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.
Doris Day was always wonderful, and as Calamity Jane she wore leather pants and sang Secret Love, in a great moment of LGBTQ sensibility – Doris was pure sunshine and will be missed pic.twitter.com/3fBljH1KC2
— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) May 13, 2019
“I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile, and I want to make people laugh. And that's all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy”
RIP Doris Day. pic.twitter.com/MnHW4sjuzF
— Nina Garcia (@ninagarcia) May 13, 2019
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’.
We're saddened to hear that Doris Day has died at 97.
Day made her big-screen debut in Michael Curtiz's It's Magic (aka Romance on the High Seas, 1948) where her performance and smooth recording of the title song established her as a bright new talent. pic.twitter.com/RbfvpU9gfe
— BFI (@BFI) May 13, 2019
No matter how old you are, it’s the music and movies of your youth that forever stir you. Kudos to Doris Day for the smiles she gave, the happiness she inspired and a life well lived. May her spirit soar.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) May 13, 2019
Doris Day – that million dollar smile on the set of fizzing 1959 rom-com Pillow Talk. One of the all-time greats. RIP pic.twitter.com/OMVvpBKXKn
— Little White Lies (@LWLies) May 13, 2019
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.