Legendary comedian Rose Marie’s official cause of death remains unknown as of this writing. But a new interview with the former Dick Van Dyke Show star’s agent and best friend sought to offer some insight into her final hours, and detailed what supposedly happened right before she passed away on Thursday at the age of 94.
When Harlan Boll announced Rose Marie’s passing on Thursday, no specific cause of death was mentioned. But in an interview with Radar Online, the man whom Marie had once called “one of the most important people” in her life opened up about the veteran comic’s last moments. According to Boll, Marie suffered from unspecified health issues and what he referred to as “age problems,” and might have died suddenly, shortly after lying down in bed to rest.
“She laid down, her caregiver came in to see if she wanted something to eat, and discovered she had stopped breathing,” Boll related.
“So she laid down and boom! Gone.”
As noted by the Los Angeles Times, Rose Marie’s husband, trumpet player Bobby Guy, died at a young age, passing away in 1964 at the age of 48 from a blood disease. The loss of her husband of 18 years nearly caused Marie to quit The Dick Van Dyke Show, though she was ultimately talked out of leaving the popular series. According to Harlan Boll, Marie was able to live a long life through laughter, and was able to deal with the tragic loss of her husband through her love of animals. While she never remarried, she rescued and took care of multiple pets, including a dog named Bailey whom she adopted when she was in her 90s.
“Bailey was an older dog. And mostly people don’t want to adopt older dogs. But she basically said ‘I’m in my 90s, I don’t need a puppy that’s going to outlive me!’ So she took him in.”
Boll added that he expects Rose Marie’s only daughter, Georgiana, to take care of Bailey, who ended up outliving his owner, contrary to what Marie had expected when she adopted him.
Not long before her death, Rose Marie appeared in the documentary Wait for Your Laugh, a film which took a look at her long career in the world of entertainment, starting from her days as a precocious child performer. As noted on the film’s official website, Wait for Your Laugh premiered on November 3, and includes behind-the-scenes footage from Marie’s stint on The Dick Van Dyke Show and other sets, recollections from friends and colleagues, and her own stories spanning what had been a nine-decade career in show business.