Doris Day, the renowned actress and singer who rose to fame during the Golden Age of Hollywood, passed away at the age of 97 two years ago. Over the course of her career, she appeared in nearly 30 films and released more than 650 songs between 1947 and 1967, earning numerous accolades such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her outstanding contributions to music and movies.
Despite her beloved status, a close friend of Day recently disclosed that she had no desire for a funeral, memorial service, or grave marker.
There were reasons behind her decision, let’s explore them further.
Doris Day is an admirable figure for many reasons, including her remarkable talent, her affection for animals, and her humility. Over the course of her 50-year career, she gained widespread recognition and respect for her acting roles in films like Pillow Talk, Love Me or Leave Me, and The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Doris was also a talented singer who had won a Grammy award. Her iconic songs such as Sentimental Journey, Secret Love, and Que Sera Sera had been recognized by the Grammy Hall of Fame.
In addition to her success in the entertainment industry, Day was also an influential animal rights activist. Her compassionate nature led her to speak out for the rights of voiceless animals. She even established the Doris Day Animal Foundation.
Despite being married four times, Day only had one child, Terry Mulcher, who was born to her first husband Al Jorden. Sadly, Mulcher passed away in 2004 from melanoma.
Doris herself passed away in 2019 at her residence in Carmel Valley, California due to pneumonia. The announcement of her death was made by her charity organization, the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which also revealed that she had requested no funeral services, grave marker, or public memorials. Instead, her ashes were scattered as per her final wishes.
According to her manager and close friend, Bob Bashara, Doris had a fear of death and did not want to talk about the prospect of a funeral.
She was concerned about the wellbeing of her dogs after her passing, as she had several when her will was written. Bashara shared that she wanted to ensure they were taken care of, but didn’t like to talk about their deaths.
Starting in the early 1970s, Day became an enthusiastic advocate for animal rights, condemning the use of fur and establishing the Doris Day Animal Foundation. In 2020, she generated $3 million for the cause by auctioning over 1,000 of her possessions. She also played a part in establishing a Horse Rescue and Adoption Center in Texas, which aims to help mistreated and abandoned horses.
Day grew up Catholic and later became a practicing Christian Scientist, after marrying producer Martin Melcher.
Her first husband was trombonist Al Jorden, whom she met at the age of 16, and with whom she had her only child, Terrence “Terry” Paul Jorden. After Jorden was adopted by Day’s third husband, film producer Martin Melcher, he changed his name to Terrence Paul Melcher.
According to Bashara, Day became less involved in organized religion after Melcher’s death in 1968, but she maintained her spiritual beliefs. She believed that her voice was a gift from God, saying, “God gave me a voice, and I just used it.”
Day retired from acting in the early 1970s but returned for two TV shows. In 1985, she hosted her own talk show, “Doris Day’s Best Friends,” on the Christian Broadcasting Network for one year.
Bashara, Day’s friend and manager, said he was uncertain why Day did not want a funeral, but suggested that her shyness may have been a factor.
Despite receiving letters from adoring fans, Day never fully understood why so many people loved her, according to Bashara. He added that Day never allowed her celebrity status to change who she was, remaining the talented girl from Cincinnati who pursued her passion.
Day was cremated and her ashes were scattered, and her estate was donated to charity. Each person has their own way of dealing with death, and it’s important to respect their wishes.
Doris Day was a legendary actress and singer who will always be remembered and cherished. Rest in peace, Doris Day. Please share.