CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. —
Doris Day, the legendary actress and singer known for her roles in Hollywood films such as “Pillow Talk” and “That Touch of Mink,” as well as well as songs like "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" died Monday at her Carmel Valley home, the Associated Press [AP] reports. She was 97.
Day, born Doris Marianne von Kappelhoff in Ohio, had her first singing hit with the 1945 smash "Sentimental Journey," when she was barely in her 20s, according to the AP. She began her movie career in 1947 after singing at a Hollywood party.
She soon became one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the 1950s and '60s and a symbol of wholesome American womanhood, according to the AP.
Here are five things to know about Doris Day.
Day created a scholarship for veterinary students at the University of California, Davis
The Doris Day/Terry Melcher Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing an education in veterinary shelter medicine and helping disadvantage pet populations. The first scholarship was awarded in 2007.
She co-owned a hotel on the Monterey Peninsula
For more than 20 years, Day and her business partner, Dennis LeVett, co-owned the Cypress Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. The hotel is known for its “pet-friendly accommodations, firmly believing that pets of all shapes, sizes and breeds are an integral part of the family and welcome to join their humans during their stay at the hotel.”
You’ve probably heard her name in a few songs
Day is referenced in hit songs by several recording artists, including Elton John, Billy Joel and Wham! The most well known shout out may be from the 1978 film “Grease” where Rizzo sings “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee” while mocking Sandy and her “good girl” image.
Day was an animal rights advocate
She created the Doris Day Animal Foundation “to help animals and the people who love them” in 1978. In the beginning, “Doris focused on finding homes for the too many animals that were being destroyed simply because there weren't enough good homes.” Day went on to create the Doris Day Animal League [DDAL], which aims to protect animals through policy, education and corporate engagement. She and DDAL founded Spay Day USA in 1995, which is now known as World Spay Day.
She’s a decorated actress, singer
The Oscar and Golden Globe nominated entertainer was inducted into the Online Film & Television Association in 2012. She received a career achievement award for her body of work from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards in 2011.
President George W. Bush awarded Day with a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004, and she’s had a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 1960. Over the course of her career, she has won Golden Apple Awards, Laurel Awards, and American Comedy Awards.
Day was in excellent physical health for her age until she recently contracted a serious cause of pneumonia, which resulted in her death, according to a statement from her foundation. She was surrounded by a few close friends.
According to her foundation, Day's wishes were that she have no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker.