R.I.P. Rose Marie of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' and 'The Doris Day Show'
Image: The Everett Collection
Show business legend Rose Marie is best remembered as television writer Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show during the 1960s. But the entertainer’s career spanned more than 80 years, beginning when Marie was just three years old.
A Vaudeville veteran, Marie’s resume includes work in film, records, theater, nightclubs and television.
In 1927, Marie made her show business debut singing in a Vitaphone musical short that appeared on the bill with The Jazz Singer. Shortly thereafter, she made her first credited appearance in the 1929 short film Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder.
At the height of her fame as a child singer (1929 to 1934), Marie had her own radio show, had made numerous records and was featured in film shorts. And in 1933 she appeared in W.C. Fields’ feature film, International House.
When her days as a child star came to an end, Marie made a name for herself as a nightclub and lounge sensation as a teenager and then become a radio comedian.
She made her Broadway debut in 1951, co-starring with Phil Silvers in the hit show Top Banana and later starred in the film adaptation.
During the 1960s, Marie made her mark in television. From 1960 to 1961, she co-starred in television series My Sister Eileen as the character Bertha. And from 1961 to 1966 she starred in five seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show as television writer Sally Rogers.
She then co-starred in two seasons of The Doris Day Show from 1969 to 1971 as Doris Martin’s friend and co-worker, Myrna Gibbons.
Marie also had a semi-regular seat on the original version of Hollywood Squares (1965 to 1980) alongside her friend and Dick Van Dyke co-star, Morey Amsterdam. Much later, she also appeared on both the 1986 and 1998 revivals of Hollywood Squares.
Although Marie was established in television in the mid 1960s, she kept her singing career going, touring as part of the musical revue 4 Girls 4 from 1977 to 1981 with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O'Connell and Margaret Whiting.
Starting in 1990, Marie had a recurring role on Murphy Brown as Frank Fontana’s mother. Also, in 1997 she appeared on Wings as Roy Biggin’s domineering mother, Eleanor “Bluto” Biggins.
In 2001, Marie received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in November 2017, a critically acclaimed documentary about her life, Wait for Your Laugh received a theatrical release. In the trailer below, you can hear clips from Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner, discussing her career, which the trailer points out, if you follow Rose Marie, you quickly learn "she's the history of showbiz."
On Thursday, December 28, Rose Marie passed away at the age of 94.