Day had recently celebrated her 97th birthday, and had reportedly spent it with close friends. You may know her from her roles in "Pillow Talk", "That Touch of Mink", "The Thrill of It All", "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and "Move Over, Darling". She had her first hit recording, "Sentimental Journey", with the group, in 1944. One never got the sense that Day "used" her looks and charm, but just that films and music allowed us to experience them.
In 1939, Rapp encouraged Doris to adopt the stage name "Day" and she quickly found her fame with her attractive rendition of "Day After Day".
Gloria Gaynor also remembered Day for her charitable endeavors, as the actress was also a fervent activist for animals, and even founded the Doris Day Animal League in 1987. The first was Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much", co-starring Jimmy Stewart.
In her later years the famed performer focused her efforts on animal welfare activism but it was her screen appearances in the 1950s and 1960s that made her one of the biggest female stars of all time. Everyone knows her megahit, "Que Sera, Sera", a sort of anthem about going whichever way the wind takes you, the flawless song to sing to a child who, in the way children are, is eager for all the answers. Check out a great scene from Pillow Talk below. On the strength of her voice, Day, who had no acting experience, was offered a starring role in 1948's Romance on the High Seas. We'll hear plenty of that today, but here's another standard that Day brought to life - "Dream a A Little Dream of Me".
She retired when the show ended, making it her last film or television role.
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A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, Day was often discussed as a potential honorary Oscar recipient, but she steadfastly refused to appear at the ceremony to collect the theoretical honor. "The Doris Day Show" was a moderate success in its 1968-1973 run on CBS.
In 1976, Day married restaurant owner Barry Comden but they also divorced. Her home in Carmel, California, was usually full of dogs and cats, mostly adopted strays.
But over time, she became more than a name above the title: Right down to her cheerful, alliterative stage name, she stood for a time of G-rated love, a parallel world to her contemporary, Marilyn Monroe.
Melcher famously worked with The Beach Boys and turned down aspiring musician Charles Manson.