Hollywood legend and iconic singer Doris Day has died at the age of 97, her foundation has announced.
The Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed that the icon had passed away early Monday morning at her Carmel Valley, California, home.
The foundation says in a statement that Day “had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia.”
Having began her career as a big band singer in 1939, her fame and popularity boomed in 1945 following the release of her first major hit ‘Sentimental Journey’. From there on Day didn’t look back and recorded in excess of 650 songs between 1947 and 1967, cementing herself as one of the most popular and acclaimed singers of the 20th century.
Not content with her rising stock in music, Day began her career in cinema during the latter part of the Classical Hollywood Film era and kicked things off with an appearance in 1948 film Romance on the High Seas, a Michael Curtiz film which was nominated for two Academy Awards.
The film would provide the basis for what would become a hugely successful 20 years as a motion picture actress, starring in acclaimed films such as Calamity Jane in 1953, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1956 and Pillow Talk on 1959 – a film in which Day co-starred alongside Rock Hudson and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Considered one of the major stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, Day appeared in her last film with With Six You Get Eggroll, directed by Howard Morris.
She turned 97 on April 3rd and she told the Hollywood Reporter that she celebrated all week with “dear old friends out of town”.
Away from showbiz, Day was a passionate animal welfare activist and devoted a large part of her life to the cause, raising thousands as part of her foundation.