Today is the 94th birthday of the actress and singer Rosemary Clooney. She had a big bold voice, a quick wit, a longevity envied by many, and a legacy that endures. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.
NAME: Rosemary Clooney
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Singer
BIRTH DATE: May 23, 1928
PLACE OF BIRTH: Maysville, Kentucky
DEATH DATE: June 29, 2002
PLACE OF DEATH: Beverly Hills, California
REMAINS: Buried, St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Maysville, KY
HEIGHT: 5′ 6″
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME 6325-1/2 Hollywood Blvd (recordings)
BEST KNOWN FOR: Rosemary Clooney was a popular singer beginning in the 1950s and had a No. 1 hit with ‘Come On-a My House.’ She was aunt to actor George Clooney.
Singer Rosemary Clooney was born on May 23, 1928, in Maysville, Kentucky. Rosemary Clooney was a popular recording artist during the 1950s, known for her warm, engaging voice. She started out singing with her sister Betty on a Cincinnati radio show. The two joined Tony Pastor’s big band orchestra in 1946 and toured with them for a few years.
After her sister retired from singing, Rosemary Clooney went to New York to launch her solo career around 1949. Two years later, after signing with Columbia Records, she had her first No. 1 hit with “Come On-a My House.” More hits followed, such as “Hey There,” “This Ole House” and “Tenderly.” Around this time, she also appeared in a few feature films, such as The Stars Are Singing (1953) and White Christmas (1954) with Bing Crosby. In the late 1950s, Clooney had her own self-titled television show.
Clooney’s career took a downturn when she experienced personal problems in the late 1960s. She went through a divorce from actor Jose Ferrer, had another failed love affair, developed an addiction to prescription medication, and was at the Ambassador Hotel when presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy, a personal friend, was assassinated. All these events contributed to Clooney’s eventual mental collapse, one that she would spend years recovering from.
Little by little, Rosemary Clooney rebuilt her career, starting out in small clubs and lounges. In the mid-1970s, she joined Bing Crosby on his final tour, which helped spur on her comeback. She later signed a recording contract with the Concord Jazz label. Her personal life improved as well. She married Dante DiPaolo, a dancer she had known from two of her films, in 1997.
In her later years, Rosemary Clooney continued to record and perform. In 2002, she received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. Rosemary Clooney died from complications related to her battle with lung cancer on June 29, in Beverly Hills, California. She had five children from her marriage to Ferrer.
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Radioland Murders (21-Oct-1994)
Deep in My Heart (9-Dec-1954) as Singer
White Christmas (14-Oct-1954) as Betty
Red Garters (26-Mar-1954)
Here Come the Girls (22-Oct-1953) as Daisy Crockett
The Stars Are Singing (11-Mar-1953)
Author of books:
This for Remembrance: The Autobiography of Rosemary Clooney (1977, memoir, with Raymond Strait)
Girl Singer: An Autobiography (2001, memoir, with Joan Barthel)