Doris Day's strange post-mortem requests have been laid bare as the world mourns the death of the Hollywood legend.

The singer and actress, who starred in blockbusters including Calamity Jane, died at her home on Monday at the age of 97, reports news.com.au.

The Doris Day Animal Foundation said in a statement that Day was surrounded by close friends at the time of her death and "had been in excellent physical health for her age, until recently contracting a serious case of pneumonia".

The organisation added that "Doris' wishes were that she have no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker".

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Her wholesome screen presence stood for a time of innocence in 1950s and 1960s movies.

She starred in romantic comedies Pillow Talk, Midnight Lace and Love Me or Leave Me, acting alongside leading men including Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Rock Hudson.

Her hit songs included Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera), from Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, in which she appeared with James Stewart.

Her squeaky-clean image was referenced in the 1971 musical and 1978 movie Grease, in the song Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee.

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With her cheerful, alliterative stage name, the smiley blonde occupied a parallel world to her contemporary Marilyn Monroe. The running joke, attributed to both Groucho Marx and actor-composer Oscar Levant, was that they had known Day "before she was a virgin".

Her 1976 tell-all book, Doris Day: Her Own Story, chronicled her money troubles and three failed marriages, contrasting with the happy-go-lucky image of her Hollywood career.

"I have the unfortunate reputation of being Miss Goody Two-Shoes, America's Virgin, and all that, so I'm afraid it's going to shock some people for me to say this, but I staunchly believe no two people should get married until they have lived together," she wrote.

In more recent years, Day turned her attention to animal welfare, founding the Doris Day Animal Foundation in 1978.

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