Rose Marie

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Rose Marie
Rose Marie 1970.JPG
Rose Marie in 1970
Rose Marie Mazzetta

(1923-08-15)August 15, 1923
New York City, U.S.
DiedDecember 28, 2017(2017-12-28) (aged 94)
Other namesBaby Rose Marie
OccupationActress, singer, comedian
Years active1926–2017
Bobby Guy
(m. 1946; died 1964)

Rose Marie (born Rose Marie Mazzetta;[1] August 15, 1923 – December 28, 2017) was an American actress, singer, comedian, and vaudeville performer with a career that ultimately spanned ten decades — and included film, radio, records, theater, night clubs and television. As a child performer during the years just after the silent film era, she had a successful singing career as Baby Rose Marie. As an adult, she became one of the first major stars to be known simply by her given names.

Rose Marie was widely known for her role on the CBS situation comedy The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), as television comedy writer Sally Rogers, "who went toe-to-toe in a man’s world."[2] Later she portrayed Myrna Gibbons on The Doris Day Show and was a 14-year[2] panelist on The Hollywood Squares.

She is the subject of a 2017 documentary film, Wait for Your Laugh, which includes interviews with her and her co-stars including Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, Peter Marshall, and Tim Conway.[3]

Early life[edit]

Rose Marie was born Rose Marie Mazzetta in Manhattan, New York, on August 15, 1923, to Italian-American vaudeville actor Frank Mazzetta, who went by the name of Frank Curley, and Polish-American Stella Gluszcak.[4] She was regularly taken by her mother to see local vaudeville shows and afterwards would sing what she had heard for their neighbors, who eventually entered her in a talent contest.[5] At the age of three, she started performing under the name "Baby Rose Marie." At five, she became a radio star on NBC and made a series of films.

At the height of her fame as a child singer, from late 1929 to 1934, she had her own radio show, made numerous records, and was featured in a number of Paramount films and shorts.[citation needed] She continued to appear in films through the mid-1930s, making shorts and one feature picture, International House (1933), with W. C. Fields for Paramount.[6]

As she entered adulthood, Rose Marie turned to nightclub and lounge performances. According to her autobiography, Hold the Roses, she was assisted in her career by many members of organized crime, including Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel.[7] Rose Marie secured work at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, which was built by Siegel.[8] Because of the Flamingo's organized crime ties, she had to seek permission to perform in other casinos and remained loyal to "the boys" at the Flamingo for the rest of her life.[9]

Concurrently with her nightclub work, the young adult Rose Marie continued to work in radio, earning the nickname "Darling of the Airwaves".[citation needed]


Baby Rose Marie, NBC Radio star in 1930

In 1929, the 5-year-old singer made a Vitaphone sound short titled Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder.[2] Between 1930 and 1938, she made 17 recordings, three of which were not issued. Her first issued record, recorded on March 10, 1932, featured accompaniment by Fletcher Henderson's band, one of the leading African American jazz orchestras of the day. Henderson and the band were said to be in the RCA Victor studios recording the four songs they were intending to produce that day and were asked to accompany Baby Rose Marie, reading from a stock arrangement.[10]

Her recording of "Say That You Were Teasing Me" (backed with "Take a Picture of the Moon", Victor 22960) also featured Henderson's orchestra and was a national hit in 1932. According to Joel Whitburn, Rose Marie was the last surviving entertainer to have charted a hit before World War II.


In the 1960–1961 season, Rose Marie co-starred with Shirley Bonne, Elaine Stritch, Jack Weston, Raymond Bailey, and Stubby Kaye in My Sister Eileen.[11]

After five seasons (1961–1966) as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Rose Marie co-starred in two seasons (1969–1971) of The Doris Day Show as Doris Martin's friend and co-worker Myrna Gibbons. She also appeared in two episodes of The Monkees in the mid-1960s. She later had a semi-regular seat on the original version of The Hollywood Squares.[12]

Rose Marie performed on three 1966 and 1967 episodes of The Dean Martin Show on NBC and also twice (1964 and 1968) on The Hollywood Palace on ABC.

