Dick Van Dyke star Rose Marie died on Thursday at her home in Van Nuys, California. She was 94.
Rose Marie started in show business at the age of three, according to
the Hollywood Reporter, appearing in some of the earliest talking films. Her start began when she won an amateur talent contest, which brought her to a stage in Atlantic City where she was billed as “Baby Rose Marie.” The obituary on her website highlights her career as a singer. Rose Marie was popular on radio shows, and recorded albums on the Mercury label. She sang for “Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt.”
She played mainstay character Sally Rogers on every season of The Dick Van Dyke Show, the second person to be hired to the ensemble after Van Dyke himself. Rogers was a single woman, with a husband-hunting persona, who was frequently pitted against co-star Morey Amsterdam. The two had known each other since Rose Marie was 11, and their quippy barbs were a popular aspect of the series. Series creator Carl Reiner tweeted about the news, remarking on her incredible range of talent:
Rose Marie went on to star on The Doris Day Show, became a regular on Hollywood Squares for 14 years, and essentially performed almost up until her death, both live and in appearances on TV shows and in film. In 2001, she was given a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame. When asked if she would be retiring, Rose Marie replied, “I’ve been in show business my whole life. Why start something new now?”