Surprise! Doris Day Celebrates Her 95th (not 93rd) Birthday — See the Exclusive Portrait
Doris Day — who was previously believed to be turning 93 — celebrated her upcoming 95th birthday with an exclusive portrait
Hollywood legend Doris Day‘s actual birthday may be Monday, but that doesn’t mean she can’t get the party started a little early.
The Pajama Game star and animal-rights activist released a special birthday portrait exclusively to PEOPLE ahead of her 95th birthday on Monday. (Yes, that’s right, the Associated Press broke the news that Day will actually turn 95 — not 93 as it was previously believed — but who can blame a Hollywood legend for shaving a few years off?)
In a statement, the legendary actress told the AP that she hadn’t focused too much on birthdays, but noted “It’s great to finally know how old I really am!”
The actress is planning on spending her actual birthday with a low-key affair at her home in Carmel, California.
“The #DorisBirthdayWish video and photo campaign has been a huge hit and Doris is thrilled that many people have made DDAF.org to go along with their entries,” her publicist Charley Cullen Walters tells PEOPLE. “She has been loving viewing them throughout the weekend and will continue to do so through the birthday tomorrow so we hope as many people will submit and donate as possible!
“Doris is in great health and we now learn she’s even closer to being a centenarian. I will not be at all surprised if we’re celebrating her 100th in five more years.”
“Doris has never been one for celebrating her own birthday,” her publicist previously told PEOPLE. “But she’s very excited to visit with friends and family throughout the day, certainly to spend time with her beloved animals, and now to see photos from all over the world via the #DorisBirthdayWish campaign, through which we hope to raise lots of attention and donations for her Doris Day Animal Foundation.”
While she lives a quiet life these days, Walters said the icon is “sometimes known for waving to her fans from her home balcony — we will see!”
Day will also carve out time to look over the photos and videos being submitted to the social-media campaign launched by the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which she founded in 1978 to rescue and protect animals. The campaign encourages pet owners to upload photos and videos to their favorite social-media platform with the hashtag #DorisBirthdayWish, and tag the Doris Day Animal Foundation (@ddaf_org).
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In honor of her birthday, the star and the foundation will choose the top 95 entries, which will be presented to the star as a special digital birthday card, and which will be featured on the DDAF website and on PEOPLE.com.
“We’ll show her the photos on her iPad, which she’ll review,” said her close friend Bob Bashara. “She loves seeing what the foundation is doing and hearing all the success stories of pets they have helped.”
Meanwhile, her devoted fans gathered over the weekend in her adopted hometown of Carmel to celebrate her movies and her music at the Cypress Inn, which is hosted a two-day celebration to benefit the foundation, including a Q&A with Peter Baldwin (who played a small role in the 1958 movie Teacher’s Pet, alongside Day and Clark Gable) and a live auction of memorabilia, such as a Romance on the High Seas poster from Day’s film, signed by the star.
The hotel bar has also created a new cocktail in her honor called, appropriately, “Romance on the High Seas.”
“We wanted to make a sparkling champagne cocktail in her honor,” said Cypress Inn general manager Peter Radler. “We started with chilled French sparkling wine, and added a dash of whiskey, sugar and bitters, along with a sweet lemon twist for a little punch.”
All the proceeds will go to Day’s animal foundation.