(allow the active x control to
run to hear Rose Marie singing in the background)
A Biography of Rose Marie
so she had a little help—talented writers, directors, and
costars. But basically that classic, independent, funny, vulnerable
character, Sally Rogers of The Dick Van Dyke Show, was the creation
of Rose Marie, the actress who gave Sally life and turned millions of
viewers into her personal cheering section.
Her work on that series earned her three Emmy nominations, which
she attributed to her experience of having been a performer since the
age of 3. As "Baby Rose Marie," at the age of five she was
signed by NBC to star in her own coast-to-coast radio show. At the
age of seven she was sent on the road by NBC just to prove that her
deep adultlike voice did indeed belong to a child. In 1933 she
appeared in her first film, International House with W.C. Fields.
At age 11 she dropped the "Baby" and continued her
career as Rose Marie. As a teenager, the husky-throated young lady
became a headliner at leading nightclubs across the country, from New
York's famed Copacabana and Latin Quarter to the Las Vegas Strip
where, with Jimmy Durante and Xavier Cugat, she opened the first
luxury casino-club, The Flamingo. The years that followed found Rose
Marie a regular headliner in Vegas, where she played the Riviera
Hotel, Sahara, Thunderbird and Harrah's in Reno and Tahoe.
Gathering a wealth of show-biz knowledge from working with the
greats of comedy and song, Rose Marie became expert in comedic
delivery herself. She interrupted her singing career long enough to
gain great critical acclaim on Broadway as costar with Milton Berle
in Spring in Brazil, Zero Mostel in Lunatics and Lovers, and Phil
Silvers in Top Banana. She followed this up by touring with the
national touring companies of Call Me Madam and Bye Bye Birdie.
The film version of Top Banana brought Rose Marie back to motion
pictures. (As a child star she made numerous musical shorts and
comedy films.) She appeared in Memories of Us, Dead Heat on a
Merry-Go-Round, The Man from Clover Grove, Lunch Wagon, Cheaper to
Keep Her, and Dick and Jane.
When situation comedy began to emerge on television, Rose Marie
was there. She created running roles on The Bob Cummings Show, My
Sister Eileen, The Doris Day Show and S.W.A.T., not to mention her
own series in Honeymoon Suite. But it is for her costarring role in
the classic comedy The Dick Van Dyke Show that Rose Marie is most
remembered. Here, she portrayed the first "woman in a man's
world"—the independent, Sally Rogers. She received three
Emmy nominationsfor this role.
Later, variety television shows became a natural for the
comedienne-vocalist. Rose Marie made numerous appearances with Jackie
Gleason, Jimmy Durante, Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Garry Moore,
Tennessee Ernie Ford, Dinah Shore, George Gobel, Dean Martin, Merv
Griffin, Mike Douglas, and Johnny Carson. Her game-show appearances
read like a history of the genre from Password and I've Got a Secret
to a 14-year stint as a regular on Hollywood Squares.
The late 70s and 80s saw Rose Marie returning
to the night club-concert
hall circuit in the highly successful
revue 4 Girls 4 along with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O'Connell,
Margaret Whiting and later, Kay Starr.
Rose Marie's roles usually portray her as a husband-hunter, but
she was very much married for twenty years to the late Bobby Guy,
first trumpeter for the NBC Orchestra. She still lives in the same
home she and Bobby moved into in the San Fernando
Valley, California. She is a celebrated Italian cook, a collector of
plates, a tireless defender of numerous humanitarian causes,
notably animal welfare, and a proud mother of Georgiana, known as Noopy.
RoseMarie (RoseMarie Mazetta) was born on August 15, 1923.
"I play me in almost everything I do," Rose Marie
admitted. "I play a part to the best of my ability to get a joke
out, to sell it, and to do it best." As the veteran comedy
writer Sally Rogers, Rose Marie earned three Emmy nominations on
"The Dick Van Dyke Show." She played a realistic version of
the aging man-hunter, her wisecracks helping preserve her dignity as
she dated a wide assortment of doubtful contenders.
Occasionally an episode allowed her to do a bit of song and dance
which she handled with the enthusiasm of a female Jimmy Durante.
Younger viewers had no idea that it was in just this mode -- hip,
aggressive and jazzy, that she first achieved her fame. She was
called "Baby Rose Marie" back then.
Discovered by a talent scout while singing on a beach in Atlantic
City, she was brought to radio in 1927 to sing "What Can I Say,
Dear, After I Say I'm Sorry." She had her own NBC radio show in
1930 and remained on the air, co-starring on a 1936 variety show on
WHN in New York with Al Shayne. Her father, a Broadway and vaudeville
star who worked under the name Frank Curley, helped her learn her songs.
Unlike sugary child stars of the day, Rose Marie sang fast paced
blues songs using startlingly adult phrasing and mannerisms. The
rollicking little girl in the Dutchboy bangs can be seen doing her
stuff in the W.C. Fields' comedy "International House." She
was so good some people insisting she had to be a midget in disguise.
Rose Marie "retired" in her teens but staged a comeback
in the late 40's. She guest starred on Morey Amsterdam's early TV
show, appeared in "Top Banana" with Phil Silvers in 1951
and played New York nightclubs. In the clubs she mixed one-liners
about the town ("Where else can you wake up and hear the birds
coughing?") with novelty tunes like "I Wish I Could Sing
Like Durante" and "Be a Beggar, Be a Thief -- Be Anything
But Please Don't Be Mine." She toured the country with the act,
made some films, but won major new-found fame as the slightly
cynical, and amusingly pushy Sally Rogers on "The Dick Van Dyke
Show." Many episodes revolved about her attempt to get a
husband. Tragically, her own husband, Bobby Guy, died in 1964 of a
blood infection. They'd been married 19 years and had a daughter,
Georgiana. "We were a little too close," said Rose Marie.
"When I lost Bobby, I lost half my life."
Somewhat typed as the aggravated spinster with a rueful glare and
frowning mouth, she continued to gest on sitcoms and became a regular
on "The Hollywood Squares" quiz show with grim answers to
"True or fale, according to "The Magazine of the
Midlands," the average wild hippo is really quite gentle."
"In that case -- I'm available."
"Is it ok to freeze mushrooms?"
"What else do I have to do?"
"According to experts, what is the best thing you can do to
slow down the process of aging?"
In the 80's, Rose Marie returned to her old forte -- singing. She
joined the "4 Girls 4" touring show with co-stars Margaret
Whiting, Rosemary Clooney and Helen O'Connell. In December of 1990
she played the fairy godmother in a West Coast revival of Rodgers and
Hammerstein's "Cinderella" co-starring Steve Allen and
Jayne Meadows as the King and Queen. Sitcom fans were delighted to
have her back in guest spots on "Murphy Brown" in 1991.
ROSE MARIE TIDBITS
Real name-Rose Marie Mazzetta, of Italian and Polish extraction.
The hair bow has some personal significance on which Rose
so far refused to elaborate
Received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 3,
2001. It is the 2184th star issued and can be found at 7083 Hollywood
Boulevard, near LaBrea.
"Baby Rose Marie" shoes and 40
other items became part of the Smithsonian's
American History Museum on January 29, 2008.
Rose Marie co-headlined with Jimmy Durante, Xavier Cugat and others on the
opening night of Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel's Flamingo Hotel Dec. 27, 1946.
listening to Rose Marie sing "My Mama
Says No, No!"
from an appearance
on Perry Como's radio show.