Iconic Hollywood actress and Grammy Award-winning singer Doris Day passed away Monday at the age of 97 at her home in California following a serious case of pneumonia, according to her namesake animal charity organization.
However, it was revealed by her close friend and manager that, per instructions in her last will and testament, no funeral will be held for the famed star.
No funeral, memorial or grave site marker
People Magazine reported that friend and manager Bob Bashara said Ms. Day couldn’t have been clearer about her wishes, namely that there would be “no funeral, no memorial
Bashara said Day didn’t “like to talk about” plans for funerals or memorial services following her death because “She didn’t like death, and she couldn’t be with her animals if they had to be put down. She had difficulty accepting death.”
“I’d say we need to provide for her dogs [after she died], and she’d say, ‘I don’t want to think about it’ and she said, ‘Well, you just take care of them.’ She had several when her will was written, and she wanted to be sure they were taken care of. She didn’t like to talk about the dogs dying.”
Following her lengthy acting and singing career, in 1978 the legendary star created the Doris Day Animal Foundation. Bashara said that Day’s estate will be donated to the charity, and any fans and supporters who wished to pay their respects to her should make a donation to the charity instead.
“The ultimate thing for it is to keep the foundation going,” Bashara said.
A “spiritual person” with a “God-given voice”
Bashara described Day as “a spiritual person” who was raised Catholic before becoming a Christian Scientist, only to eventually find that she had “drifted away” from organized religion to instead embrace her own personal sprituality.
Bashara said, “She believed in God, and she thought her voice was God-given. She would say, ‘God gave me a voice, and I just used it.'”
He further explained that he thought it was Day’s perpetual shyness that compelled her to leave instructions in her will that there be no funeral following her death.
“She never let her celebrity affect her and who she was, and she was always the little girl from Cincinnati who was extraordinarily talented and went out in the world and did what she loved to do despite herself,” Bashara said. “She was guileless, and I had discussions with her about how popular she was, and she would say, ‘I don’t understand it’ about why she was so
The death of Doris Day is certainly a tragic loss for Hollywood, but the last wishes and down-to-earth personality of the legendary star ensured that her death would be a win of sorts for the beloved animals she rescued.