10:23 AM EDT, October 31, 2013
She was the blonde, blue-eyed girl next door who lit up the screen during the 50's and 60's. Doris Day's wholesome sensuality helped her to soar to stardom with roles in hits like Pillow Talk—starring opposite her real-life best friend, Rock Hudson.
But today, 89-year-old Doris Day is a virtual recluse. The last known photo of her was taken in 2008 hiding behind sunglasses and a big straw hat. She rarely leaves her ranch in Carmel, California. The last time we heard from her was two years ago when she released her first album in decades, saying, "I hope you know all about it and like it my darling friends."
Doris Day is known in Carmel as the eccentric old lady who serves food on paper plates and lives with dozens of stray animals.
And now, we're getting a rare glimpse inside her secret world from one of her closest confidants, Sydney Wood who, for 30 years, was the handyman at Day's ranch.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret said to Wood, "She always seems to be surrounded by dogs."
Wood replied, "Always. I think that's where all the money goes to."
He shared some never-before-seen photos of Doris Day posing with her cats and dogs, which all have their own bedrooms.
"She tripped over a mattress in the cat room where the cats slept and she put her back out," he explained.
Wood says Day even has a separate kitchen for the animals, and a pet cemetery outside. And get this—the woman who was once the biggest box office draw in America has a washing machine in her bedroom.
"Why in the world would somebody have a washing machine in the bedroom?" asked Moret.
"Oh my goodness, she's the most down to earth lady that you'd ever meet," said Wood.
Wood says Day went on a downward spiral after the 2004 death of her beloved son, Terry Melcher.
"How close were they?" asked Moret.
"Oh, extremely close. I mean, it was not mother and son relationship. It was deeper than that. Much, much deeper," said Wood.
Next year, Doris Day turns 90, a milestone in the life of a once-glamorous American sweetheart.