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7 things you might not know about Rose Marie

Image: The Everett Collection

When it comes to showbiz, nobody has a resume like the legendary Rose Marie. From radio to stage shows, from TV to feature film, there are few people who have accomplished what she has. Whether you've been a fan since her days on The Dick Van Dyke Show or you recently fell in love with her quirky Twitter presence, there's surely some little-known-fact about Rose Marie that'll surprise you!

Tweet Rose Marie herself as she live tweets our tribute to Rose Marie on Monday, December 4, using the hashtag #TweetRoseMarie!


1

Before she was Rose Marie, she was Baby Rose Marie

At the age of 3, Rose Marie was one of the first radio stars. Baby Rose Marie loved to perform and sang live on the radio before transitioning to stage performances and eventually, TV. Due to her gravelly voice, people didn’t believe she was so young. She dropped “Baby” from her stage name at 15, then went by Miss Rose Marie, and then just Rose Marie.

Image: Wikipedia

2

Al Capone was just “Uncle Al”

In an interview with People, Rose Marie said she knew mobster Al Capone as “Uncle Al” when she was a child, as her mom used to cook for him and other guys in the mob.

“My father worked as an arsonist for Al Capone,” she said. “He used to burn down your warehouse if things weren’t going the right way, but I didn’t know that at the time.” She is the last living person with a known relationship with Capone.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

3

She doesn’t throw stuff out

Rose Marie told People that she’s saved video, photos and scripts from just about everything she’s ever worked on. Thus, filmmaker Jason Wise, who crafted the wonderful new documentary Wait For Your Laugh, had a lot to sift through!

“All the shows I was on, from Dick Van Dyke to GunsmokeDoris Day and The Monkees, I shot lots of footage on set. I also asked for a copy of every episode I appeared in, so you can imagine, I have a lot of footage," Marie said. "I just started filling a room in my house with all of these materials and basically forgot about them."

Image: Forgotten Man Films

4

She was basically BFFs with Frank Sinatra

She was a star in a different showbiz than it is now. “Show business used to be such a small world and everyone knew each other,” she told People. She was good friends with Frank Sinatra, as her husband Bobby Guy played trumpet for him and Dean Martin. Rose Marie said Sinatra was the first person she told she was pregnant, and he was the first to congratulate Guy.

Image: Kickstarter/Jason Wise

5

She loved working on game shows

Everyone loved her 15-season term on The Hollywood Squares but that wasn’t her only venture into the game-show world. She made appearances on Password and I’ve Got a Secret, and according to The New Yorker, had a short stint as a game show host herself in the '60s. She was the first woman to host a game show!

Image: King World

6

Rose Marie won’t take your nonsense

According to The New Yorker, there’s a reason Rose Marie didn’t have much of a film career

She co-starred in the 1954 film Top Banana, and was propositioned by a producer — suggesting that he could make her a star if she were to do what he wanted. She responded by loudly stating, “You couldn’t get it up if a flag went by.” The producer retaliated by cutting her numbers from the movie and attempting to blacklist her from other movies. While she made a few more films in her day, she didn’t enjoy working in film as much as TV.

Image: United Artists

7

She’s been known as a champion for women’s rights

Her character on The Dick Van Dyke Show was onscreen just as much as the male counterpart, played by Morey Amsterdam. The two actors were also paid the same. 

"I think everybody decided I was the first women’s libber because of that show," she told Vanity Fair. "I’ve had many girls tell me, 'Because of you, I became a writer. You gave me the inspiration,' and I’m very proud of that."

Image: Paul Brownstein Productions

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