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Surprise! Doris Day Discovers Her Real Age

Screen legend is actually 2 years older than she thought

Doris Day

Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Doris Day’s representative isn’t certain how the birthday mix-up happened.

Doris Day just had to blow out more birthday candles than she expected to. The Hollywood legend celebrated turning 95 on Monday, April 3 — not 93  — and she was as surprised as anyone.

The Associated Press uncovered the truth after obtaining Day’s birth certificate from Ohio’s Office of Vital Statistics. It listed a birth date of April 3 for Doris Mary Kappelhoff (Day’s real name), but the year was 1922. Day had always thought she was born in 1924.

“I’ve always said that age is just a number, and I have never paid much attention to birthdays, but it’s great to finally know how old I really am!” Day said in a statement Sunday.

Day’s representative wasn’t certain how the film legend’s birthday mix-up happened, but offered one explanation.

“The story I have heard the most is that at one point, Doris was up for a role when quite young and her age may have been miswritten on the audition form,” Charley Cullen Walters told AP. “We don’t know if that’s correct, but if so, it could’ve simply stuck for all these years.”

The year 1922 appears to be a banner one when it comes to celebrity births. Betty White, Carl Reiner and Bill Macy were all born that year, and they’re all still living.

Funny enough, the Pajama Game star apparently often joked with close friend and fellow animal-rights activist Betty White, who turned 95 on Jan. 17, about being two years younger.

“Now we know that they are actually just a couple months apart, and turns out it’s an even bigger exciting landmark than we thought,” Walters said.

Day started out as a dancer but switched to singing and acting after injuring her leg in a car accident as a teenager. She was most popular in the 1950s and 1960s, often appearing as the girl next door in films such as Pillow Talk and Calamity Jane. Later, she turned to the small screen, starring in a sitcom called The Doris Day Show, from 1968 to 1973.

In a rare exclusive interview earlier this year, the notoriously private Day told Closer Weekly that she’s lived a good life: “There’s no sense in having regrets. I think you have to get through the bad times to appreciate the good things in life. I’ve had my share of both and always said I’m like one of those dolls with the round bottom — if life deals you a blow, you have to bounce right back.”

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