One of the last surviving Golden Age Hollywood stars, Doris Day, has passed away at 97, after contracting pneumonia. A singer, actress and animal welfare activist, she was one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood in the 1950’s and 60’s, known primarily for musical comedies and later the three romantic comedies she starred in with Rock Hudson. Known for her wholesome image and big band style voice, her success as a singer came first, with her movie career beginning in 1948 in the Michael Curtiz film Romance on the High Seas. After that, her most notable films included Calamity Jane (1953), Love Me or Leave Me (1955), Alfred Hitchcock’sThe Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), which won Best Original Song for “Que Sera Sera,” which she performed in the movie, and The Pajama Game (1957), before co-starring with Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). The peak of her box office success came in the early 1960’s, teaming up with Cary Grant in 1962 for That Touch of Mink and James Garner in 1963 for The Thrill of it All. She then starred on the CBS sitcom The Doris Day Show from 1968-1973, after which she largely retired from acting. Day received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award from the Hollywood Foreign Press in 1989 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. Her only Oscar nomination was for Best Actress for 1959’s Pillow Talk.
Of Doris Day’s movies I’d recommend Pillow Talk of course, which is a kind of camp classic in its way. The rapport between her and Hudson was real: