One of the greatest legends in Hollywood has passed away.
Doris Day, who became “America’s Sweetheart” in the late 1950s and early 1960s, died on May 13 at the age of 97, in which she celebrated just last month. She is known for her collaborations with the late Rock Hudson, which began with 1959’s Pillow Talk. She will be known musically for her hit song “Que Sera Sera”, which she sang in The Man Who Knew Too Much in 1956.
Born Doris Mary Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 3, 1922, music was always in Day’s forte as her father was a choir master and music teacher. In 1939, at the age of seventeen, she began her music career as a singer in the Big Band era, notably for the iconic Les Brown. She garnered two major hits with Brown, “Sentimental Journey” and “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time”, both released in 1945. Two years later, she embarked on a lifelong music career that would soon coincide with her prolific acting career.
In 1948, Day made her film debut with Romance on the High Seas. In 1953, she scored the titular role of Calamity Jane in a Western-musical but would breakout in Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Man Who Knew Too Much, opposite James Stewart in 1956. Three years later, she began a successful collaboration with Rock Hudson, at the time a major hearthrob in Hollywood. The two worked on Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Send Me No Flowers (1964). All three would also co-star Tony Randall, who would shoot to fame in the sitcom The Odd Couple in the early 1970s. In 1968, Day ended her film career, but would star in a successful television series, The Doris Day Show, which ran until 1973.
After that film, despite a few TV specials, Day had shied away from acting and focus solely on both music and her philanthropy.
Day is preceded in death by her son, successful songwriter and producer Terry Melcher, who died in 2004. She is survived by daughter-in-law Terese and grandson Ryan Melcher.
World Film Geek sends its condolences to the family of Doris Day. As a final tribute, here is Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much, singing her signature song “Que Sera Sera”.
Rest in Peace, Doris Day.