CLICK FOR PRESS NOTES, POSTERS, CLIPS, STILLS AND TRAILER
Wait for Your Laugh
Rose Marie’s rise to fame began at the age of four with her own NBC radio show. As she grew, she went from the stages of Vaudeville to the bright lights of Vegas, to some of the most iconic television shows.
But it’s not just credits like The Dick Van Dyke Show and Hollywood Squares that make her life so memorable. Characters like Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, and Jerry Lewis all played a part in this woman’s story of fame, love, tragedy, and success.
A woman’s ninety-year career is also the greatest untold story in Show Business.
Wait For Your Laugh chronicles the ninety-year career of Rose Marie. At the age of four years old, Rose Marie won an amateur singing competition in New York City. With a voice like Sophie Tucker, the infamous Evelyn Nesbit pulled her on stage to sing along with her. NBC got word and at five years old she was given her own radio show coast to coast. She became known as “The Darling of the Airwaves.” And when audiences doubted that the voice they heard was that of a little girl’s, Rose Marie went on tour in the later par of Vaudeville. Her fame grew so wide she even caught the attention of Al Capone, who asked her to call him “Uncle Al” and swore to protect her and help her career. Part of this was because her father was an errand boy for the mob. And he took advantage of his starlet daughter, keeping all the money she made for himself. As she grew up and entered her twenties, her fame continued to grow and she worked all the best theaters. Then one night she met a trumpet player in the army named Bobby Guys. As their relationship developed her father grew more and more angry. When Bobby was released from the army, Rose Marie snuck out of the house in the middle of the night and eloped with Bobby. The two started new life off with a driving from the East Coast to the west coast on route 66, careful to avoid the cities where her father’s mob friends were looking for her. Settling down in Los Angeles, Bobby found a job on The Bing Crosby Show. And Rose Marie took a gig at the hottest nightclub in town, Slapsy Maxie’s. This caught the attention of Billy Wilkerson who invited her to preform at his new hotel in the desert. Las Vegas at the time was a small town, but Bugsy Siegel had just completed his dream project, The Flamingo. Along with Jimmy Durante, Rose Marie was the act during the hotels flashy opening. She developed a good relationship with the mobster and continued to work in Las Vegas long after his death. In 1947, Rose Marie and Bobby welcomed a daughter. For the first ten years of her life, Rose Marie traveled the country performing, mostly jobs she got from the mob. But she also landed a big role in Top Banana on Broadway with Phil Silvers. When she was cast in the film version, a producer hit on her and she turned him down flat. That led to all her scenes being cut from the movie. So Rose Marie turned to television and started guest starring on big shows like Gun Smoke. But her big break came in 1961 when she was cast as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show working alongside good friend Morey Amsterdam. The character was ground breaking as she portrayed a female comedy writer. Despite lack luster ratings the first season, the show became a hit and Dick Van Dyke and cast found national fame. But Rose Marie was under the impression the role of Sally would play a bigger part than the role of Dick’s wife, played by Mary Tyler Moore. Creator Carl Reiner had to sit her down and explain that he can’t help America falling in love with the petite brunette and Rose Marie begrudgingly stayed on the show. As the success of the show continued, her family life took a sad turn. In 1964 Bobby fell ill with a mysterious disease that had him in and out of the hospital. Despite it all, Rose Marie went to work and made people laugh every day. He passed away that year. The following year, The Dick Van Dyke Show came to an end. Rose Marie guest starred on various shows like The Doris Day Show until she got the role on a new game show, Hollywood Squares hosted by Peter Marshall. She ended up on the show for fourteen years. In her seventies, she joined the girl group Four Girls Four with Rosemary Clooney, Margaret Whiting, and Helen O’Connell and was once again touring the country to sold out shows. As she grew older, Rose Marie continued to work, guest starring sitcoms and providing her voice for cartoons. In 2015, she won The Shirley Temple Award at the age of ninety-three. In her ninety-year career, Rose Marie never stopped working. She went toe to toe with mobsters, earning not only their respect, but their friendship. She broke down barriers, showing the world that women had a place in the office with their male counterparts. She found love and suffered deep heartbreak all while smiling for an audience. As one of the first female comedians, her best advice was “wait for your laugh.”
Dick Van Dyke
Perry Botkin Jr.