Actress Rose Marie, whose trademark hair bow is in the Smithsonian and who had a long career spanning TV, Broadway, films, nightclubs and as a Hollywood Square, has died. She was 94 and passed away in Van Nuys, CA.
She was best known for her role as comedy writer Sally Rogers on TV’s The Dick Van Dyke Show, trading barbs with the boys club in quick-witted fashion after joining the show in 1961. The series starred Van Dyke as the head writer of a hit TV comedy show loosely based on Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca’s Your Show of Shows. Sally was the only woman in the writers’ room and was modeled on Your Show of Shows writer Selma Diamond, one of the rare women to break through to the top ranks of the field.
Carl Reiner, who created the show and occasionally starred in it, tweeted:
After five seasons, Rose Marie moved on to The Doris Day Show.
She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in October of 2001, later releasing a best-selling memoir, Hold the Roses, in 2006.
Born Rose Marie Mazzetta on August 15, 1923, the same day when Broadway musical Rose-Marie opened, she started her career at age 3 by winning an amateur talent show as Baby Rose Marie.
She later segued to radio, becoming a popular guest star and eventually getting her own program on NBC. She also was a recording artist for Mercury Records. The popularity led her to a film career, where she appeared in some of the earliest talkies, including the 1929 short Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder.
Marie appeared in several Paramount pictures, including International House and Big Broadcast of 1935.
In 1946, Rose Marie became a Las Vegas headliner, hired by Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel as one of the The Flamingo Hotel’s headliners, joining Jimmy Durante and Xavier Cugat.
But Broadway also beckoned, and she appeared in Top Banana with Phil Silvers and got a regular role in My Sister Eileen. One of her other career highlights was touring with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O’Connell and Margaret Whiting in the show 4 Girls 4.
Her life was later encapsulated in the film Wait For Your Laugh, directed by Jason Wise.
She is survived by daughter Georgiana Marie, aka Noopy; and her son-in-law Steven Rodrigues. Service announcements are pending.