Published: Mon, May 13, 2019
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Doris Day, known for wholesome 1960s movie roles, dies at 97

Doris Day, known for wholesome 1960s movie roles, dies at 97

Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in 60s films, has died, her foundation says. The foundation said in an emailed statement she was surrounded by close friends and "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia".

In her later years the famed performer focused her efforts on animal welfare activism but it was her screen appearances in the 1950s and 1960s that made her one of the biggest female stars of all time. As a singer in Les Brown's band, she scored a hit with "Sentimental Journey", a defining ballad for servicemen returning from World War II.

Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, the daughter of a Cincinnati music teacher and a homemaker, the crystal-voiced pop soprano changed her name to Day when, as a teen, she began singing on the radio. The Oscar-winning tune became a massive hit and remained Day's signature song throughout her career. She then went to television with "The Doris Day Show" which ran for five seasons and 128 episodes from 1966-1973. The first was Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much", co-starring Jimmy Stewart.

Doris Day, the perennial girl-next-door whose career as a singer and actress spanned nearly 50 years and made her one of the biggest box Hollywood stars and most popular entertainers in the United States has died.

According to the BBC, Doris was a singer turned actress and enjoyed success in films like Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk. She described her first husband as a "psychopathic sadist" who beat her.

Her last film was "With Six You Get Eggroll", a 1968 comedy about a widow and a widower and the problems they have when blending their families.

Day was married four times: Al Jorden (m. 1941; div. 1943), George Weidler (m. 1946; div. 1949), Martin Melcher (m. 1951; died 1968) and Barry Comden (m. 1976; div. 1981). Terry died in 2004 of melanoma, after a long illness.

In 1974, Day won a $22.8 million judgment against Jerome B. Rosenthal, her lawyer and business manager, for mishandling of her and Melcher's assets.

Her Hollywood career began after she sang at a Hollywood party in 1947. That song and "Que Sera Sera" would be her biggest hits.

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