Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis on The Colgate Comedy Hour
One of my quirkiest regrets (when it comes to Old Hollywood stars) is that so many aren’t remembered as they “should be” or as they “deserve to be.” Many, especially when they became older, did television and/or commercials and this is how many are remembered by most. If only they had prophetic advisers to tell them to steer clear of commercials. They’re shown so frequently (and right in the comfort of the viewer’s own home!) that the image becomes ingrained.
The only way for us Old Hollywood enthusiasts to counter that is to get more pictures, videos, and information OUT THERE of the stars when they were full of vitality, packed with talent, and beautifully radiant.
When I think about this conundrum, one of the names that always comes to mind is Rosemary Clooney. This actress and singer was very beautiful and talented, and.. could she ever sing?! She absolutely had the voice of an angel.
There’s so much more to her than paper towel commercials!
Rosemary Clooney Trivia:
- Rosemary was born and raised in Maysville, Kentucky – she was one of five children.
The street in Maysville – where her parents lived when she was born – was renamed in her honor.
- Rosemary and her sister Betty sang at their grandfather’s mayoral election campaigns, which he won three times.
- Her big break came in in 1954 when she starred in White Christmas Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen.
- She and then-husband José Ferrer had five children between 1955 and 1960. The marriage was a very tempestuous one and is cited for the cause of her nervous breakdown in 1968. She recovered and returned to work in 1976.
- George Clooney is her nephew (he’s the son of Rosemary’s brother Nick Clooney).
- Rosemary’s son, Gabriel is married to singer Debby Boone.
- Once Rosemary was performing with singer/pianist Michael Feinstein at the Hollywood Bowl. Before taking the stage, they were both noticeably nervous. Expecting Rosemary to give him words of strength and encouragement, Michael Feinstein was shocked when she told him, “Don’t think this ever gets any easier!“
- One of her more interesting quotes (and she had a lot of them!) was: “In the final analysis, it’s true that fame is unimportant. No matter how great a man is, the size of his funeral usually depends on the weather.”
- She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording in Hollywood, California.
- She performed annually at the “Rosemary Clooney Music Festival” in her hometown of Maysville, Kentucky.
- Beginning in 1980, Rosemary called Augusta, Kentucky home. What a peaceful retreat it must have been from her busy showbiz days!
- On October 1st, 2005, her Augusta, Kentucky home was partially transformed into a celebration of her life, The Rosemary Clooney House – a non-profit foundation headed by former Kentucky Lt. Gov Dr. Steve Henry and his wife, former Miss America and Augusta native, Heather French Henry.
- After Rosemary Clooney’s death, her children bought the home from the Henrys.
- The Rosemary Clooney House has the largest collection of White Christmas memorabilia in the world.
- Rosemary Clooney is buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery near her mother and grandmother in Maysville, Ky.
Below, Rosemary Clooney sings “Hey There.”
Be prepared to become obsessed with this beautiful voice.