Screen icon Doris Day has died at age of 97, her foundation has confirmed.
The actress, who shot to fame in the late 1940s, is considered to be one of Hollywood’s most enduring screen icons – with acclaimed performances in films including Calamity Jane and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much.
In a statement, the foundation confirmed that Day died at her California home in the early hours of Monday morning, surrounded by close friends.
“Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death,” the foundation said in an emailed statement.
Day was renowned for her appearances in romantic comedies of the 1960s and went on to become one of the biggest female stars of the era, helped in part by her CBS sitcom The Doris Day Show, which ran from 1968 until 1973.
While renowned for her wholesome, family friendly image, Day also appeared in Pillow Talk and two other movies alongside Rock Hudson – which she later hailed for bringing out the “contemporary” side of her.
As well as her big screen presence, Day was also a successful recording artist, releasing 20 studio albums since 1949. Her best known hits include ‘Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)’, which was taken from the soundtrack to Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much and ‘Sentimental Journey’.
Although awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, Oscars ultimately proved elusive despite friends leading calls for her to receive an honorary award before her death.
An ardent supporter of animal rights, she founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation in 1978 and established the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center in 2011, which helps abused and neglected horses.