Hollywood Star Doris Day Dies At 97

Hollywood actress and singer Doris Day died at her California home at the age of 97.

The Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed the legendary Hollywood star died early on Monday, May 13th, 2019  surrounded by her close friends at her home in Carmel Valley.

Day, who starred as Calamity Jane in the 1953 film, "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia", according to her foundation.

She was known as a honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and 60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history.

Day's lilting voice, wholesome blond beauty and ultra-bright smile brought her a string of hits, first on records, and then later in Hollywood.

She turned 97 on April 3, and Day told the Hollywood Reporter she celebrated all week with "dear old friends out of town" and enjoyed "quiet dinners".

The Hollywood icon has been intensely private since retiring from acting, last appearing in public 30 years ago to accept an award at the 1989 Gold Globes.

Her final TV interview was shown to the world in 1994, and since then her only publicity has come through a smattering of interviews.

Day never won an Academy Award, but  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.

Born to a music teacher and a housewife, she had dreamed of a dance career, but at age 12, she suffered a crippling accident: a car she was in was hit by a train and her leg was badly broken.

Listening to the radio while recuperating, she began singing along with Ella Fitzgerald, "trying to catch the subtle ways she shaded her voice, the casual yet clean way she sang the words."

Day began singing in a Cincinnati radio station, then a local nightclub, then in New York. A bandleader changed her name to Day, after the song "Dayafter Day," to fit it on a marquee.

A marriage at 17 to trombonist Al Jorden ended when, she said, he beat her when she was eight months pregnant. She gave birth to her son, Terry, in early 1942. Her second marriage also was short-lived.

She returned to Les Brown's band after the first marriage broke up.

Her Hollywood career began after she sang at a Hollywood party in 1947. After early stardom as a band singer and a stint at Warner Bros, Day won the best notices of her career with "Love Me or Leave Me," the story of songstress Ruth Etting and her gangster husband-manager.

She initially balked at it, but the 1955 film became a box-office and critical success.

She followed with another impressive film, Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much," starring her and James Stewart as an innocent couple ensnared in an international assassination plot. She sings "Que Sera, Sera" just as the story reaches its climax and viewers are beside themselves with suspense.

The 1958 comedy "Teacher's Pet" paired her with an aging Clark Gable as an idealistic college journalism teacher and her student, an old-school newspaper editor.

But she found her greatest success in slick, stylish sex comedies, beginning with her Oscar-nominated role in "Pillow Talk." She and Hudson were two New Yorkers who shared a telephone party line and initially hated each other.

She followed with "The Thrill of It All," playing a housewife who gains fame as a TV pitchwoman to the chagrin of obstetrician husband James Garner.

The nation's theatre owners voted her the top moneymaking star in 1960, 1962, 1963 and 1964.

Watch a clip of her film below;

Below are Doris Day's films | And her leading men
1948 - Romance on the High Seas (Jack Carson)

1949 - My Dream Is Yours (Jack Carson); It's a Great Feeling (Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson)

1950 - Young Man with a Horn (Kirk Douglas); Tea for Two (Gordon MacRae); The West Point Story (James Cagney)

1951 - Storm Warning (Ronald Reagan); Lullaby of Broadway (Gene Nelson); On Moonlit Bay (Gordon MacRae); Starlift (cameo)

1952 - I'll See You in My Dreams (Danny Thomas); The Winning Team (Ronald Reagan)

1953 - April in Paris (Ray Bolger); By the Light of the Silvery Moon (Gordon MacRae); Calamity Jane (Howard Keel)

1954 - Lucky Me (Robert Cummings)

1955 - Young at Heart (Frank Sinatra); Love Me or Leave Me (James Cagney)

1956 - The Man Who Knew Too Much (James Stewart); Julie (Louis Jourdan).

1957 - The Pajama Game (John Raitt)

1958 - Teacher's Pet (Clark Gable); Tunnel of Love (Richard Widmark)

1959 - It Happened to Jane (Jack Lemmon); Pillow Talk (Rock Hudson)

1960 - Please Don't Eat the Daisies (David Niven); Midnight Lace (Rex Harrison)

1962 - Lover Come Back (Rock Hudson); That Touch of Mink (Cary Grant); Billy Rose'sJumbo (Stephen Boyd).

1963 - The Thrill of It All (James Garner); Move Over Darling (James Garner)

1964 - Send Me No Flowers (Rock Hudson)

1965 - Do Not Disturb (Rod Taylor)

1966 - Glass Bottom Boat (Rod Taylor)

1967 - Caprice (Richard Harris); Ballad of Josie (Peter Graves)

1968 - Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (Robert Morse)

1969 - With Six You Get Egg Roll (Brian Keith)

Her first musical hit was the 1945 smash, "Sentimental Journey," when she was barely in her 20s. Among the other songs she made famous were "Everybody Loves a Lover," "Secret Love," and "It's Magic," a song from "Romance on the High Seas," her first film.

Critic Gary Giddins called her "the coolest and sexiest female singer of slow-ballads in movie history."

"Romance on the High Seas" had been designed for Judy Garland, then Betty Hutton. Both bowed out, and Day, recommended by songwriters Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, won the role.

Warner Bros. cashed in on its new star with a series of musicals, including "My Dream Is Yours," "Tea for Two" and "Lullaby of Broadway."

Her dramas included "Young Man with a Horn," with Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall, and "Storm Warning," with Ronald Reagan and Ginger Rogers.

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.

With movies trending for more explicit sex, she turned to television to recoup her finances. "The Doris Day Show" was a moderate success in its 1966-1973 run on CBS.

Disillusionment grew in the 1960s when she discovered that failed investments by her third husband, Martin Melcher, left her deeply in debt. She eventually won a multimillion-dollar judgment against their lawyer.

She had married Melcher, who worked in her agent's office, in 1951. He became her manager, and her son took his name. In most of the films following "Pillow Talk," Melcher was listed as co-producer. Melcher died in 1969.

In her autobiography, Day recalled her son, Terry Melcher, telling her the $20 million she had earned had vanished and she owed around $450,000, mostly for taxes.

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.

Terry Melcher, who died in 2004, became a songwriter and record producer, working with such stars as the Beach Boys. But he was also famous for an aspiring musician he turned down, Charles Manson.

When Manson and his followers embarked on their murderous rampage in 1969, they headed for the house once owned by Melcher and instead came upon actress Sharon Tate and some visitors, all of whom were killed.

Day married a fourth time at age 52, to businessman Barry Comden in 1976. She lived in Monterey, California, devoting much of her time to the DorisDay Animal Foundation.

Hollywood Star Doris Day Dies At 97 Hollywood Star Doris Day Dies At 97 Reviewed by Ultimate Hypermediass on 5/13/2019 09:44:00 am Rating: 5

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