Actress and singer Rose Marie, best known for playing Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, passed away at the age of 94 according to Variety. Born Rose Marie Matzetta in New York City on August 15, 1923, Rose Marie started her career at the tender age of just three years old. Billed under the name Baby Rose Marie – which she used until dropping the Baby part at 15 – she sang through the last days of vaudeville. By the time she was five she was singing on the radio for NBC, and had her own radio show from 1929 to 1934. In the 1930s she appeared in a handful of short films – plus one feature length titled International House – and made 17 recordings. As a teenager she was a nightclub singer and radio comedian. Gangsters Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel allegedly helped with her career, and she sang at opening night of the Siegel owned Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1946.
Rose Marie’s acting career really began to take off in the 50s, with the movie Top Banana and guest starring roles on several TV shows, including The Red Skelton Hour and Gunsmoke. In 1958 and 59 she appeared in 9 episodes of The Bob Cummings Show as Martha Randolph. Two years later she landed the biggest role of her career – that of writer Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Sally Rogers was an early example of a career woman on a TV series. As one third of the comedy writing team behind the fictional variety show The Alan Brady Show, Rose Marie often matched her wit against star Dick Van Dyke and Morey Amsterdam. While she did fall into some female stereotypes such as being on the hunt for a husband and the group’s designated typist, she was also strong willed and witty. Rose Marie played Sally for five years and all 158 episodes of the show.
Following The Dick Van Dyke Show Rose Marie returned to guest starring in various series, including The Monkees, The Virginian, and My Three Sons. She joined the cast of The Doris Day Show in the second season as Doris’ co-worker Myrna Gibbons and stayed with the show for two seasons – until a massive upheaval after the third season resulted in most of the show’s cast being removed from the series.
While she was seen in the occasional movie such as Memory of Us and Lunch Wagon Rose Marie’s career continued to largely be on television. She appeared episodes of Adam-12, Kojak, and Chico and the Man. She had a five episode stint on S.W.A.T. and played four different characters on four episodes of The Love Boat. She also provided voice over for cartoons such as Yogi’s Gang and The Real Ghostbusters. She also voiced Norma Bates for the remake of Psycho in 1998. From 2008 to 2013 she voiced characters on The Garfield Show. While that was her last credited acting role, she was recently in the documentary Wait For Your Laugh which was released last month and tells the story her incredible 90+ year career.
Rose Marie is survived by her daughter Georgiana. Her almost century long legacy to the world of entertainment is unmatched and she will be missed by her family and her fans.
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