Friday, January 5, 2018

Rose Marie Waited For Her Laugh

Throughout her record-breaking, nine-decade career in show business, Rose Marie was an expert in getting -- and yes, waiting for -- her laugh.  She began performing at age three, after winning a contest, and by age 4 was a bona fide child star.  At age 5, she had her own national radio show on NBC; she soon starred in the first all-talking short film, Baby Rose Marie: The Child Wonder, to open in theaters nationwide.

Later in life, Rose Marie would land the role we remember and love her for the most, playing comedy writer Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show.  But as the lady herself told me when we spoke just this past September, her other appearances on landmark TV shows over six decades are too numerous to recount.

For what turned out to be her last three years, Rose Marie worked with filmmaker Jason Wise on a documentary about her life and career, Wait For Your Laugh.

It truly is amazing that the actress, who died on December 28 at age 94, lived just long enough not just to see the release of the film, but to bask in the audience's reaction and their shows of affection for her long career.

Below, a snippet from my talk with Rose Marie from September 27:

Rose Marie: .From my whole career, everyone was wonderful -- I can't give you any bad talk.  I’ve been very lucky.  I’ve worked with wonderful people.  They’ve always been very nice to me and always respected me for who I am and what I am.  We were all professionals, and it was wonderful.  

Must-Hear TV:  And I know that's all captured in your film, Wait For Your Laugh.

RM:  The film is wonderful.  Even I was impressed.  I didn't do it -- it was all Jason, the director.  It took him about three years, and he did it all.  I just sat around and emptied out my house.  All the stuff I ever collected, or kept, he used in the film.

Appearing in Wait For Your Laugh, l-r:  Peter Marshall, Carl Reiner,
Rose Marie, Dick Van Dyke, Tim Conway

Must-Hear TV:  How does it feel at this point in career and life to have attention again?

RM:  It’s amazing to me.  As I always say, if I'd known how good it was at the time, I’d have paid more attention to it!  I want you to see the film.  I wish there was some way you could let me know if you liked it.

I wish there were, too.  Just this past year, Rose Marie joined twitter, and so I ended our conversation by promising I'd send a tweet after seeing the film.  And so now, I'm hoping that if Twitter can be used for evil -- such as our supposed leader trying to provoke nuclear war -- then perhaps it can be used to send love and thanks for the years and years of laughs, even to the great beyond.

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