She made waves with her singing and acting talent in the 1950s and 60s. But she was more than that. She was a champion of animal rights and did a lot toward the cause, including setting up a foundation.
"Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que será, será
What will be, will be"
If you started singing along to these lines, then it's not a stretch to say that the first image that popped into your head was the beautiful yesteryear actress, Doris Day. The Que sera, sera singer and actress was a name to reckon with in the Hollywood scene and on Monday, 13th May, she passed away at the age of 97.
Her death was announced by the Doris Day Animal Foundation to Fox News. The foundation told the news outlet that she was surrounded by close friends and "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia."
Her honey-voice, blonde hair and gifted acting talents made waves and brought her a career spanning nearly 50 years. Known for her string of successful musicals and romantic comedies, she started off her career with a role in the 1948 musical comedy Romance on the High Seas.
And she instantly became a hit with the public. She soon began taking on musical comedy roles in the movies My Dream is Yours, Tea for Two and I’ll See You in My Dreams, continuing to garner attention.
In 1953, when she starred in the hit film Calamity Jane, she was shown what it's like to live in the spotlight. In fact, Calamity Jane gained such popularity that it was turned into a stage musical and television show.
But it was her role as Ruth Etting in the musical Love Me or Leave Me in 1955 that shot her directly into stardom. Starring opposite James Cagney, even she believed it was her best performance, reported The Guardian.
In 1959, she even scored an Oscar nomination for the romantic comedy Pillow Talk, starring Rock Hudson opposite her.
From then on, it was a smooth ride to the top for Day with box office hits. Movies like That Touch of Mink, The Thrill of It All, and Move Over, Darling, made Day the best-known woman in the 1950's and 1960's.
But in 1968, she decided to make a career shift and chose to dedicate her life to the betterment of animal welfare. Even during her acting days, she would take the time out to feed emaciated animals near her. Knowing this wasn't enough, she started to spearhead more formal efforts, starting in 1971 when she co-founded Actors and Others for Animals.
Then in 1978, she founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF), with the mission “to help animals and the people who love them.” And she managed to make her endeavor successful although most of the animals she rescued, ended up becoming a part of her own family. Nicknamed "the Dog Catcher of Beverly Hills,” she rescued "hundreds of animals over the years,” according to DDAF.
Tributes have been pouring in for the star from all quarters.
Once I had a secret love— Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) May 13, 2019
That lived within the heart of me
All too soon my secret love
Became impatient to be free
I will miss you Doris Day , my first secret love
“I like joy; I want to be joyous; I want to have fun on the set; I want to wear beautiful clothes and look pretty. I want to smile, and I want to make people laugh. And that's all I want. I like it. I like being happy. I want to make others happy”— Nina Garcia (@ninagarcia) May 13, 2019
RIP Doris Day. pic.twitter.com/MnHW4sjuzF
We’ve lost another great Hollywood talent. Take a minute to appreciate the legendary Doris Day: https://t.co/72ssvivryz— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) May 13, 2019
The one, the only, the woman who inspired so much of what I do... Doris Day I love you, my calamity Jane. An iconic woman who I was hugely honoured to meet and share precious moments with. Rest in peace x pic.twitter.com/brkli7fKYE— Stella McCartney (@StellaMcCartney) May 13, 2019
Rest in peace, Doris. Que sera sera!