Fri, 24 May 2019

Doris Day, who turned 97 last month, dies

By Jay Jackson, The Japan News
14 May 2019, 04:16 GMT+10

LOS ANGELES, California - The movie business was in mourning on Monday following the passing of one of Hollywood's best known actresses Doris Day.

Day, who also recorded many hit songs, and starred in a number of blockbuster movies alongside another legend, Rock Hudson, died at her home in Carmel Valley, California on Monday at the age of 97.

A statement from the charity she founded, the Doris Day Animal Foundation said Day had been "in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia."

"With heavy hearts, we share the news that Doris Day passed away peacefully this morning at her home in Carmel, Calif. She had just celebrated her 97th birthday on April 3, and many of you attended birthday events and sent your best wishes from around the globe. She delighted in hearing from you! She was in good physical health to the end, and we are so grateful she was surrounded by friends as she passed," T. Robert Bashara, CFO of the Doris Day Animal Foundatioon said in a separate statement posted on the organisation's Facebook page.

"The world has lost a light today. Doris was not just a darling of song and screen, but a close friend, an inspiration when the world seemed bleak, and a dear, compassionate advocate for her favorite beings on Earth: the 4-leggers," Bashara said.

"Her life's work, her music, her films, and her animal advocacy, comprise an enduring legacy. Fans will continue to laugh at her romantic comedies, admire her dramatic grit, marvel at her pitch and interpretation of so many great, songs. She redefined what it meant to be a girl singer with a Big Band, and she broke the mold for Hollywood starlets. And for so many fans, young and old, the name Doris Day will always make us smile."

"Doris' passionate work on behalf of dogs, cats, horses, sea lions, raptors and other animals in need of rescue, veterinary care and adoption will not end. The Doris Day Animal Foundation is committed to continuing its work as a grant-giving organization, funding smaller animal welfare non-profits across the country," said the foundation's CFO.

"While we grieve Doris' loss, we at DDAF also honor her leadership of more than 40 years. She was truly a voice for the voiceless among us, a bright and beautiful champion for the cause of animal welfare, and a dear, dear friend to us all."

Day’s music continues to attract new fans worldwide. The 2011 release of "My Heart," a compilation of songs never before released, went to No. 1 in the United Kingdom, a separate statement posted on the foundation's website on Monday said.

Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff was born in Cincinatti, Ohio in April 1922. Whilst she was often portrayed as 'the girl next door,' she married four times, and divorced 3 times.

She did not win an Oscar, although nominated for her role in "Pillow Talk" in 1960, in which she co-starred with Hudson.

She did however win a string of awards and was honofred with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2008.

She went into semi-retirement in the 1970s when she turned her attention to her animal foundation, which she started in 1978. The foundation's mission is 'to help animals and the people who love them.'

Affectionately known to some as "The Dog Catcher of Beverly Hills," Doris would often find unwanted dogs dropped off at her gate.  It was not uncommon for her to knock on neighbors’ doors in an attempt to reunite lost dogs with their owners or check to make sure those that were either reunited or in new homes were doing well and receiving proper care and attention. One star was famously quoted as saying, "We all had at least one of ‘those Doris Day animals.'  If you would see Doris on the street or at the studio, chances are you would end up with some homeless cat or dog Doris was sponsoring.  She carried around photos of the animals who needed homes, and then she'd actually come over to inspect your house to make sure you were up to it." 

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