There are almost 6bn more people in the world today than there were when Doris Day, who has died in California aged 97, made her first film, Romance on the High Seas in 1948.
For the millions of people whose engagement with popular entertainment had not begun when she made her last film — With Six You Get Eggroll in 1968 — if might be helpful, if not entirely accurate, to describe her as the Beyonce of her day.
Though as talented, as musical and as politically aware, Day did not communicate in as a visceral way as Beyonce.
She was more restained and enjoyed, or suffered as she was to suggest, a reputation as a goody two shoes.
She once mockingly described herself as America’s Virgin — which drew an infamous response from Groucho Marx: “I knew her before she was a virgin.”
Stereotypically cast as a wholesome girl next door she, in death, showed how very different she was to her peers by her last request.
She wanted “no funeral or memorial service and no grave marker”.
Beyonce, when the time comes, may not be so modest or self-effacing.