Doris Day is 95 today! Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff, she a retired American actress and singer, and continuing animal welfare activist.
Beginning her career as a big band singer in 1939, her popularity began to rise after her first hit recording “Sentimental Journey“, in 1945. After leaving Les Brown & His Band of Renown to embark on a solo career, Day started her long-lasting partnership with Columbia Records, which remained her only recording label from 1947 to 1967 and included more than 650 recordings. In 2011 – well into her late 80s – she released her 29th studio album, My Heart, which debuted at No. 9 on the UK Top 40 charts, which made her the oldest living artist to score a UK Top 10 with an album featuring new material.
In 1948, Day was persuaded to audition for Romance on the High Seas, which led to a 20-year career in film. She became well known for her string of musicals with Gordon MacRae in the early 1950s, and later, romantic comedies with handsome leading men such as Clark Gable in Teacher’s Pet (1958), Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964), Cary Grant in That Touch of Mink (1962), and James Garner in The Thrill of It All and Move Over, Darling (1963).
Her strong commitment to animal welfare began in 1971, when she co-founded Actors and Others for Animals. She started her own non-profit organization in the 1970s, the Doris Day Animal Foundation and, later, the Doris Day Animal League (DDAL). Establishing the annual observance Spay Day USA in 1995, 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.