Doris Day: Actress, Singer, and Animal Rights Activist


Doris Day, born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff on April 3, 1924 in Cincinnati, Ohio is an American actress, singer, and animal rights activist.


Doris Day:  Actress, Singer, and Animal Rights Activist

Doris Day: Actress, Singer, and Animal Rights Activist


With an entertainment career that spanned almost 50 years, Doris Day started her career as a big band singer in 1939, but only began to be noticed after her first hit recording, “Sentimental Journey”, in 1945. After leaving Les Brown’s Band of Renown to try a solo career, she started her long-lasting partnership with Columbia Records, which would remain her only recording label. The contract lasted from 1947 to 1967, and produced more than 650 recordings, making Day one of the most popular and acclaimed singers of the 20th century. In 1948, after being persuaded by Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne and her agent at the time, Al Levy, she auditioned for Michael Curtiz, which led to the lead role in “Romance on the High Seas” (1948), her first film with close friend, Jack Carson.


Doris Day in her dressing room during the filming of "Romance On The High Seas" (1948)

Doris Day in her dressing room during the filming of “Romance On The High Seas” (1948)


With a legendary Hollywood “girl next door” image, and capable of delivering comedy and romance, as well as heavy drama, Doris Day appeared in 39 films, released 29 albums, spent 460 weeks in the Top 40 charts and eventually became one of America’s most beloved entertainers. Day was ranked the biggest box-office star for four years (1960; 1962–1964) and ranked in the top 10 for 10 years (1951–1952; 1959–1966). She became the top-ranking female box-office star of all time and is currently ranked sixth among the top 10 box-office performers (male and female), as of 2012. She received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in “Pillow Talk” (1959), won three Henrietta Awards (World Film Favorite), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Legend Award from the Society of Singers, Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award and, in 1989, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures.


Doris Day visits her close friend Judy Garland on the set of "A Star Is Born" (1954)

Doris Day visits her close friend Judy Garland on the set of “A Star Is Born” (1954)


Doris Day’s strong commitment to animal rights began in 1971, when she co-founded “Actors and Others for Animals”. She started her own non-profit organization in the late 1970s, the Doris Day Animal Foundation and, later, the Doris Day Animal League. Establishing the annual observance Spay Day USA in 1994, The Doris Day Animal League now partners with the Humane Society of the United States and continues to be a leading advocacy organization. In 2004 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in recognition of her distinguished service to the country. President Bush recognized Miss Day’s work on behalf of animals by saying, “It was a good day for our fellow creatures when she gave her good heart to the cause of animal welfare.”


Doris Day and her dog 'Smudge'

Doris Day and her dog ‘Smudge’


Doris Day now lives near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. In 2011, Day released My Heart, her first album of new material since 1967’s The Love Album. With its debut at No. 9 on the UK Billboard charts, Day made history, becoming the oldest female artist to ever have had a top ten album on the UK Billboard charts.
In October 2011, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced that Day would be the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award.


Doris Day

Doris Day


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2 Responses to “Doris Day: Actress, Singer, and Animal Rights Activist”

  1. […] Wild Bill Hickok in “Calamity Jane”, a highly popular Oscar winning musical starring Doris Day in one of her most famous screen roles. The film was Warner Brothers’ answer to “Annie […]

  2. […] Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, and Doris Day at the premiere of “The Man Who Knew Too Much” […]

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