Legendary actress, singer, and animal activist Doris Day dies at age 97

Doris Day

American actress and singer Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in 1960s films, has died, her foundation says.

Although in 2012 she released a CD of songs she recorded years ago, since the early '80s, the world's favorite "girl next door" kept a low profile and lived on 11 acres in Carmel, California, where she devoted most of her time to her charitable organization. The foundation said she was surrounded by close friends.

The vivacious blonde, who also had a successful singing career, teamed with Rock Hudson in "Pillow Talk" and other lighthearted romantic comedies including "Lover Come Back" and "Send Me No Flowers".

The Hollywood star's hit songs include the 1956 track 'Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)'.

Her last film was "With Six You Get Eggroll", a 1968 comedy about a widow and a widower and the problems they have when blending their families.

Martin Melcher produced many of Day's movies.

Her Hollywood career began after she sang at a Hollywood party in 1947.

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"The Doris Day Show" proved to be a lifesaver.

Melcher died unexpectedly in 1968, leaving Day with a CBS sitcom and in financial straits. Her hit songs at the time were radio mainstays.

Her only child, son Terrence Paul Jorden, who died in 2004, was with Al Jorden.

Melcher famously worked with The Beach Boys and turned down aspiring musician Charles Manson.

Thankfully, in 1974, the actress won a $22.8 million judgment against her lawyer and business manager Jerome B. Rosenthal for mishandling her's and Melcher's assets. It was Melcher's former house that the Manson family visited and murdered Sharon Tate and her friends in.

By the mid-'70s, she withdrew from the limelight to focus on animal rights and set up the Doris Day Animal League and Doris Day Animal Foundation.

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