Friday, June 21, 2024

Sexual Harassment? 95 Year Old Legend Rose Marie Says She Was Cut Out of 1954 Film Because She Turned Down Producer’s Advances


Think sexual harassment in Hollywood is a new thing? In an extraordinary new documentary that should absolutely be nominated for an Oscar, legendary comedienne  and singer Rose Marie tells how she was cut out of a 1954 movie because she wouldn’t accept a proposition from the producer.

You know Rosie Marie from “The Dick van Dyke Show” and “Hollywood Squares.” But the feisty 95 year old has been a star since she was FIVE years old. In “Wait for Your Laugh”– which opens around New York this weekend and is marvelously narrated by “Squares” host  89 year old Peter Marshall — we get the whole story and it’s a doozy. Beautiful, talented Rose Marie — Sally Rogers on “The Dick van Dyke Show”– was mobbed up like crazy. She came to us thanks to mobster Busgy Siegel!

But that’s another story. “Wait for Your Laugh” is very detailed about how Las Vegas started and who was behind it. Great stuff.

Around 1950, Rosie Marie co-starred with Phil Silvers on Broadway in a musical called “Top Banana.”The show was a hit, Silvers won a Tony Award, but Rosie Marie was disappointed the critics didn’t mention her.  She says one fan was Marlon Brando, who reassured her she was great. “Eff ’em,” he told the actress.

When the show closed, Silvers invited her to be in the movie of the musical. Rose Marie accepted. “It wasn’t very good, period.”

More importantly, during her interview with Wise on camera she says  that one of the producers of the film told her during production: “I could show you a few positions if you’re interested.”

A married woman with a young daughter, Rosie Marie replied: “Oh that’s funny, you’re really funny.”

The producer responded: “I’m not kidding, this could be your picture.”

“And in front of everybody I go, You couldn’t get it up if the flag went by,” Rose Marie shot back. She continues: “Which didn’t set too well with him. All my numbers were cut. There isn’t a single number with me in it.”

Rose Marie’s daughter observes: “I think after my mother’s experience with Top Banana, it pushed her away from doing movies.”

No kidding.  Kudos to filmmaker Jason Wise. Hollywood has always been the same.

More later on this terrific doc…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News