Doris Day, legendary Hollywood actor and singer, passes away at age 97 due to a 'serious case of pneumonia'

FP Staff

May 13, 2019 19:25:10 IST

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 in a statement to US media.

The Doris Day Animal Foundation said Day, who had suffered a bout of pneumonia, died at her California home, surrounded by friends and family, multiple news outlets reported. “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 an emailed statement.

Doris Day, legendary Hollywood actor and singer, passes away at age 97 due to a serious case of pneumonia

Doris Day was a top movie star star in the 1950s and ’60s and among the most popular screen actresses in Hollywood. AP Image.

Doris Day was a top box office draw and recording artist known for such films as Pillow Talk and That Touch of Mink and for songs such as 'Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)' from the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Over time, she became more than a name above the title: Right down to her cheerful, alliterative stage name, she stood for a time of innocence and G-rated love, a parallel world to her contemporary Marilyn Monroe.

In Pillow Talk, released in 1959 and her first of three films with Rock Hudson, she proudly caught up with what she called “the contemporary in me.” Her 1976 tell-all book, “Doris Day: Her Own Story,” chronicled her money troubles and three failed marriages, contrasting with the happy publicity of her Hollywood career.

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 decided to become an entertainer.”

In recent years, she spent much of her time advocating for animal rights. Although mostly retired from show business since the 1980s, she still had enough of a following that a 2011 collection of previously unreleased songs, 'My Heart,' hit the top 10 in the United Kingdom. The same year, she received a lifetime achievement honor from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Friends and supporters lobbied for years to get her an honorary Oscar.

With inputs from Associated Press.

Updated Date: May 13, 2019 19:25:10 IST

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