Doris Day is an American actress, singer, and animal rights activist. Day began her career as a big band singer in 1939. Her popularity began to rise after her first hit recording, "Sentimental Journey", in 1945. After leaving Les Brown & His Band of Renown to try a solo career, she started her long-lasting partnership with Columbia Records, which would remain her only recording label. The contract lasted from 1947 to 1967, and included more than 650 recordings, making Day one of the most popular and acclaimed singers of the 20th century. In 1948, after being persuaded by Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne and her agent at the time, Al Levy, she auditioned for Michael Curtiz, which led to her being cast as the female lead in Romance on the High Seas. Over the course of her career, Day appeared in 39 films. She was ranked the biggest box-office star, the only woman on that list, for four years ranking in the top 10 for ten years. She became the top-ranking female box-office star of all time and is currently ranked sixth among the top 10 box office performers, as of 2012. She received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Pillow Talk, won three Henrietta Awards, received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Career Achievement Award and, in 1989, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures. Day made her last film in 1968.