50 years ago on June 1, 1966, the final episode of "The Dick Van Dyke" show aired after a five season run. And though most people associate the show with Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, another actor on the series might be the most famous person in the cast -- despite the fact that you've probably never heard of her. As the first entertainer to only go by her first name, and a career spanning nearly 90 years, Rose Marie is one of the most famous women in Hollywood history, but not many people have heard of her.
One filmmaker is currently working to change that. Jason Wise is directing a documentary on the star, which will chronicle her amazing career in Hollywood. Though she's not a household name, she should be, since she branched nearly every form of show business since 1926 -- radio, film, records, theater, night clubs and television.
At age 3 the star began her illustrious career, performing under the name "Baby Rose Marie" and becoming an NBC radio star as a child. During her teenage years she rubbed elbows with the most famous members of organized crime, including Al Capone -- whom she called "Uncle Al" -- and Bugsy Siegel. The mobsters helped bring her to Las Vegas, where she became one of the first performers in the city when it was just "a couple buildings in the desert."
Rose Marie then successfully transitioned her radio, film and stage career to the small screen, with roles on "Gunsmoke" and "The Doris Day Show," before becoming a fixture on the game show staple "Hollywood Squares." Offscreen, she became close friends with the biggest stars of the era Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, while butting heads with her "Dick Van Dyke" co-star Mary Tyler Moore.
But perhaps even more captivating than her extraordinary career, is her tragic love story with famed trumpet player Bobby Guy. The two had a fairy tale love story, which ended abruptly in 1964 when Bobby died of a blood infection.
Every facet of Rose Marie's fascinating life will be covered by Jason, whose previous credits include the documentary "SOMM" and "SOMM: Into the Bottle." The filmmaker was granted unprecedented access to the 92-year-old, sitting down with her for hours. Peter Marshall, Dick Van Dyke, Tim Conway and Carl Reiner will also be lending their voices to the documentary, which is currently in production.
For more information, visit the documentary's Kickstarter page, which is seeking additional funding to finish telling Rose Marie's epic story.