Doris Day Dead - Legendary Actress Passes Away at 97

Actress and singer Doris Day dies aged 97

Actress Doris Day, who became one of the greatest box-office attractions of her time as the cheery, freckle-faced personification of wholesomeness, died on Monday at the age of 97, her foundation said today. "She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed".

She was best known for singing "Que Sera, Sera" and her movies "The Man Who Knew Too Much" in 1956 or "Calamity Jane" in 1953.

Along with her vast body of work in Hollywood, Day is also remembered for her role on television.

"Doris had a wonderful jazz vibrato voice and could have been one of the top jazz singers", said Frankie Laine, who sang a duet with Day on Sugarbush.

Doris starred in Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson in 1959. Younger readers will also know Doris for her role on The Doris Day Show, which ran from 1968 to 1973.

In 1948, she made her first film, Romance On The High Seas - the first of a string of hits that later included Calamity Jane, Love Me Or Leave Me and Please Don't Eat the Daisies. She was 97 years old. In 2004, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in recognition of her service to her country and the needs of others. Friends and supporters lobbied for years to get her an honorary Oscar. She took singing lessons and began appearing on local radio. A bandleader changed her name to Day, after the song "Day after Day", to fit it on a marquee. She revealed the bombshell in her tell-all and said she only discovered this after he died.

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Day was briefly a vocalist for Bob Crosby's big band before settling into a long job with Les Brown's band in 1940.

With his wife's film career in decline due to mediocre movies he initiated, husband Melcher began to explore options on TV despite her opposition. She sings "Que Sera, Sera" just as the story reaches its climax and viewers are beside themselves with suspense. Day starred alongside Clark Gable in Teacher's Pet, David Niven in Please, Don't Eat the Daisies, Cary Grant in That Touch of Mink, James Garner in The Thrill of It All and Move Over Darling, and more.

For all of her acclaim as an actress, Doris Day said her days as a big band singer were "the happiest times in my life".

Her last film was Caprice in 1967; she left Hollywood after this.

Her only child - Terry - who she had with Jorden, died of cancer in 2004.

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