Rose Marie, the former child star whose career spanned nine decades, died at her home in Van Nuys, California earlier today. She was 94.
Born Rose Marie Mazetta in New York City on August 15, 1923, her career began at the tender age of three as “Baby Rose Marie.” At age five, she became a radio star on NBC, and she began playing on the vaudeville circuit and appearing in small roles in movies (including “International House” opposite W.C. Fields in 1933). She also made 17 recordings between 1930 and 1938.
Following 10 appearances on sitcom “The Bob Cummings Show” in the 1958-59 season, then adult Rose Marie landed her first regularly scheduled series role in comedy “My Sister Eileen,” which ran for one season from 1960-61. Next was the Emmy nominated role she is most associated with, man-hungry Sally Rogers sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” which aired for five seasons on CBS (from 1961-66).
Rose Marie was also a semi-regular on game show “The Hollywood Squares” for 14 years, she traveled the guest star route (including a recurring role on the original “S.W.A.T.” on ABC in 1975), and she returned to the land of sitcoms with a two-season stint on CBS’ “The Doris Day Show” from 1969 to 1971. Later in her career, she made two appearances on comedy “Murphy Brown” as Frank Fontana’s (Joe Regalbuto) mother, and she had a co-starring role in short-lived Fox sitcom “Hardball” in 1994.
Rose Marie was also an accomplished performer in the theater, including “Top Banana” opposite Phil Silvers in 1951 and the musical revue ,“4 Girls 4,” from 1977 to 1985. And her autobiography, “Hold the Roses,” was published in 2002.
Rose Marie was married to trumpeter Bobby Guy from 1946 until his death in 1964, and they had one daughter, Georgiana, who survives her.