Dennis Day, a golden-voiced Irish balladeer whose career as a foil for comedian Jack Benny spanned decades of radio, television and film, died late Wednesday after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 71.

Day died at his Bel Air home, surrounded by his 10 children and 13 grandchildren, his publicist said.Day's career spanned decades in radio, television and movies, and he was rated as one of the shrewdest talents in the business.

Born Eugene Denis McNulty to Irish parents in New York City on May 21, 1917, he was graduated from St. Patrick's Cathedral High School and attended Manhattan College.