Hollywood legend Doris Day dies aged 97

Hollywood Legend Doris Day
Image: Facebook

Hollywood legend and personification of wholesomeness, Doris Day, died at age 97 surrounded by close friends.

The actress and singer starred in musicals, dramas and sex comedies throughout the 1950s and 60s.

She famously co-starred with leading men like Cary Grant and her friend, gay actor, Rock Hudson.

Despite her wholesome appeal, Day later revealed a life of troubled marriages, a nervous breakdown and money troubles.

“My public image is unshakably that of America’s wholesome virgin, the girl next door, carefree and brimming with happiness, an image, I can assure you, more make-believe than any film part I ever played.

“But I am Miss Chastity Belt and that’s all there is to it,” she said.

“I’m afraid it’s going to shock some people for me to say this, but I staunchly believe no two people should get married until they have lived together.”

Hollywood legend

Doris Day’s most famous films included Pillow Talk and Calamity Jane. She topped the music charts with songs including Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) and My Secret Love.

Although never winning an Academy Award, George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

In 2011 she received a lifetime achievement honour from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

In her later years Doris Day became heavily involved in animal welfare activism.

As co-founder in 1971 of Actors and Others for Animals, she appeared in advertisements denouncing the wearing of fur.

Her Doris Day Animal Foundation funds other non-profits dedicated to animal welfare.

Rock Hudson

Doris Day spoke to PEOPLE Magazine in 2011 about her enduring friendship with fellow Hollywood legend Rock Hudson.

“I think the reason people liked our movies is because they could tell how much we liked each other,” she said.

Rock Hudson died of AIDS in 1985 shocking the world out of its complacency about the disease.

Day said their goodbye broke her heart. “They had a small plane to get him to the airport,” she said. “We kissed goodbye and he gave me a big hug and he held onto me. I was in tears. That was the last time I saw him – but he’s in heaven now.”

Although Doris Day refused numerous offers to appear at the Academy Awards, and accepted no movie roles for many years, she always offered her support to AIDS charities.

Commenters on social media suggested last night that Pride flags fly at half-mast today for the gay icon.

Doris Day, America’s sweetheart, dead at 97.

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Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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