Doris Day, actress and animal activist, dead at 97

American entertainer Doris Day seen here in 1989 has died at 97

A leading star of Hollywood musicals and romantic comedies, Day made 39 films within two decades before stepping away from acting in the early '70s to focus her attention on animal rights. The singer and actresses, who captured the hearts of moviegoers in classic films like 'Pillow Talk, ' and 'The Man Who Knew Too Much, ' has passed away. "The Doris Day Animal Foundation continues to provide support to smaller rescue organizations nationwide, with a special focus on those assisting senior pets".

Day was well-known for her love of horses, helping to fund the Doris Day Animal Horse Rescue and Adoption Center in Murchison, TX, in 2011. Day's activism was recognized in 2004, when then-President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work on behalf of animal welfare.

Of course in that period, she had already stopped releasing albums: her final collection Doris Day's Sentimental Journey came out in 1965, although The Love Album - recorded in 1967 - never saw the light of day until 1994. Instead of dancing, I sang.

In 1951 Day married agent Martin Melcher and after his 1968 death, she found he had left her almost penniless.

Her first film was Romance on the High Seas in 1948, which led to her agreeing a contract with Warner Brothers.

Que Sera Sera: Probably one of Day's famous songs, this song is available on Spotify. Day had two stints singing with Les Brown and his big-band musical group, The Band of Renown.

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At 17, Day married Al Jorden, a trombone player who she later claimed beat her. Her second marriage also was short-lived.

The Doris Day Show: According to Justwatch.com, this sitcom originally broadcast on the CBS network from September 1968 until March 1973.

Instead, her last film was With Six You Get Egg Roll in 1968. Check out a great scene from Pillow Talk below. She had her only child with him, a son named Terry.

Doris Day mostly stayed out of the spotlight after leaving all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood behind.

Melcher famously worked with The Beach Boys and turned down aspiring musician Charles Manson. It was Melcher's former house that the Manson family visited and murdered Sharon Tate and her friends in.

She ended up marrying a fourth time to Barry Comden in 1976, but they divorced in 1982.

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