She married four times, was divorced three times and widowed once, suffered a nervous breakdown and had severe financial trouble after one husband squandered her money.
In recent years, Day made headlines for admitting she was really 95, not 93, in 2017, claiming never to have known her true birth year was 1922.
It was only when a vehicle accident left her with two broken legs that the 13-year-old turned to singing.
Actress Doris Day is pictured at the Aquarium in New York City, U.S.in this July 1946 image. This was the age when musicals transported you into a dreamworld of momentary escape and Doris Day was the wizard of the genre.
Day started her career as a singer, with her hit Sentimental Journey becoming a signature tune. Among the other songs she made famous were "Everybody Loves a Lover", "Secret Love", and "It's Magic", a song from her first film, "Romance on the High Seas".
"You gotta give her credit, the girl can sing", preens Snyder (James Cagney) as she performs the song in the film.
During her career, Doris Day won a Grammy Award, several Golden Globes and also recorded a collaborative album, Duet, with the André Previn trio.
Less than two months later, the Hollywood icon died at home on May 13, 2019, with family and friends by her side. She expanded her range again in Alfred Hitchcock's remake of his own "The Man Who Knew Too Much", which co-starred Jimmy Stewart.
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Doris Day, whose career spanned radio, film, TV and, perhaps most famously, the beloved sweetly innocent "sex comedies" of the 1960s, most notably with costar and friend Rock Hudson, died today.
Born on April 3, 1922, in OH, her real name was Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff, according to DorisDay.com.
At this time, upon the death of third husband Martin Melcher, Day discovered that he had squandered her vast fortune, which led to a series of lawsuits that would drag on for decades.
Newsweek has put together this guide of Day's hit films, songs and TV shows based on sites Rotten Tomatoes and IMBD that you can stream, rent or buy now.
Her death was announced by her animal charity on Monday.
From 1966 to 1973, Day starred as a widowed mother in CBS sitcom The Doris Day Show.
She had her only child with agent and producer Marty Melcher - record producer Terry Melcher, who died after a long illness in 2004. Her final marriage was to Barry Comden, from 1976 to 1981.