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Legendary actress Doris Day dies at 97

Singer, actress recently contracted case of pneumonia

Day largely retired from acting in her early 50s after her TV series, "The Doris Day Show," came to a close in 1973 following a five-year run. However, she has continued her work with animal rights and welfare causes that she began in
Day largely retired from acting in her early 50s after her TV series, "The Doris Day Show," came to a close in 1973 following a five-year run. However, she has continued her work with animal rights and welfare causes that she began in (CBS)

LOS ANGELES – Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in `60s films, has died, her foundation says. She was 97.

The Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed Day died early Monday at her Carmel Valley, California, home. The foundation says in an emailed statement she was surrounded by close friends and "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia."

She was known as a honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and `60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history.

Day's lilting voice, wholesome blond beauty and ultra-bright smile brought her a string of hits, first on records, later in Hollywood.

She celebrated her 97th birthday on April 3.