Rose Marie, Author, Rose, Author . Univ. Press of Kentucky $25 (296p) ISBN 978-0-8131-2264-9

The wisecracking sidekick of The Dick Van Dyke Show and regular player on Hollywood Squares recounts a fortunate life cleanly lived in this conversational memoir. Born illegitimately in 1923 in a New York railroad tenement as Rose Marie Mazzetta, she won a talent contest at age three and quickly became a radio star as Baby Rose Marie, the "kid who sings like Sophie Tucker." Signing with NBC and the top vaudeville circuits, she (and her parents) dodged child labor laws, and Baby Rose Marie appeared for the next few years with headliners Rudy Vallee and Dick Powell. Through her father (who was well acquainted with "the boys"), she met "Uncle Al" Capone, who kissed her cheek and told her, " 'If you ever need me for anything, tell your father to call me.' " After growing up and becoming Miss Rose Marie, there were club dates, a Broadway stint and a happy marriage to trumpeter Bobby Guy. She went on to ham it up as Sally Rogers on The Dick Van Dyke Show, and here praises all the principals but doesn't discuss specific show highlights, instead focusing on the friendships (although she wasn't close with Mary Tyler Moore) and remembering everyone's kindness when her husband died. She then recollects her years on Hollywood Squares, her work with Doris Day and Ethel Merman, an affair and the resolution of her multiyear spat with Tim Conway. Though thin on personal commentary and insight, the book's fast pace and happy memories will please Rose Marie's fans. 30 b&w illus. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/28/2002
Release date: 02/01/2003
Paperback - 298 pages - 978-0-8131-6800-5
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!