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Doris Day, a LGBTI icon and Hollywood legend, dies at 97 years old

Doris Day, a LGBTI icon and Hollywood legend, dies at 97 years old

RIP Doris Day | Photo: Flickr

Hollywood legend Doris Day has died at 97 years old.

A LGBTI icon, she is fondly remembered for her on-screen partnerships with gay actor Rock Hudson.

She appeared in such classics as Pillow Talk and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

She was well known for her animal welfare activism in later life. She also has a string of chart hits, of which Que Sera Sera remains one of her most famous.

Many of her LGBTI fans also treasured the song Secret Love from 1953’s Calamity Jane. At a time when most people had to stay in the closet and keep their crushes secret, the song became an anthem.

In 2011 Day made UK chart history when she became the oldest woman to score a top 10 album.

In a statement, the Doris Day Animal Foundation said she died on Monday at her home in Carmel Valley, California.

It said she had been ‘in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia’.

‘She was surrounded by a few close friends as she passed,’ the statement continued.

Despite being a lifelong Republican, she still supported HIV and AIDS awareness.

RIP Doris Day

Back in 2012, Day gave a surprise message to riders at the AIDS LifeCycle event.

The event is one of the world’s most successful fundrasers for HIV and AIDS.

‘ just want to take a moment to personally thank you all for riding all those miles, and tonight for honoring those lost to AIDS, including my dear, dear friend Rock Hudson,’ she said. ‘It has been over 30 years since AIDS first emerged. And that means almost 30 years since Rock was diagnosed. It was so hard to see him taken from all of us just a little over a year later.’

‘I know many of you there have also experienced similar loss to mine,’ she added. ‘What you’re doing is so important, both to remember those gone and also to ensure those alive keep living much longer than Rock was able to. So keep pedaling.’