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Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff was a Hollywood legend, leading singer, and animal welfare advocate. She left us on May 13 at the age of 97. Doris Day, the typical all-American girl, passed away after contracting a serious case of pneumonia. She was surrounded by loved ones, including her “precious four-leggers,” as she passed.
Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff, was born April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Doris’ life’s work in music, films, and animal advocacy comprise an enduring legacy. She began her professional singing career at age 15, and she had her first hit, “Sentimental Journey,” with Les Brown’s band. That tune, and her signature “Que Sera Sera,” were her biggest hits.
During her three decades of work in film, Day starred in nearly every genre, not just as a singer and dancer, but as an actress with superb comic timing, a natural talent for interpreting a role, and a gift for evoking emotion. Her 39 films — many still incredibly popular and shown frequently today — stand as a testament to her talent. Doris was honored with many awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 2008.
Since the 1970s, Doris had focused her energies on the Doris Day Animal Foundation. Doris’ passionate work on behalf of dogs, cats, horses, sea lions, raptors and other animals in need of rescue, veterinary care, and adoption, will not end. The Doris Day Animal Foundation is committed to continuing its work funding smaller animal welfare non-profits across the country.
Doris Day Trivia
- Born Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio
- Her parents came from German stock.
- Her father, Frederick Wilhelm Von Kappelhoff, was a music teacher, choir master, and church organist, and loved classical music.
- Her mother, Alma Sophia Welz, on the other hand, was an outgoing woman who enjoyed “hillbilly music.”
- Doris was the youngest of three. She had two brothers: Richard, who died before she was born, and Paul, who was a few years older.
- Doris was married four times: Al Jorden, George William Weidler, Martin Melcher, and Barry Comden.
- Day had one child: music producer Terry Melcher, who died in 2004.
- Doris was voted Top Box-Office Female Star for four straight years during the early ’60s, and was among the Top 10 for 10 straight years.
- In 2009, she funded the Doris Day Animal Horse Rescue facility at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Horse Ranch in Texas.
A Few of Doris Days' Films and TV
Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
The Man who Knew Too Much (1956)
The Pajama Game (1957)
Pillow Talk (1959)
The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)
The Doris Day show (1968-1973)
The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special (1971)
Doris Day Today (1975)
Doris Day and Friends (1985-1986)
Doris Day - Her Own Story (1976 Autobiography)