Hollywood Bids Farewell to Showbiz Legend, Best Understood for ‘Dick Van Dyke...

Hollywood Bids Farewell to Showbiz Legend, Best Understood for ‘Dick Van Dyke Program’


Few actors and actresses make it in Hollywood over the long term. Flash-in-the-pan talent that’s here today and gone tomorrow is the standard, while lengthy, stable careers seem increasingly rare.

Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find an actress with more longevity than Rose Marie, the beloved comedienne of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” who passed away on Dec. 28 at the age of 94.

Amazingly, her work in show business spanned a full nine decades.

Discovered at the tender age of three during a talent competition, she cut her entertaining teeth by singing onstage at vaudeville shows, producing records, and appearing in short films.

Her first feature-film appearance was in the W.C. Fields vehicle “International House.”

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After a teenage stint of crooning in nightclubs, Rose Marie began to show her comedic chops on radio shows, eventually graduating to television shows.

She eventually secured a regular spot on “The Bob Cummings Show.”

But her best-known role, as writer Sally Rogers, wouldn’t come until the launch of “The Dick Van Dyke” show in 1961.

The wry, strong-willed, husband-hungry character with a great admiration for her “Aunt Agnes in Cleveland” not only made audiences laugh, she also inspired a host of young women.

Nell Scovell, who has written for “The Simpsons,” “Murphy Brown,” and “NCIS,” tweeted, “Sally Rogers was the patron saint of female TV comedy writers. Thank you, Rose Marie for making it seem like so much fun.”

Other Hollywood luminaries have sounded their appreciation for Rose Marie’s legacy. Director Carl Reiner wrote, “I was so sad to learn of the passing of Rosemarie.

“There’s never been a more engaging & multi-talented performer. In a span of 90 years, since she was four, dear Rosie performed on radio, in vaudeville, night clubs, films, TV, & Vegas & always had audiences clamoring for ‘more!’”

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“RIP Rose Marie, one of the original (and terrific) wisecracking women in comedy,” Larry King said. “TV would never have been the same without her.”

Rose Marie’s legendary work ethic meant that she even had some cache among younger audiences.

Last month saw the release of the documentary “Wait For Your Laugh,” which chronicled her years in the industry, and mere hours prior to her passing, her official Twitter account proclaimed that she’d be performing at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

“I’m very happy with the life I’ve had,” she said during her final in-person interview. “I’m only sorry I wish I could live it over again.”

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