74 (passed away Jun. 29th, 2002)
May. 23rd, 1928
Maysville, Kentucky, USA
Rosemary Clooney's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1994 - Radioland Murders
1955 - Conquest of Space
1954 - Deep in My Heart
1954 - White Christmas
Guest TV Roles
Herself - Vocalist
Telephone Company PR Rep
Herself - Intermission Guest
Herself - Guest Vocalist
She was the daughter of Andrew and Frances Clooney and grew up in Maysville, Kentucky, where she and her sister Betty Clooney used to sing in her grandfather's mayoral election campaigns, which he won three times. She made her singing debut on Cincinnati radio station WLW in 1941 at 13. On WLW she worked with band leader Barney Rapp, who had also worked with Doris Day (I) and Andy Williams (I) at the same station. She attended high school at Our Lady of Mercy in Cincinnati. In 1946 she appeared with her sister in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Steel Pier with Tony Pastor (I)'s band. In 1949 she went solo and later appeared in White Christmas (1954), co-starring opposite Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Her first big hit was "Come On A My House" in 1951. She married Josť Ferrer (I) in the 1950s and they had five children between 1955 and 1960. Her marriage to Ferrer was a tempestuous one and she had a nervous breakdown in 1968, but went on to resume her career in 1976. Her life was dramatized in a 1982 made-for-television form, which starred Clint Eastwood's then-girlfriend Sondra Locke.
Her son Gabriel is married to singer Debby Boone, daughter of 1950s pop singer Pat Boone (I). Her brother, Nick Clooney, is an ABC news anchor in Cincinnatti, and her nephew George Clooney has developed into one of the biggest movie stars of the 21st century. In 1968 she was standing in the Ambassdor Hotel in Los Angeles with Roosevelt Grier when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in the hotel kitchen after she had participated in his campaign rally. Her top hits include "Hey There" in 1954, "Tenderly", "This Ole House" and "Half As Much" in 1952.
- The Maysville, Kentucky street where her parents lived when she was born was renamed in her honor.
- Mother-in-law of singer 'Debby Boone' (qv).
- Winner of the MAC Award.
- Had five children with 'Josť Ferrer (I)' (qv). Their first son, Miguel, was born in 1955. He was followed by Maria in 1956, Gabriel in 1957, Monsita in 1958 and Rafael in 1960.
- Performing once on the same bill with singer/pianist 'Michael Feinstein (I)' (qv) at the Hollywood Bowl, they both appeared highly nervous before setting foot on stage. Expecting Rosie to give him words of strength and encouragement, she instead told him, "Don't think this ever gets any easier."
- She is 'George Clooney' (qv)'s aunt.
- Rosemary hated the derivative Armenian folk song "Come On-a My House" and originally resisted recording the song she considered "dumb" with lyrics that "sounded more like a drunken chant than an historic folk art form." Within weeks of her finally relenting, she found herself with one of the biggest-selling hits in the country, selling more than a million copies. It still did not endear her to the song, however, and she usually tried to squirm out of singing it at her concerts and nightclub appearances when requested.
- Performs anually at "Rosemary Clooney Music Festival" in her hometown of Maysville, Kentucky.
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