution into more than 30 movies.

Her best-known screen works include: “Pillow Talk” in 1959, “The Man Who Knew Too Much” in 1956, “Love Me or Leave Me” in 1955, “Calamity Jane” in 1953 and “Lover Come Back” in 1960.

portrait of doris day 1960
Doris Day circa 1960 – Bettmann Archive

“During her three decades of work in film, Day starred in nearly every genre, not just as a singer/dancer but as an actress with superb comic timing, a natural talent for interpreting a role and a gift for evoking emotion,” her foundation said.

Doris Day was a big deal in Hollywood at that time, she was the first star many of American’s Baby Boom generation ever knew.

“For those of us in my generation, Doris Day was synonymous with Hollywood icon,” actor George Takei said in a statement. “She would no doubt remind us, upon this day of her passing, ‘Que sera sera,’ but we will miss her dearly anyway. Rest now in our hearts forever, Ms. Day.”

In her romantic life, things wern’t going as well as her fame, she was married four times, which conflicted with her squeaky-clean public and big-screen persona.

“Doris Day: Her Own Story” a book released in 1976 about her personal life described how very complicated her life was.

“I have the unfortunate reputation of being Miss Goody Two-Shoes, America’s Virgin, and all that, so I’m afraid it’s going to shock some people for me to say this, but I staunchly believe no two people should get married until they have lived together,” she wrote.

By the time she stated that, she already had three unsuccessful marriages, which came with sadness and sorrow to her and so she expressed herself by saying couples should live together before walking down the walkway.

Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff was born on April 3rd, 1922, in Cincinnati, the child of mother Alma Sophia Welz and dad Frederick Wilhelm Von Kappelhoff, who was a music teacher.

Her first name was inspired from the actress Doris Kenyon. She was the youngest of three kids.

Besides the singing and acting career of her, she also made it in the post-entertainment career, which Day directed most of her energy into animal rights, through her Doris Day Animal Foundation.

President George Bush declared that it was “a good day for America when Doris Marianne von Kappelhoff of Evanston, Ohio decided to become an entertainer.”

Although she never won an Oscar, Day was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 by president Bush.