Legendary actress and singer Doris Day dead at 97

Doris Day

Day was famous for quotes such as: "If I can do it, you can do it". Her movies may come from another time - and even then more of a confection than a reflection - but utterly charming. "As a singer, Doris belongs in the company of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra".

Brown said later, "I'd say that next to Sinatra, Doris is the best in the business on selling a lyric".

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

Beyond her pop credentials, she possessed an unerring sense of delicate swing.

Despite withdrawing from the limelight 30 years ago, and giving her final interview in 1994, Day remained an endlessly popular cinema figure whose works continue to inspire.

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Her film career began in 1948 when she starred in Romance on the High Seas alongside Canadian-born Jack Carson.

From 1948 to the early 1970s, the OH native captivated audiences on the silver screen with hit movies and musicals like Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk.

Doris starred in Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson in 1959.

She was marketed as a wholesome girl next door, but the sunny blonde found the most success in roles that challenged her all-American reputation.

Fellow actress Goldie Hawn said "Doris Day left us and took a piece of the sun with her" in an emotional Twitter message. She revealed the bombshell in her tell-all and said she only discovered this after he died.

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She was one of us and we loved her for it. James Cagney played her gangster boyfriend, Martin "The Gimp" Snyder. But a successful singing career turns into much more after a recurring guest spot on The Bob Hope Pepsodent Show landed her a career in the movies. The soundtrack was released as an album and sold well.

She was best known for her roles in Calamity Jane, Move Over, Darling, Pillow Talk and The Man Who Knew Too Much. Her career spanned decades and she was always at the top of her profession.

By the time she was 20, she was already divorced from a physically abusive husband and the mother of a young child - the first of her four failed marriages. Her natural talent for music was established early in her life, when she began singing at 15 and received a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1947.

'She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed, ' the statement continued. At 13, she and a male partner won a $500 prize in a Cincinnati dance contest. The league continues to lobby on behalf of animal rights, while the foundation operates as an animal welfare charity. In the famed 1953 musical, Day sings the song "Secret Love", which is often considered a gay anthem.

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