Tuesday, March 27, 2012

03/27 Host: Larry Manetti, Guest: Rose Marie

Born on the day that the Broadway musical "Rose-Marie" opened, Rose Marie had one of entertainment’s longest and most fascinating entertainment careers in history. She began at the age of 3 by winning an amateur contest that took her to Atlantic City where she was billed as Baby Rose Marie. She became a popular radio personality appearing on numerous top shows of the time. She eventually received her own program on NBC and recorded some of the most successful albums on the Mercury label. Her extensive touring took her to some of the finest showplaces across the country. Rose Marie would sing for presidents Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt. She starred in several of the earliest talking films, beginning with a 1929 short, Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder, which was screened in theaters before feature films such as “The Jazz Singer.”

She appeared in several pictures for Paramount, including “International House” and “Big Broadcast of 1935.” She married her husband, musician Bobby Guy, who was the lead trumpeter for the NBC orchestra on "The Tonight Show" and moved to California. In 1946, when Las Vegas opened its first big-time casino hotel, The Flamingo, Rose Marie was hired by Benjamin “Bugsy” Segal as one of the headliners, along with Jimmy Durante and Xavier Cugat. She had a brief Broadway career in Top Banana with Phil Silvers and in 1960 she accepted her first regular role on “My Sister Eileen.”

When “The Dick Van Dyke Show” premiered in 1961, Rose Marie became a household name as the quick-witted comedy writer, Sally Rogers. After five seasons, she moved to “The Doris Day Show.” She was the only original member of the hit game show “Hollywood Squares” to have worked on all of its reincarnations and hosts.

She extensively toured the night-club circuit with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O'Connell & Margaret Whiting in 4 Girls 4. She received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 3, 2001. When asked about retiring she said, "I've been in show business my whole life. Why start something new now?" She later released her best selling memoirs “Hold The Roses” in 2006.

Her famous hair bow, which had a strong personal significance that she refused to elaborate on, was inducted into the Smithsonian along with other items from her extensive career in 2008.

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