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Singer, film star Doris Day

D. La Piana of Plano, Texas, asks, 'Whatever happened to...?'

By Michael Fainelli / November 8, 2001



A sunny innocence rings in the very name of Doris Day. Born Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff, her buttery alto voice regaled postwar America with such tunes as "Que Sera Sera" and "Sentimental Journey," when popular music still played to an orchestral accompaniment.

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Ms. Day's star rose to its peak in such box-office hits as "Calamity Jane" (1953), Alfred Hitchcock's remake of "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1956), and "Pillow Talk" (1959), for which Day received an Oscar nomination for best actress. In the late '60s, she retreated to her home in Carmel, Calif., and devoted herself to the cause of animal welfare.

Her interest in the subject began with the accidental death of a childhood pet. Her dog, Tiny, was hit by a car.

"From that day forward," Day says by phone, "I always felt deeply and passionately about dogs needing to be on leashes when in the street, which is just one of the issues on which I focus." Day's Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, The Doris Day Animal League, also lobbies for programs that, through spaying and neutering, cut down on unwanted pets.

Day also runs a pet-friendly hotel in Carmel. The staff of the Cypress Inn includes a veterinarian and a concierge who walks dogs, cat-sits, or otherwise attends to the needs of thousands of four-legged guests.

"I really don't miss the limelight at all," Day says. "It would have to be the greatest script in the world to make me want to be in a movie again."

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