R.I.P. Doris Day, legendary singer, movie icon and star of The Doris Day Show
The Hollywood legend and animal activist passed away at the age of 97.
Image: The Everett Collection
The scene on the TV shows a gorgeous sunny day out in the open air, with flowers gently fluttering in the breeze. It's the start of The Doris Day Show, and you understand it immediately because suddenly, over this picturesque scene, the iconic voice of Doris Day sings sweetly, "Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see."
Next, a chorus of children joins the Hollywood legend, finishing the chorus of her biggest hit ever, "Que Sera, Sera," which she memorably performed over the opening credits of her hit show The Doris Day Show.
Doris Day rose to the top in the Golden Age of Hollywood, making hit pictures with Rock Hudson (Pillow Talk) and Alfred Hitchcock (The Man Who Knew Too Much) and starring in the title role of Calamity Jane, once named on AFI's list 100 Years... 100 Heroes & Villains.
For Pillow Talk, she scored herself an Oscar nomination, which was just one more tip of the hat to the celebrated performer who won Golden Globes and was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Three of her songs glitter in the Grammy Hall of Fame, "Sentimental Journey," "Secret Love" and, of course, "Que Sera, Sera."
Apart from her iconic work in movies, Day also shone brightly on TV with that blonde bob, as the star of The Doris Day Show, where viewers were memorably treated to performances from the singer, too. In Christmas episodes, she sang classics like "Silver Bells" and "Silent Night," still cherished episodes for Day's biggest fans. She also performed with guest stars like Tony Bennett, performing his signature song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" to the delight of fans of both. (Watch them perform the song at the video at the top of this post or stream the full episode here.) Those were the kinds of singular moments she made on her show, where the actor was just as funny as she proved on the big screen.
The Doris Day Show would serve as Day's final film role, playing Doris Martin, a character who Vanity Fair deemed in 1995 was "one of the best working women on television." As a star, castmates found she was generous, requesting writers give spoken jokes to the characters surrounding her, knowing she could create humor out of smaller moments that defined her character's charm, just as she did so famously in movies. (Stream full episodes of The Doris Day Show here.)
After retiring from movies, Day dedicated her life to helping stray animals, founding the Doris Day Animal Foundation and the Doris Day Animal League.
Earlier today, Monday, May 13, the Associated Press reported that the Hollywood legend and animal activist passed away at the age of 97.