In this April 12, 1955 file photo, film actress and singer Doris Day poses with her husband and agent Martin Melcher at their hotel after arriving in London. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, File)
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Doris Day, the honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and '60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history, has died.Day herself was no Doris Day, by choice and by hard luck.In "Pillow Talk," released in 1959 and her first of three films with Rock Hudson, she proudly caught up with what she called "the contemporary in me". Day began singing in a Cincinnati radio station, then a local nightclub, then in New York. A bandleader changed her name to Day, after the song "Day after Day," to fit it on a marquee.After early stardom as a band singer and a stint at Warner Bros., Day won the best notices of her career with "Love Me or Leave Me," the story of songstress Ruth Etting and her gangster husband-manager. She initially balked at it, but the 1955 film became a box-office and critical success.Both bowed out, and Day, recommended by songwriters Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, won the role.In 1974, Day won a $22.8 million judgment against Jerome B. Rosenthal, her lawyer and business manager, for mishandling of her and Melcher's assets.
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