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Posted at: May 13, 2019, 7:43 PM; last updated: May 13, 2019, 10:27 PM (IST)

Doris Day, the velvety voice behind ‘Que Sera Sera’, dies at 97

Doris Day, the velvety voice behind ‘Que Sera Sera’, dies at 97
US actress Doris Day. — AFP

Los Angeles, May 13

Screen icon Doris Day, last of the stars to represent the golden era of Hollywood and the velvety voice behind the classic “Que Sera Sera” (whatever will be, will be), has died. She was 97. 

A popular singer-actor of her era, Day ruled the industry in the 1950s and 60s with films such as "Pillow Talk", "That Touch of Mink" and "The Man Who Knew Too Much".

She breathed her last on Monday at her Carmel Valley home in California, her animal welfare foundation, Doris Day Animal Foundation, said in a statement posted on their official website.

"Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death. She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed," the statement read.

The foundation said the star had celebrated her 97th birthday on April 3 this year.

Born as Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff, on April 3, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Day began her professional career as a singer at the age of 15 and tasted success in her early 20s with the song "Sentimental Journey", in collaboration with Les Brown's band.

But her signature song will always be "Que Sera Sera" from Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 film "The Man Who Knew Too Much".

She made her acting debut with the 1948 film "Romance on the High Seas", whose success led to a more than two-decade long career, spread over 39 films across genres as diverse as musicals, comedies, thrillers and dramas.

Day worked with the biggest leading men of her era such as Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, James Garner, David Niven and Rod Taylor.

Her last film was "With Six You Get Eggroll" in 1968 after which she turned to the small screen with "The Doris Day Show", which ran for five years and earned a Golden Globe nomination. 

The actor was married four times -- trombonist Al Jorden, saxophonist George William Weidler, producer Martin Melcher and Barry Comden, who worked as a maitre d' at one of Day's favourite restaurants. Her marriage with Melcher lasted till his death in 1968. Melcher had also adopted Terry, her son from her first marriage.

Terry died in 2004. In her later years, the actor, an animal lover since her teen years, turned to animal welfare. She founded the Doris Day Pet Foundation, now the Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF), in 1978.

Day's "wishes were that she have no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker," the foundation said. — PTI

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