Legendary songstress and screen star Doris Day turns 92 on Sunday, but she tells PEOPLE she doesn’t think about her age.
“I’m not really fond of birthdays anymore,” she tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement. “Age is just a number. How you feel and live your life is more important.”
Day will spend the day surrounded by a few close friends and her beloved pets.
While she spends her time quietly these days in Carmel, California, Day told PEOPLE in a rare 2011 interview: “I love life. I have my pets around me and good friends. I’m young at heart and I love to laugh. There’s nothing better.”
Born Doris Kappelhoff in Cincinnati to music teacher William and homemaker Alma, Day first began singing on the radio and broke through with her big-band hit “Sentimental Journey” and quickly shot to stardom.
After going solo in 1947, she successfully auditioned for Warner Bros. and was cast in a handful of romantic musicals, including Romance on the High Seas.
In 1956, she starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Man Who Knew Too Much, in which she recorded the Oscar-winning song, “Que Sera, Sera.”
In 1959 she starred alongside Rock Hudson in Pillow Talk, which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, and marked the beginning of a close friendship with her co-star.
“He called me Eunice,” she told PEOPLE in 2011 with a laugh. “He’d come into the makeup area hollering, ‘Eunice, I’ll be over with a doughnut!'”
For years, she was the top box office star in the world.
But off screen, Day faced many challenges, including three divorces and the death of her beloved son, Terry Melcher, in 2004.
“I have had a lot of sorrow, and I still feel that,” she told PEOPLE in 2011.
Day spends her days taking long walks in the garden, tending to her animals, answering fan mail and helping with her Doris Day Animal Foundation. (The website features an ecard where fans can wish her happy birthday.)
On Saturday, the DDAF hosted a 92nd birthday party and fundraiser in her honor.
“The Doris Day Animal Foundation team is putting on another big celebration,” she told PEOPLE in her statement. ” And I am so grateful and honored that fans and friends come from all over the world to help support the precious four-leggers.”[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/257094564" params="visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]
Day also shared a pre-recorded message for her birthday to play at the event. Listen to her message above.