Actress, singer, comedienne Rose Marie had the longest career in show business. That career began in 1926 when she was only 3 years old and ended in 2013. In fact, a new documentary about Rose Marie’s life in show business, WAIT FOR YOUR LAUGH has as its tagline, The Longest Career in Showbiz History. Check out the official Rose Marie twitter feed to learn more about this film.
It was quite easy for Rose Marie to enter showbiz as her father, Frank Mazzetta, was a vaudeville actor. She began performing under the name Baby Rose Marie in 1923. As a child, Rose Marie had her own radio show on NBC, she recorded multiple records and performed in many films and shorts for Paramount studios. Before making it big on the small screen, Rose Marie was a very sought after nightclub and lounge performer. She was best known on that circuit for her time performing at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. That was her home and as Rose Marie mentioned in her autobiography, Bugsy Siegel, the owner of the Flamingo, had a very big influence on her career. However, Bugsy wasn’t the only mob figure to have assisted Rose Marie. Al Capone was also named in her book, Hold the Roses, as being an influence on her career.
During her early career as a singer, there were some doubts as to whether Rose Marie was really a child singer due to the way she belted out bluesy tunes over the air. Because of these doubts, NBC sent her on the road for a nationwide tour, and instantly, those doubts melted away.
Rose Marie attained her greatest success on the small screen. The earliest TV shows she appeared on were The Red Skelton Hour (1955), Gunsmoke (1957) The Adventures of Jim Bowie (1958) and the M Squad (1958). Rose Marie appeared in only one episode of each of these shows. It was not until she played Mrs. Randolph on the Bob Cummings Show (1958-1959) that Rose Marie found regular work on a television series. This was followed up by her stint as Bertha on the My Sister Elieen series from 1960-1961. That’s when Carl Reiner snapped her up to play comedy writer Sally Rogers on the Dick Van Dyke Show, a character for which she earned three Emmy nominations.
After the Dick Van Dyke Show, Rose Marie stayed quite busy in Hollywood. The Doris Day show was a regular gig from 1969-1971 and she was on the original Hollywood Squares from 1966-1980. After Dick Van Dyke, Rose Marie had almost 60 acting credits which helped cement her place as the performer with the longest career in show business.
Rose Marie will still make us laugh here at GleeStreet. We will keep on laughing at Sally Rogers when we watch the Dick Van Dyke show and more importantly, we’ll laugh along with Sally Rogers.