9 reasons Doris Day is a certified legend

The icon celebrates her 96th birthday today!

Image: Associated Press

Is there anything Doris Day can't do? She can sing, she can dance... she can certainly act!

At one point in time, Doris Day was the biggest name in Hollywood. But over the years, we tend to remember other, more controversial stars when we think of Hollywood legends. 

Because Day retreated from the spotlight in the 1970s, we tend to forget just how massive of a star she was. 

Well, today Doris Day celebrates her 96th birthday! So to honor the actress on her big day, we're listing several reasons we should remember Day as one of the greats. Happy Birthday!

1. She didn't know how old she was

For the longest time, Day thought (or claimed she thought) she was born in 1924, which would make today her 93rd birthday. But last week, The Associated Press obtained a copy of her birth certificate that said she was born on April 3, 1922 - making today her 95th birthday.

"I've always said that age is just a number and I have never paid much attention to birthdays, but it's great to finally know how old I really am," Day said in a statement Sunday.

Image: GIPHY

2. She's still breaking records

After 45 years of silence, Day recorded and released the album My Heart in 2011. At the age of 89, Day's 29th studio album debuted at No. 9 on the UK albums chart, making her the oldest artist to chart in the top 10 with new material.

Image: Amazon

3. Her fame endures

Even though Day was one of the biggest box office stars of the 1960s, she stopped making films in 1968. However, she's still ranked as one of the top 10 box office performers of all time, tied at sixth with John Wayne and Shirley Temple.

Image: Associated Press

4. She still gets fan mail

Despite retreating from the spotlight after her eponymous show ended in 1973, Day still gets hundreds of fan letters each week. 

Image: GIPHY

5. She love animals

Just like fellow nonagenarian Betty White, Day has a love and passion for animals. She founded the Doris Day Animal Foundation in the early 1970s. Later on in the 1980s, Day established the Doris Day Animal League, which endures to this day.

Image: Pinterest

6. Alfred Hitchcock liked her

When Day appeared in The Man Who Knew Too Much, she was bothered by the fact Hitchcock wasn't giving her any direction. She confided in costar James Stewart that she thought Hitchcock hated her, with Stewart replying the director will only direct you when you need direction.

After confronting Hitchcock herself, Day found out the director was very pleased with her work and she was portraying the part of Jo perfectly. 

Image: Universal

7. She didn't know she signed on for a TV show

Day revealed in her 1975 autobiography she had no clue she was going to do The Doris Day Show. The actress said her third husband, Martin Melcher, signed her up for the series in 1968 without her knowledge. Day only found out about the show after Melcher died of heart disease the same year. 

"I was really, really not very well when [Melcher] passed away, and the thought of going into TV was overpowering. But he'd signed me up for a series," Day told OK! Magazine in 1996.

8. She was bankrupt for time

The Doris Day Show wasn't the only thing Melcher did behind Day's back. After Melcher died in April of 1968, Day found out her husband and his business partner, Jerome Bernard Rosenthal, wasted her earnings. The actress started the 1960s as the most successful actress, and ended the decade flat broke. She was eventually awarded a settlement in 1979.

Image: Associated Press

9. Denver Pyle was two years older than Day

Pyle portrayed Day's father in the first few seasons of The Doris Day Show. However, the actor was born on May 11, 1920, only less than two years before his onscreen daughter. You gotta love Hollywood!

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