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Doris Day Makes Her First Public Appearance in More Than 2 Decades

Doris Day and a fan on April 4


updated 04/09/2014 AT 10:40 AM ET

originally published 04/09/2014 AT 11:00 AM ET

She wasn’t expected to attend the annual Doris Day Animal Foundation benefit in honor of her 90th birthday. But at the last minute, the song and screen legend decided to make a surprise entrance.

When Doris Day, sporting her trademark pageboy do and a white turtleneck, entered the room at Carmel’s Quail Lodge on April 4 (the day after she turned 90), stunned guests cheered her arrival. Some even started to cry.

“At first I didn’t realize it was for me,” says Day, who hadn’t made a public appearance in more than two decades. “I couldn’t believe it. People kept coming up to me all night, kissing and hugging me. It’s all so exciting and sweet. I’ll never ever forget it.”

One of the biggest box-office stars of her time, Day is amazed her films had such an impact. “I am thrilled people love my movies,” she says. “We all had so much fun making them.”

Day says she keeps in shape by exercising every day, taking long walks on her property with her beloved dogs, and eating a healthy diet. She enjoys occasional indulgences such as a glass of wine (“Just one glass,” she says) and her favorite, ice cream.

“I love good and healthy things,” she says.

Still, she’s not one to focus on her age. “I just feel young,” she says. “I can’t really explain it. I just feel that way.”

Doris Day and a fan on April 4


Happy Birthday, Doris Day!

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