Legendary American actress, singer Doris Day dies aged 97

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Legendary American actress and singer Doris Day has died aged 97 after contracting pneumonia, her foundation has confirmed.

The performer died early on Monday surrounded by close friends at her Carmel Valley, California, home, the Doris Day Animal Foundation said.

“Day had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia, resulting in her death,” the foundation said in an statement.

In her later years the famed performer focused her efforts on animal welfare activism but it was her screen appearances in the 1950s and 1960s that made her one of the biggest female stars of all time.

She first found acclaim for her lilting singing voice which brought her a string of hits on records before her screen presence cemented her place in the history of Hollywood.

Her wholesome beauty and ultra-bright smile has been described as standing for a time of innocence in films.

She appeared in films such as “Pillow Talk” and “That Touch of Mink” and recorded songs including “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)” from the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”

She celebrated her 97th birthday on April 3.

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