And planning a special celebration on April 3.

By Nellah Bailey McGough
Doris Day Portrait
Credit: Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

Move Over, Darling was the first Doris Day movie I ever watched. I remember clear as day (no pun intended) heading to the Winona Theater holding my mother's hand. I was 4-years-old when my love for the actress and her movies began. Doris Day made 39 movies but my favorites will always be her romantic comedies. While playing the wife or girlfriend to handsome leading men, such as Rock Hudson, James, Garner, Clark Gabel, and Cary Grant, her characters were more than the all-American girl next door.

Doris Day Riding Bike
Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The women she portrayed juggled careers and family with a healthy and entertaining dose of crazy drama mix. She played characters who were no-nonsense and tough as nails while sporting that fresh-faced smile and adorable sense of humor. And she wore such fabulous clothes. No wonder she was the most popular female box office draw in the early 1960s.

She also loved animals, and dogs played a big part in her movies as well as her television show. (Remember her big sheep dog, Lord Nelson, on The Doris Day Show? Well, Lord Nelson also played Tramp on My Three Sons.) Because of this passion, Day created The Doris Day Animal Foundation to help homeless, abused, neglected, and senior animals. Since most of us probably won't be attending her 97th birthday celebration at her hotel, The Cypress Inn, in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, my present to the icon will be a donation to her Foundation. I think she'd like that and it's the least I can do after the years of laughter she's given me through her movies. Happy, Happy Birthday, Doris Day!

Never seen a Doris Day movie? Here are some of my favorites...

Pillow Talk (Rock Hudson)

Move Over, Darling (James Garner)

Lover Come Back (Rock Hudson)

That Touch of Mink (Carey Grant)

Send Me No Flowers (Rock Hudson)

The Glass Bottom Boat (Rod Taylor)

The Thrill of it All (James Garner)

Please Don't Eat the Daisies (David Niven)

With Six You Get Egg Roll (Brian Keith)