Hollywood star Doris Day dies of pneumonia aged 97

Hollywood star Doris Day dies of pneumonia aged 97
Photo: CBS Television, Wikimedia Commons

Hollywood singer and actress Doris Day died in her home on Monday following a serious case of pneumonia. She was aged 97.

The Hollywood legend was one of the greatest stars of the 21st century, famous for her roles in films like Pillow Talk and Calamity Jane. Her on-screen relationship with Rock Hudson is one of the most famous in the history of romantic films.

Day was reportedly in good health for her age up until she recently contracted pneumonia. She was surrounded by her close friends at her home in California at the time of her passing.

As a young woman, Day initially wanted to become a dancer but had to choose a different path after breaking her leg in a car crash.

At 15 she started a singing career and soon became famous for her song Sentimental Journey. She eventually started working as an actress in films like Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, which made her rise to worldwide fame.

While she never won an Oscar, she was nominated once for Pillow Talk in 1960. She received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2008 as well as a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. Her album My Heart reached number one in the 2011 UK music charts.

Whilst she was famous for her innocent, girl-next-door persona, her real life wasn’t as cheery. She was married four times, divorced three and widowed once. She also struggled with panic attacks and was bankrupt at one point after a husband spent her money.

She moved away from the performing arts in the 1970s to focus on animal rights, starting the Doris Day Animal Foundation non-profit in 1978.

She apparently desired to have no memorial service, grave marker or funeral following her passing.

She was known for her warm, radiant and loving presence and talent as a performer.