Rose Marie, the actress who went toe-to-toe in a man’s world as wisecracking comedy writer Sally Rogers on the legendary 1960s CBS sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show, has died. She was 94.
Marie died at 2 p.m. Thursday at her home in Van Nuys, California, according to her website.
The comedienne-vocalist, who started her career at age 3 in some of the earliest talking films, co-headlined on the opening night of Bugsy Siegel’s Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1946 and was a regular on the game show The Hollywood Squares.
Readily identifiable by the bow in her hair and her raspy voice, Marie was a member of one of the most popular ensemble casts in TV history. Along with Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Morey Amsterdam and, occasionally, Carl Reiner (the series’ creator), she appeared in all five seasons of the sitcom and received Emmy nominations in 1963, 1964 and 1966.
“We were always changing lines, even right up to the very minute of going on the air,” she recalled in a 2004 interview. “If something didn’t work, it didn’t work. Sometimes guest stars would panic because they weren’t used to this. We were a tight-knit, hard-working crew. I couldn’t wait to get to the set each day.”
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My earliest memories of TV were howdy doody, Tug Boat Annie, Life of Riley. But clear memory of a TV show my family watched regularly were of The Dick Van Dyke show. The comedy was great and the casting was right on. Rose Marie was a pleasure to watch, may she rest in peace.