It's a very sad day in Hollywood, as legendary singer, actress, and animal welfare activist Doris Day has reportedly passed away. On Monday, Day's death was announced by her charity, the Doris Day Animal Foundation. According to a statement, Day "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia." Surrounded by close friends, Day died in her Carmel Valley, California at the age of 97. Day is survived by her grandson, Ryan Melcher; her only child Terry Melcher previously passed away in 2004.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1922, Day took an early interest in performing by forming a dance duo with Jerry Doherty in the '30s. Her dreams of becoming a professional dancer were hindered by a car accident in 1937, badly injuring her right leg. During her recovery, Day began to sing along to the radio, discovering she had plenty of vocal talent as well. After taking singing lessons, Day was discovered by Barney Rapp and was soon recording music professionally. By 1945, she had her first #1 hit with the World War II song "Sentimental Journey." She would later become one of the most popular singers of the '50s and '60s, with her many accolades earning her three Grammy Hall of Fame Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement in Music Award.
Of course, Day is known for being a Hollywood screen legend as well. She made her theatrical debut in the 1948 movie Romance on the High Seas, earning the movie an Oscar nomination for her song It's Magic. This instant success launched a successful movie career during the "Golden Age of Hollywood," with Day starring in many successful movies over the next two decades. Some of her most well-known roles include Calamity Jane, Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, Pillow Talk, and Move Over, Darling. Her movie career earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination in 1960 and the Cebil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures in 1989. Her work as an entertainer and with charity also awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush in 2004.
Related: Hollywood Pays Tribute to Doris Day
Day had been an animal welfare activist for most of her life as well. Harboring guilt over witnessing the death of her dog as a teenager, Day co-founded Actors and Others for Animals in 1971. By 1978, she launched the Doris Day Pet Foundation, the non-profit charity which later became the Doris Day Animal Foundation. Additionally, she formed the Doris Day Animal League in 1987, which was designed to protect animals through legislation and later merged with the Humane Society of the United States. Day also originated the annual World Spay Day and contributed $250,000 towards the foundation of the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center in Murchison, Texas.
One thing that is for sure is that the world has lost not just a Hollywood legend, but an amazing person as well. However, Day will forever be an icon, and her legacy will always be preserved through her immortal performances. There will never be another Doris Day, and may she rest in peace. This information comes to us from Daily Mail.