Rosemary Clooney Biography

Actress, Film Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress, Singer (1928–2002)
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.


Rosemary Clooney was born on May 23, 1928, in Maysville, Kentucky. She sang and toured with a big band in the 1940s and eventually signed with Columbia Records as a solo artist. Her first No. 1 hit was "Come On-a My House" in 1951. In the 1950s, she starred in White Christmas with Bing Crosby and had her own television show. Clooney was twice married to actor Jose Ferrer and received a lifetime Grammy in 2002. She died of lung cancer in 2002.

Early Life

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.

Commercial Success

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.

Mental Collapse and Career Revival

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.

Final Years

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.

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