Retirement, in Hollywood, isn’t often a voluntary endeavor — dropping out of the public eye completely, even less so. But that’s the case with Doris Day, who turns… 80-something years old on April 3.
Apparently the actual birth year of Day is shrouded in ambiguity. Her website claims it to be 1924, while most authoritative sites like IMDB and Wikipedia cite 1922 as the year — the latter noting a 1930 census which had Day down as 7 years old. It’s a fitting mystery for a woman who’s spent the majority of her very famous life avoiding fame.
The Cincinnati-born actress and singer appeared in 39 films and recorded more than 650 songs during her career — almost all in the span of just 25 years. She’s been essentially retired since “The Doris Day Show” ended its run in 1973.
Since then she’s spent most of her time off the radar, living at her Carmel-by-the-Sea home in California, devoting her energies to the Doris Day Animal Foundation.
Day has made several radio interviews in the 21st century, but has not appeared on television. She’s been given the Presidential Medal of Freedom and offered a Kennedy Center Honor, but, according to her official site, declined to attend out of a fear of flying.
According to the 2011 International Motion Picture Almanac, Day remains the top-ranking female box office star of all time, ranked sixth in the list of top performers.
So in honor of that distinguished achievement, raise a birthday toast and enjoy her in one of the only musical numbers ever to be in an Alfred Hitchcock film: