Doris Day, a prolific singer and actress who topped both billboards and box office charts, has died of pneumonia. She was 97.
The legendary actress and singer, who became Hollywood’s girl next door in the 1950s and ’60s, made more than three dozen films and 600 recordings. She was also a lifelong animal lover, and she started the animal advocacy group, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, in 1978.
Here are five facts you may not have known about the “Pillow Talk” and “That Touch of Mink” actress.
1. She Was No ‘Goody Two-Shoes’
In Hollywood, Day was continually cast in G-rated love stories and given wholesome roles. But in her 1976 book, “Doris Day: Her Own Story,” the actress wrote about three of her failed marriages and money woes.
“I have the unfortunate reputation of being Miss Goody Two-Shoes, America’s Virgin, and all of that, so I’m afraid it’s going to shock some people for me to say this, but I staunchly believe no two people should get married until they have lived together,” Day wrote in the book. And while she was marketed as Hollywood’s wholesome girl next door, her most popular comedies were sexy and daring for their time, Variety points out.
2. She Was a Tomboy
Day was partial to her raucous, pistol-packing prairie girl role in “Calamity Jane.”
“I was such a tomboy growing up, and she was such a fun character to play,” Day told Hollywood Reporter in a rare interview in April 2019, coordinating with her 97th birthday celebration. “Of course, the music was wonderful, too — ‘Secret Love,’ especially, is such a beautiful song.”
3. She Briefly Dated Ronald Reagan
In her autobiography, Day dishes that she briefly dated Ronald Reagan before he became the president. The two starred together in the 1952 movie “The Winning Team.” She relayed that Reagan was a skilled dancer and told a biographer he had a “political personality” because he was engaging and strong, according to People. Day dated Reagan prior to becoming involved with her agent, Marty Melcher, who would become her third husband.
4. A Car Accident Ended Her Dancing Career
As a child, Day was a talented dancer. But in Oct. 1937, at age 15, she was involved in a car accident that seriously injured her legs. She was in a car with friends when a train hit the car, shattering bones in Day’s right leg. She shifted her focus to singing instead.
In 1956, she famously sang “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” The song reached No. 2 on the American Billboard Hot 100 chart. In this 1956 photo, Doris Day is pictured posing with Frank Sinatra and Lauren Bacall at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.
5. She Owned a Hotel
For the past couple of decades, Day co-owned a historic hotel in the heart of Carmel, California, where Day called home. It’s probably no surprise to fans that the boutique hotel, Cypress Inn, is pet-friendly. Day lived in Carmel Valley, California.
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