Doris Day, Star of Hollywood Romantic Comedies and Movie Musicals, Dies at 97

Obituaries   Doris Day, Star of Hollywood Romantic Comedies and Movie Musicals, Dies at 97
Day was known for such films as Calamity Jane, Pillow Talk, and The Pajama Game.
Doris Day
Doris Day New York Public Library

Doris Day, one of the biggest film stars of the 1950s and 1960s, has died at 97. Day was surrounded by close friends at her Carmel Valley, California, home. Her death was confirmed by The Doris Day Animal Foundation.

A leading star of Hollywood musicals and romantic comedies, Day made 39 films within two decades before stepping away from acting in the early '70s to focus her attention on animal rights.

Already known for her recording of “Sentimental Journey” with Les Brown’s band, Day began her acting career with leading roles in movie musicals, beginning with Romance on the High Seas in (1948) to Young Man With a Horn (1950), Tea for Two (1952), Calamity Jane (1953), and the screen adaptation of Broadway's The Pajama Game (1958). In Calamity Jane, Day sang the song "Secret Love," which would go on to earn Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster an Oscar.

When movie musicals fell out of fashion in the late 1950s, Day went on to star in a string of romantic comedy hits, bringing intelligence and whip smart comedic timing to such sex farces as Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), and Send Me No Flowers (1964, based on the play of the same name)—co-starring opposite Rock Hudson in each.

Director Alfred Hitchcock cast her against type in his 1956 thriller,The Man Who Knew Too Much, which also won the Oscar for Best Original Song for Day’s recording of “Que Sera, Sera.”