Rose Marie’s Death At 94 Ends The Year: Mary Tyler Moore Died At 80 At Beginning Of The Year

Rose Marie was that rare sitcom actress of her day, as she “wasn’t a wife, a mother, or housekeeper,” which paved the way for Mary Tyler Moore to go on and do the same.

David F. SmithAP Images

Rose Marie, who was known as the wise-cracking Sally Rogers in her role on The Dick Van Dyke Show, died this week at 94-years-old. She was simply resting in her bed when a caretaker realized she had stopped breathing, passing away peacefully at home.

Rose Marie died just as the last few days of 2017 wane down, and her friend and previous co-star, the late Mary Taylor Moore, died back at the beginning of 2017, just a few weeks into the year. These two women had very much in common when it came to women in entertainment.

Rose Marie’s cause of death is not known, the announcement that she had passed away appeared on her Twitter page Thursday.

The message simply read, “It is with broken hearts that we share the terribly sad news that our beloved Rose Marie passed away this afternoon.”

On January 25, 2017, Mary Tyler Moore died at the age of 80 due to three prior conditions, but her cause of death was listed as a “cardiopulmonary arrest,” according to Page Six. The conditions that reportedly contributed to her death were “[a]spiration pneumonia, diabetes, and hypoxia — which is a deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissue,” cites Page Six.

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Rose Marie was one of the first actresses to go by her first name only, which is a trend that later caught on with stars like Cher. She was a child actress and her career went through nine decades. She wrote in her autobiography how “her early career was assisted by the likes of Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel.” She was quite famous as a kid known as “Baby Rose Marie” and she sang for Presidents Coolidge, Hoover, and Roosevelt, according to Entertainment Weekly.

ABC News describes Rose Marie in her TV role as follows.

“Sally was an independent single woman who handled her job as adroitly as her male colleagues and who dated but refused to pine away for romance.”

This was a rare role for a woman of that decade, but it paved the way for The Mary Taylor Moore Show, where Mary Tyler Moore played the role of Mary Richards. The role put Moore in a newsroom, which is a job that was previously only seen in a man’s world. From there, women became more and more independent in their roles on TV sitcoms.

Mary Richards was an independent woman, much like Sally Rogers was on The Dick Van Dyke Show. But it was Rose Marie who pioneered the way for women like Moore and those to follow through the years. Rose Marie kept active on Twitter, and for Christmas last week, she posted the picture below of her and her mother.

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She also invited fans of The Dick Van Dyke Show to catch an encore presentation of the colorized version of the show, which aired on Christmas Eve. She did this in the tweet below.

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