The legendary Doris Day will be celebrating her 97th birthday on April 3 and her loyal fans made their yearly pilgrimage to her adopted hometown of Carmel, California, to mark the special occasion.
Doris Day was undeniably one of the most popular celebs of her time. So much so, that even today she has an army of devoted fans who go to great lengths to make the icon's birthdays as special as possible. These besotted admirers make a pilgrimage to her adopted home of Carmel, California, every year to celebrate her birthday and this year was no different. As the legendary American actress cum singer prepares to celebrate her 97th birthday on April 3, her loyal fans made their yearly trip to the small beach city for a three-day event hosted by her charity the Doris Day Animal Foundation.
Following the exciting celebration in her honor, Day shared a gorgeous new portrait which is a testament to her evergreen beauty. Flashing her charming smile in the photograph, the Sentimental Journey singer appears as young as ever. The festivities held in honor of the icon's birthday featured a 60th-anniversary screening of Pillow Talk, the 1959 Oscar-winning Eastmancolor romantic comedy film which she made with her good friend Rock Hudson.
Although Day herself was not present at the event, she later shared an emotional statement thanking all those who'd arranged and attended the festivities. According to a report by PEOPLE, her statement reads, "I was floored to hear about all the activities happening over the weekend! I’m so touched and grateful to my pals who donated their time and talents and the wonderful fans from all over the world who made the trip just for my birthday."
"Their love and support to help us raise money for the precious four-ledgers means more to me than I can say," it concludes. Day, who won the hearts of millions of fans with her stellar performances in movies of the likes of Calamity Jane and Pajama Game, has been leading a quiet life in Carmel for the last four decades. Having once defined girl next door wholesomeness, the legend has since devoted her life to animal welfare, even going as far as to found the Animal Foundation in 1978.
As for how the Everybody Loves A Lover singer plans to celebrate her birthday, her business manager Bob Bashara revealed that Day would be ringing in the day with her favorite sweet treat, Edy’s slow-churned chocolate fudge ice cream. Speaking to PEOPLE, he said, "Doris will be spending a quiet birthday at home again this year surrounded by a few close friends. She always gets lots of phone calls wishing her happy birthday. And, in the evening, she’ll enjoy a special birthday dinner followed by cake and ice cream."
The publication previously revealed that the Doris Day Animal Foundation Annual Benefit held in Day's honor would take place at the Cypress Inn on March 28. The Inn was also said to be planning to offer a Pillow Talk cocktail, featuring vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice. Additionally, Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz was due to introduce another screening of the film at Carmel High School Center for Performing Arts.
The festivities were also said to include a Q&A with some of the legend's friends including comedian and impressionist Rich Little and Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall, in addition to a live auction of a signed Pillow Talk script. The next day, March 30, was to feature a performance by Little, pianist Michael Feinstein, who was to play favorites from the American Songbook. It was to be followed by a second auction featuring artwork painted and signed by Tony Bennett, the proceeds of which were to go to Day's Animal Foundation.
Speaking about the festivities ahead of the event, Day said, "I am so thrilled to have Michael Feinstein performing this year at the fundraiser for my animal foundation. So many of my friends and co-stars will be joining him for the weekend activities and it’s all to help the precious four-leggers." According to The Mercury News, the director of communications for the Doris Day Animal Foundation, Lea Price said of the actress, "Her movies have lasted the test of time. She exudes that positive energy that everybody loves to be associated with."
93-year old Marshall who attended the event with his wife Laurie and a canine friend said, "I’ve been really excited to be part and parcel of this for a long time." Scott Dreier, also perused the crowd praised the celebrity saying that what makes her so special is the quality of accessibility she always portrayed in her roles. "Whether it was dancing with Gene Nelson, comedy with Rock Hudson or doing serious scenes with Jimmy Stewart, everything she did was so real. She always lets you in," Dreier said.