Iconic American actress and singer Doris Day dies aged 97
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Iconic American actress and singer Doris Day dies aged 97

AMERICAN ACTRESS and singer Doris Day has died, aged 97.

The Hollywood icon passed away early on Monday after contracting pneumonia, the Doris Day Animal Foundation has confirmed.

She died at her home in Carmel Valley, California, surrounded by close friends and loved ones.

"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 a statement.

An actress best known for films like That Touch of Mink and Pillow Talk, Day never won an Academy Award during her long and successful career but did receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

Handing down the honour to Day, President George W. Bush famously declared it "a good day for America when Doris Marianne von Kappelhoff of Evanston, Ohio decided to become an entertainer."

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Day also found success as a singer with Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) arguably her biggest and most familiar hit.

In her later years, Day focused her efforts on animal welfare activism, creating her own foundation and raising awareness for a raft of important causes.

Day had only recently celebrated her 97th birthday, back on April 3rd.

An actress who stood in stark contrast to her contemporary Marilyn Monroe, Day will forever be remembered for her wholesome image and winning smile, both of which made her a firm favourite with fans far and wide.