Doris Day (born April 3, 1924) is an American singer, actress, and animal activist. A vivacious blonde with a wholesome image, she was one of the most prolific actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. She was born in Evanston, Ohio (a suburb of Cincinnati), and named Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff. The name Doris was chosen in honor of a silent movie actress, Doris Kenyon, whom her mother liked. Her family was Catholic, despite her parents' divorce, but she later embraced Christian Science.
She started out as a dancer, winning a contract that enabled her to travel to Hollywood with her partner, Jerry Doherty, in 1936, but turned to singing when she injured her leg in an auto accident in 1937. She was a singer with the big bands of Barney Rapp, Bob Crosby, and Les Brown before setting out on her own as a singer in the late 1940s. It was Barney Rapp who convinced her that Kappelhoff was too awkward a name and suggested Day after a song named "Day after Day" that was part of her repertoire. She never really liked the name Doris Day, thinking it sounded too much like a stripper; this was ironic, since she eventually became associated with a nearly opposite image of wholesomeness and innocence.
With Brown, she had twelve charted popular music hits, and among them the first two #1 songs of her career, "Sentimental Journey" and "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time". On her own, she went on to several other #1s, including "Secret Love".
She also acted in many films, in most of which she sang as well. In 1956, starred in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, where she sang the song "Que Sera Sera". The song won an Oscar and it became her signature song. From 1968 to 1973, she made the transition to television, starring in her own sitcom, The Doris Day Show. The theme song for the show was "Que Sera Sera".
Though generally presenting a happy, carefree image to the public, she had four difficult marriages: