Doris Day, the Hollywood actress and singer who starred in “Pillow Talk” and other romantic comedies in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and who later became an animal-welfare advocate, has died at the age of 97.
According to the Associated Press, citing the Doris Day Animal Foundation: “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.
Her film career started with a role in the 1948 musical comedy Romance on the High Seas, which she secured after Betty Hutton dropped out due to pregnancy. Day proved a hit with audiences, specialising in musical comedy roles, including My Dream is Yours, Tea for Two and I’ll See You in My Dreams. In 1953, she took on the title role of the hit film Calamity Jane, a major hit which later turned into both a stage musical and a TV show.
She was married four times, to musicians Al Jorden (1941-43) and George Weidler (1946-49), agent and producer Melcher (1951-68) and restaurateur Barry Comden (1976-81). With her first husband she had her only child, record producer Terry Melcher, who died in 2004, at age 62.