In the mid-1970s, she appeared in the recurring role of Hilda on the police drama S.W.A.T.. Hilda brought fresh doughnuts, made coffee for the team, and provided some comic relief.[2]

In the early 1990s, she had a recurring role as Frank Fontana's mother on Murphy Brown. She appeared as Roy Biggins' domineering mother Eleanor "Bluto" Biggins in an episode of Wings. Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam appeared together in an October 1993 episode of Herman's Head and guest-starred in a February 1996 episode of Caroline in the City, shortly before Amsterdam's death in October of that same year.[13]


Rose Marie appeared opposite Phil Silvers in Top Banana in 1951, also appearing in the 1954 film adaptation. Her musical numbers were cut from the film in retaliation for her publicly refusing the producer's sexual advances; near the end of her life, she testified that it was the only time she had ever experienced sexual harassment in the entertainment industry in her 90-year career.[14]

In 1965, she appeared in the Dallas production of Bye Bye Birdie as Mae Peterson, the mother of the character played by Dick Van Dyke on Broadway and in the film.[15]

From 1977 to 1985, Rose Marie co-starred with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O'Connell, and Margaret Whiting in the musical revue 4 Girls 4, which toured the United States and appeared on television several times.[16]

She was the celebrity guest host of a comedy play, Grandmas Rock!, written by Gordon Durich. It was originally broadcast on radio in 2010 on KVTA and KKZZ, and rebroadcast on KVTA and KKZZ again in September 2012 in honor of National Grandparents Day. A CD of the show was also produced, featuring audio clips from The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Personal life[edit]

Rose Marie was married to trumpeter Bobby Guy from 1946 until his death in 1964.[17][18] The couple had one daughter, Georgiana Guy-Rodrigues, who was born in 1947 and who became a television producer.[4]

Though it was presented in the press as romantic, in the 1970s Rose Marie maintained a platonic relationship with Pussycat Theaters co-owner Vince Miranda.[19]

She was active on social media, particularly developing a following on Twitter, where she offered support for women who, like her, had suffered from sexual harassment.[20] Her contemporaries and modern performers offered their remembrances and condolences on the same platform; Nell Scovell called her "the patron saint of female comedy writers."[21]

Rose Marie died on December 28, 2017, at her home in Van Nuys, California, of natural causes at the age of 94.[4]

Partial filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Short subjects[edit]

  • Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder (1929) - Herself
  • Rambling 'Round Radio Row #4 (1932)
  • Sing, Babies, Sing (1933) - Herself
  • Back in '23 (1933) - Herself
  • Rambling 'Round Radio Row (1934) - Herself
  • At the Mike (1934) - Herself - Baby Rose Marie
  • Sally Swing (1938) - Sally Swing (voice, uncredited)
  • Surprising Suzie (1953) - Herself



  • Rose Marie (2002). Hold The Roses. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0813122649.


  1. ^ "Show Business Icon Rose Marie Dies At 94". Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Barnes, Mike; Byrge, Duane (December 28, 2017). "Rose Marie, Wisecracking Star of 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' Dies at 94". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  3. ^ Megan Riedlinger. "The most famous women in Hollywood history you've probably never heard of".
  4. ^ a b c Peterson, Alison J. (December 28, 2017). "Rose Marie, Decades-Spanning Showbiz Veteran, Is Dead at 94". The New York Times.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Dagan, Carmel (December 29, 2017). "Rose Marie, 'Dick Van Dyke Show' Star, Dies at 94". Variety. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  7. ^ Monahan, Patrick. "After 90 Years in Show Business, Dick Van Dyke Star Rose Marie Is Still Laughing". HWD. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  8. ^ Eisenberg, Dennis (1979). Meyer Lansky: Mogul of the Mob. Paddington Press. ISBN 978-0448222066.
  9. ^ Last words posted on her official Twitter account, December 28, 2017.
  10. ^ Hendersonia, the bio-discography by Walter C. Allen
  11. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (December 28, 2017). "Rose Marie, co-star of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' dies at 94". Los Angeles Times.
  12. ^ "Rose Marie: 'Dick Van Dyke Show' star who counted Al Capone as a fan". The Independent. January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  13. ^ HoldTheRoses (November 11, 2012), Rose Marie & Morey Amsterdam | Caroline and The Watch, retrieved January 12, 2018
  14. ^ What happened when I publicly shamed my harasser. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  15. ^ "Birdie Opens 2-Week Dallas Run Monday". Waco Tribune-Herald. June 20, 1965. p. 51. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  16. ^ "Rose Marie and the '4 Girls 4'",; accessed October 25, 2015.
  17. ^ "Bobby Guy [obituary]". New York Times. May 29, 1964. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Bacon, James (June 11, 1965). "Rose Marie Takes Role on Stage, Nixes Clubs". Star-Banner (Ocala, Florida). p. 16.
  19. ^ Sanford, Jay Allen (June 29, 2010). "Pussycat Theaters - a comprehensive history of a California dynasty". San Diego Reader. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  20. ^ Donahu, Ann (December 29, 2017). "Dick Van Dyke' Star Rose Marie Dead at 94". ETOnline. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
  21. ^ "Rose Marie: Dick Van Dyke Show star dies at 94". BBC. December 29, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2017.

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