Actress and comedienne Rose Marie, who grew up from a child superstar to become a television comedy legend, died Thursday in Hollywood at 94.
She spent her entire life as a star, and was one of the last surviving entertainers whose career spanned all media — vaudeville, records, movies, Broadway, radio and television.
Born Rose Marie Mazetta in New York, she began singing on the vaudeville stage when she was 3 years old, billed as Baby Rose Marie.
With her naturally husky voice, many in the audience insisted she was not a child but a small adult dressed up in children’s clothes.
She soon became one of the country’s best-known child entertainers with her own radio show, touring in vaudeville, and singing in early sound films.
She dropped the “Baby” from her billing as she grew into a teenager, and continued to perform in nightclubs and make records.
Rose Marie became a household name again in 1961 when she began playing comedy writer Sally Rogers on television’s Dick Van Dyke Show — a hugely popular situation comedy that ran five years.
Her character was a wise-cracking single woman constantly on the lookout for a husband, using jokes to hide her loneliness.
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