Doris Day (born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff; April 3, 1924) is an American actress, singer and, since her retirement from show business, an animal rights activist. With an entertainment career that spanned through almost 50 years, Day started her career as a big band singer in 1939, but only began to be noticed after her first hit recording, "Sentimental Journey", in 1945. After leaving the Les Brown & His Band of Renown to try a solo career, she started her long-lasting partnership with Columbia Records, which would remain her only recording label. The contract lasted from 1947 to 1967, and included more than 650 recordings, making Day one of the most popular singers of the 20th century. In 1948, after being persuaded by Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne and her agent at the time, Al Levy, she auditioned for Michael Curtiz, which led to the lead in Romance on the High Seas, her first film.
With a legendary Hollywood "girl-next-door" image and capable of delivering comedy, romance as well as heavy drama, she appeared in 39 films, released 29 albums and spent 460 weeks in the Top 40 charts. She received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Pillow Talk, won a Golden Globe, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Legend Award from the Society of Singers, and, in 1989, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures.