Doris Day is one of the world's most-loved and most-honored women. Although it has been more than 30 years since her last motion picture, her name continues to top the "most-admired" lists and polls. Miss Day made 39 films, beginning in 1948 with "Romance on the High Seas." She also had two television series, "The Doris Day Show" for CBS (1969-1973) and "Doris Day's Best Friends," which ran on CBN Cable in 1985 and 1986.
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Today, Miss Day's full-time career is her work with animals, and her non-profit organizations, the Doris Day Animal League and the Doris Day Animal Foundation. The Doris Day Animal League, which she established in 1987, is a national lobbying organization, which works on the local, state and federal levels, on legislation relating to animal rights issues. Spaying and neutering of cats and dogs is a priority for both organizations, to cut down on the five million household pets who are put to death each year simply because there are not enough good homes for them.
Scores of scripts and movie, television and singing offers continue to be submitted to Miss Day, and she jokes that she might decide to make a movie, "Just to take a rest." The Arts & Entertainment television network recently produced a two-hour special for its "Biography" series, and it had one of the network’s highest ratings.
A tireless worker for animals and the people who love them, she does not hesitate to get involved, whether it is contacting elected representatives (from the President of the United States on down), to participating in campaigns to protect endangered species, to lobbying to eliminate unnecessary and useless tests used for "new improved" cosmetics and household cleaners, or to save abused animals.
The Doris Day Animal League has been credited with landmark events from the campaign to get "Buddy," the "First Dog" neutered as an example of responsible pet ownership, to the 1998 law in California making counseling mandatory for people convicted of animal abuse and 2000’s law banning "Crush Videos."
Each year, from 1948 until 1964, Miss Day was listed among the top ten box office attractions -- the longest run of any female star in motion picture history. In 1989, she was honored with the Golden Globe's "Lifetime Achievement Award" for her work over the years, and in 1991, she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the "American Comedy Awards." In November, 1991, a documentary about her life, "Doris Day: A Sentimental Journey," was presented by the Public Broadcasting System.
Called "the most under-rated star of all time, since she could do so much and make it all look so easy," the range of Miss Day's work was without peer. She could sing and dance and act in films as different from each other as "Calamity Jane" and "Love Me Or Leave Me," while playing everyone's dream girl next door, to the career women she portrayed in comedies such as "Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back" and "The Thrill of It All."
Her co-stars in films included Clark Gable ("Teacher's Pet"), James Cagney ("Love Me Or Leave Me" and "The West Point Story"), Rock Hudson ("Pillow Talk," "Send Me No Flowers" and "Lover Come Back"), James Stewart ("The Man Who Knew Too Much"), Frank Sinatra ("Young At Heart"), Jack Lemmon ("It Happened To Jane"), Rex Harrison ("Midnight Lace"), Cary Grant ("That Touch of Mink"), Jimmy Durante ("Jumbo"), David Niven ("Please Don't Eat the Daisies"), and many others.
Doris Day did not set out to become an actress. She wanted to be a dancer, but an auto accident put a stop to those plans. While recovering, she began singing, and, as a teenager, was singing with some of the best of the Big Bands. Her breakthrough was in 1944 when Les Brown brought her the song, "Sentimental Journey." The song became one of the biggest-sellers ever, topping the charts at number one for nine weeks, and a movie career soon followed. Her other hit songs over the years have included "Que Sera Sera," which won an Academy Award in 1956, "It's Magic," "Teacher's Pet," "Everybody Loves A Lover," her first song to earn a Grammy nomination, and "Secret Love," which also won an Academy Award in 1953.
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