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Dick Van Dyke Star Rose Marie Dies at 94

The actress and singer began her career as child performer Baby Rose Marie. logo
Rose Marie, best known for playing Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, died on Thursday at the age of 94.
(© CBS Television / Wikimedia Commons)

Rose Marie, television star known for her roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Doris Day Show, died on December 28 at the age of 94 in Van Nuys, California. To Broadway audiences, she is remembered for appearances in Top Banana and Fun City.

Born in New York City, Rose Marie began her entertainment career at the age of three when she started performing under the name Baby Rose Marie. She quickly became a popular radio personality for NBC and had the distinction of performing for presidents Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. As a young actress, she starred in some of the earliest talkies, including the 1929 short Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder, which played in theaters before feature films like The Jazz Singer.

She made her Broadway debut in 1951 in Top Banana, a musical comedy featuring a score by Johnny Mercer and starring Phil Silvers. She returned to Broadway in 1971 for Fun City, a short-lived comedy written by Lester Colodny, Joan Rivers, and Edgar Rosenberg, and from 1977-85 she costarred 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.

Rose Marie's first regular TV role came in 1960 with My Sister Eileen and was followed by her breakout role as television comedy writer Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show from 1961-66. From 1969-71, she played Myrna Gibbons on The Doris Day Show and throughout her career appeared on several other popular series, including The Love Boat, Cagney & Lacey, Murphy Brown, Caroline in the City, Wings, among many others. Rose Marie also had a semi-regular seat in the upper center square on the original version of Hollywood Squares, appearing alongside her Dick Van Dyke costar Morey Amsterdam.

Her life is immortalized in the 2017 documentary film Wait for Your Laugh, directed by Jason Wise, as well as her 2006 memoir Hold the Roses.

Rose Marie was married to trumpeter Bobby Guy from 1946 until his death in 1964. The couple had one daughter, Georgiana Marie "Noopy," who survives her along with her son-in-law, Steven Rodrigues.