Doris Day is honored to be receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom, but the entertainer's fear of flying kept her from traveling to Washington Wednesday to accept it from President Bush.
"I am deeply grateful to the president and to my country," said the singer-actress, who turned 80 in April. "But I won't fly."
Day is one of 12 people being awarded the nation's highest civilian honor.
"My first reaction was, For what?'" she said Tuesday by phone from her home in Carmel Valley, Calif., south of San Francisco. "I'm not being coy, or looking for a laugh. I have never thought about awards, whatever I do."
Day won an Oscar nomination for Pillow Talk and made several gold records.
Welcome to the working world
They love the '80s
Photo Gallery: Performers then and now
All-purpose web site sets up shop here
'Norton Effect' a 'silly little show'
With all of this fluff, what is real hard-hitting TV news?
Trial drugs may help anorexics
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Footlighters' 'La Mancha' all set to compete
For a complete OCTAFEST schedule
'Forbidden Broadway' roasts shows everybody knows
Citing infection, Jessica Simpson cancels show
St. Louis orchestra hits funding goal
k.d. lang remembers her roots
Beyoncé fragrance by Tommy
Fear of flying keeps Doris Day grounded
Dylan gets honorary degree from Scottish university
Latest 'Idol' changes name to just Fantasia
Get to it! A guide to help make your day
TV's best bets
The Early Word: Jump on your weekend