Thursday, June 24, 2004

Fear of flying keeps Doris Day grounded

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.

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