Doris Day Dies at 97

American actress Doris Day, whose wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in '60s films, has died at the age of 97, her foundation has said.

The Doris Day Animal Foundation confirmed the legendary Hollywood star died early on Monday at her Carmel Valley home in California.

Day, who starred as Calamity Jane in the 1953 film, was surrounded by close friends and "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia".

She was known for her honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and '60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history.

Day's lilting voice, wholesome blond beauty and ultra-bright smile brought her a string of hits, first on records, and then later in Hollywood.

She turned 97 on April 3, and Day told the Hollywood Reporter she celebrated all week with "dear old friends out of town" and enjoyed "quiet dinners".

The Hollywood icon has been intensely private since retiring from acting, last appearing in public 30 years ago to accept an award at the 1989 Gold Globes.

Her final TV interview was shown to the world in 1994, and since then her only publicity has come through a smattering of interviews.