Happy birthday, Rose Marie

Rose MarieMost folks over the age of thirty surely know the actress Rose Marie, who turns 89 years old today.

After all, she starred as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, one of the most acclaimed sit-coms of all time. She was a regular on the original Hollywood Squares, sitting just atop Paul Lynde in the center top square. And she appeared such later shows as Murphy Brown and Wings.

But did you know she was a hugely popular child star? It’s true. In 1926, at the age of three, she began performing as Baby Rose Marie. She had a brassy singing voice one doesn’t often find in someone so young, and by the age of five she had her own radio show on NBC.

She also worked the vaudeville circuits and made a number of appearances in movies, including a Vitaphone short that was on the bill with the first talking feature, The Jazz Singer. She even appeared at the White House three times, performing for Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

By her teens, she dropped the “Baby” and began the transition to a career as a singer. She made a go of it, continuing to work in nightclubs and acting on radio, in theatre and in pictures, but it was in the 1960s that her career really took off again.

We wish the happiest of birthdays to Ms. Marie, and we invite you to help us celebrate the occasion by watching this video from her days as a child star. This is a scene from 1933’s International House. Rose was 10 years old.

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