Doris Day, who celebrates her 95th birthday today, has said "it's great to finally know" how old she is after journalists obtained a copy of her birth certificate to settle confusion about whether the screen legend is 93 or 95-years-old.

The Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk star had thought she was born in 1924, but the Associated Press in the US obtained a copy of her birth certificate from Ohio's Office of Vital Statistics which shows that Day was born Doris Mary Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922.

Upon hearing the news, Day said in a statement: "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!" 

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Day's spokesman, Charley Cullen Walters, said that after many years of speculation about her age "we finally have an answer". 

"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. We don't know if that's correct, but if so it could've simply stuck for all these years," he added.

Betty White has the last laugh about being two years older than friend Doris Day

One of Day's close friends is 95-year-old Golden Girls star Betty White - who was born in January 1922 - and Walters said the two had often joked about White being two years older.

"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. 

US film trade publication the Hollywood Reporter says that animal welfare activist Day has for many years used her birthday to highlight the work of the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which she established as a non-profit organisation in 1978. 

This year she has taken to social media to ask younger fans to post a video or photo of their pet with #DorisBirthdayWish and the tag @ddaf_org.

Day began her career as a big band singer and had her first big hit with Sentimental Journey in 1945. Other number ones included Love Somebody and Calamity Jane's Secret Love.

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While her anthem, Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be), from her Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much, won the Academy Award for Best Song Day did not compose the classic or write the lyrics and so was ineligible for the gong. Her most recent album, My Heart, was released in 2011.

Day made her movie debut in 1948 in Romance on the High Seas and went on to become one of the biggest stars of the 1950s and 60s in films including Young at Heart and The Pajama Game.

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Away from rom-coms and musicals, she showed her dramatic abilities in the films Midnight Lace and Love Me or Leave Me. Her last film, With Six You Get Eggroll, was released in 1968.

She went on to present The Doris Day Show on television and had her own chat show, Doris Day's Best Friends, which ran from 1985-86.

Day was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for Pillow Talk in 1960 but has declined to receive an honorary Academy Award numerous times over the years with spokesman Walters saying that her answer is always "never say never!" when the subject arises.