Friday, December 29, 2017
RIP Rose Marie
Rose Marie was a regular on The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was one of my favorite syndicated reruns as a kid (obviously, it was already old when I was young). It's kind of hard not to like Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore and Morey Amsterdam, but you know? It was Rose Marie as Sally Rogers that I identified with. She was mouthy and sharp and sometimes awkward. She might have waited around for her Herman Glimscher to finally come across with a proposal, but you kind of knew her character wasn't ever going to settle for someone who didn't appreciate her for her talent, and she scared suitors off with her outsized personality. Rose Marie's delivery and comedic timing came at the speed of seeming like the effortless ad lib of an actual gifted comedy writer. She was herself gifted, humorous, and already, by then, an entertainment veteran.
In her 94 years, Rose Marie spent most of them performing, and her earliest performances are a revelation and actually, are also really adorable.
I followed her on Twitter only really recently. There is a great movie of her life that says so much about the business, and she also had a #metoo experience. Following her on Twitter was a little like having a kind of grandparent of comedy influence to hear from and appreciate, if that makes any sense. (I have been fresh out of grandparents for a few years now, but you never lose the need to have beloved elders to teach you things about the past.) I loved her, her talent, her sharing her story. She was unique and I will miss her.
I'm kind of happy for that little while she was on Twitter and we could hear from her and know she was still around before she left us. She did not go out as a trivia question or a person people of a certain age might suppose had already left us. She left us knowing she was still an outsize, kind and beautiful person with a lot to tell us about her experiences. She had an amazing run.