Rosemary Clooney


Rosemary Clooney Famous memorial

Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, USA
Death 29 Jun 2002 (aged 74)
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 6566072 View Source

Actress, Singer. She is probably best remembered for her 1951 novelty hit "Come On-a My House," which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me," "Mambo Italiano," "Tenderly," "Half as Much," "Hey There," and "This Ole House." Her deep, rich, and smooth voice earned her recognition as one of America's premier Pop and Jazz singers. She made her singing debut in Cincinnati, Ohio, on radio station WLW in 1941 at the age of 13. On WLW, she worked with band leader Barney Rapp, who had also worked with Doris Day and Andy Williams at the same station. She attended high school at Our Lady of Mercy in Cincinnati. In 1946, she appeared with her sister Betty in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Steel Pier with Tony Pastor's band and started recording for Columbia Records. In 1949, she went solo and recorded several duets with Marlene Dietrich and appeared in the early 1950s on "Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town" series on CBS. During this time she appeared in the films "Slaughter Trail" (1951), "The Stars are Singing" (1953), "Here Come the Girls" (1953), "Red Garters" (1954), "Deep in My Heart" (1954, cameo appearance), and "White Christmas" (1954, co-starring with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye). In 1956, she starred in a half-hour syndicated television musical-variety show "The Rosemary Clooney Show" that featured "The Hi-Lo's" singing group and Nelson Riddle's orchestra. The following year, the show moved to NBC prime time as "The Lux Show, Starring Rosemary Clooney" with the singing group "The Modernaires" and Frank DeVol's orchestra, but it only lasted one season. In later years, Clooney would often appear with Bing Crosby on television, as in the 1957 special "The Edsel Show." The two friends made a concert tour of Ireland together. In November 1957, she appeared on NBC's "The Ford Show," starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, a frequent entry in the "Top 20" and featuring a musical group called "The Top Twenty." In 1960, she and Crosby co-starred in a 20-minute CBS radio program aired before the midday news each weekday. In 1958, she left Columbia Records and recorded for MGM Records and Coral Records. Toward the end of 1958, she signed with RCA Victor Records, where she stayed until 1963, eventually moving on to Reprise Records, and then to Dot Records. In 1953, she married actor Jose Ferrer who was 16 years her senior. They had five children between 1955 and 1960. Her marriage to Ferrer was tempestuous, and they divorced in 1961. They remarried in 1964 and divorced again in 1967. In 1968, she joined the presidential campaign of close friend Robert F. Kennedy, and heard the shots when he was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. A month later she had a nervous breakdown onstage in Reno, Nevada, and was hospitalized and remained in psychoanalysis therapy for the next eight years. In 1976, she wrote her first autobiography, "This for Remembrance: The Autobiography of Rosemary Clooney, an Irish-American Singer." In 1977, her career was revived when Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business. In 1983, she and her brother Nick co-chaired the Betty Clooney Foundation for the Brain-Injured, in honor of her sister who died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 1976. The foundation addressed the needs of survivors of cognitive disabilities caused by strokes, tumors, and brain damage from trauma or age. In 1994, she made her final film appearance in "Radioland Murders." In 1995, she guest-starred in the NBC television medical drama "ER" and, for her performance, she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. In 1999, she published her second autobiography, "Girl Singer: An Autobiography," that described her constant battles with addiction to prescription drugs for depression, and how she lost and then regained a fortune. The same year, she founded the Rosemary Clooney Music Festival, held annually in her hometown of Maysville, Kentucky, performing there every year until her death. In 2001, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and died at her home six months later at the age of 74. Her life was dramatized in the 1982 made-for-television movie, "Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story," played by actress Sondra Locke. She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, and, in 2003, she was inducted into the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit. Her portrait by Alison Lyne is on permanent display in the Kentucky State Capitol's rotunda in Frankfort. She was the aunt to Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney and mother-in-law to singer Debby Boone.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: K
  • Added: 1 Jul 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 6566072
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rosemary Clooney (23 May 1928–29 Jun 2002), Find a Grave Memorial ID 6566072, citing Saint Patrick's Cemetery, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .