Doris Day, the Hollywood legend, has died at the age of 97.
The Hollywood icon was best known for her work in the late 50s and 60s, including her starring roles in Calamity Jane and Love Me or Leave Me.
Doris retired from show business aged in her 50s, instead deciding to follow her dreams and become an animal activist.
The Hollywood icon managed to remain private since her retirement from acting, and rarely appeared in public.
Doris did still do the occasional interview though, including one earlier this year with the Hollywood Reporter where she spoke openly about her animal welfare organisation as she celebrated her 97th birthday.
Day said of her animal welfare organisation:
I started my animal foundation in 1978, when more than 17 million homeless pets were being euthanized every year, and spaying and neutering was practically unheard of.
Animal-welfare awareness has improved tremendously over the last four decades, and euthanasia rates are down to approximately 2.5 million, but there is still much work to be done.
DDAF’s grants support nonprofit organizations and programs across the country that directly help animals and the people who love them.
As reported by the Independent, the Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed the actor and activist had died early on Monday, May 13 at her home in Carmel Valley, California.
The foundation said Doris was surrounded by close friends and explained in a statement she ‘had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia’.
Doris was once one of the biggest female stars in the world, starring in films such as Calamity Jane, Pillow Talk, and Love Me or Leave Me.
The actor won acclaim for her roles in various musicals, with her performances of Secret Love and Que Sera Sera winning Academy Awards.
The Hollywood icon turned 97 on April 3, and told the Hollywood Reporter in their interview that she had celebrated all week with ‘dear old friends out of town’ and enjoyed ‘quiet dinners’.
Doris stayed away from the spotlight since retiring from acting many decades ago, last appearing in public 30 years ago to accept an award at the 1989 Golden Globes, the Telegraph reports.
Her final TV interview was aired in 1994, after which her only publicity has come from a select few interviews.
Our thoughts are with Doris’ loved ones at this difficult time.
Rest in peace Doris.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.