Broadway and television actress Rose Marie, perhaps best known for her role as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, died today.
The recent documentary, Wait for Your Laugh tells her story of the longest active career in entertainment. Born Rose Marie Mazetta on August 15, 1923, in New York, she began performing at age 3 by winning an amateur contest that took her to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Rose Marie worked in vaudeville, Vegas, Broadway, movies, television, theatre, concert halls and nightclubs. Along the way she was known as “the kid” by the mob. She called Al Capone, Uncle Al, opened the Flamingo in Las Vegas for Bugsy Seigel, and had her career protected and nurtured by “the boys.”
Her friends include the best show business has to offer: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Johnny Mercer, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Durante, Milton Berle, Doris Day, Margaret Whiting and Bing Crosby to name just a few.
Rose Marie sang for Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and FDR and toured the night club circuit with Rosemary Clooney, the aunt of actor George Clooney.
She had a career that spanned nine decades and was also famous for appearing for years on the game show The Hollywood Squares in 629 of the show’s episodes.
Rose Marie starred in several of the earliest talking films, such as Baby Rose Marie. According to The National Museum of American History, she donated items to the museum, including her trademark black hair bow and shoes from her radio days.
Rose Marie was 94.