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Rosemary Clooney (May 23, 1928 – June 29, 2002) was an American singer and actress.
She came to prominence in the early 1950s with the novelty hit "Come On-a My House", which was followed by other pop numbers such as "Botch-a-Me", "Mambo Italiano", "Tenderly", "Half as Much", "Hey There" and "This Ole House", although she had success as a jazz vocalist.
Clooney's career languished in the 1960s, partly due to problems related to depression and drug addiction, but revived in 1977, when her White Christmas co-star Bing Crosby asked her to appear with him at a show marking his 50th anniversary in show business.
She continued recording until her death in 2002.
She was the aunt of Academy Award winning actor George Clooney.Family and relationshipsHer sister Betty died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 1976.
She subsequently started a foundation in memory of and named for her sister.
During this time she wrote her first autobiography, This for Remembrance: the Autobiography of Rosemary Clooney, an Irish-American Singer, written in collaboration with Raymond Strait and published by Playboy Press in 1977.
She chronicled her unhappy early life, her career as a singer, her marriage to Ferrer and mental health problems, concluding with her comeback as a singer and her happiness.
Her good friend Bing Crosby wrote the introduction.
Katherine Coker adapted the book for Jackie Cooper who produced and directed the television movie, Rosie: the Rosemary Clooney Story (1982) starring Sondra Locke (who lip syncs Clooney's songs), Penelope Milford as Betty and Tony Orlando who played Jose Ferrer.In 1983, Rosemary and her brother Nick co-chaired the Betty Clooney Foundation for the Brain-Injured, addressing the needs of survivors of cognitive disabilities caused by strokes, tumors and brain damage from trauma or age.Clooney was married twice to the movie star José Ferrer, who was sixteen years her senior.
Clooney first married Ferrer on June 1, 1953 in Durant, Oklahoma.
They moved to Santa Monica, California in 1954, and then to Los Angeles in 1958.
Ferrer and Clooney had five children: Miguel (born February 7, 1955), Maria (born May 29, 1956), Gabriel (born December 1, 1957), Monsita (born October 13, 1958) and Rafael (born March 23, 1960).
They divorced for the first time in 1961.Ferrer and Clooney remarried on November 22, 1964 in Los Angeles; however, the marriage again crumbled while Ferrer was carrying on an affair with the woman who would become his last wife, Stella Magee.
Clooney found out about the affair, and she and Ferrer divorced for the last time in 1967.In 1968, her relationship with a young drummer ended after two years, and she became increasingly dependent on pills after a punishing tour.She married her longtime friend, a former dancer, Dante DiPaolo in 1997 at St.
Patrick's Church in Maysville, Kentucky.Other informationClooney suffered for much of her life from bipolar disorder.
She revealed this and other details of her life in her two autobiographies.She joined the presidential campaign of close friend Robert F.
Kennedy, and heard the shots when he was assassinated on June 5, 1968.
A month later she had a nervous breakdown onstage in Reno, Nevada, and was hospitalized.
She remained in psychoanalysis therapy for eight years afterwards.Living for many years in Beverly Hills, California, in the house formerly owned by George and Ira Gershwin, in 1980, she purchased a second home on Riverside Drive in Augusta, Kentucky, near Maysville, her childhood hometown.
Today, the Augusta house offers viewing of collections of her personal items and memorabilia from many of her films and singing performances.
Her Beverly Hills home at 1019 North Roxbury Drive was sold to a developer after her death in 2002 and has been demolished.In 1999 Clooney published her second autobiography, Girl Singer: An Autobiography describing her battles with addiction to prescription drugs for depression, and how she lost and then regained a fortune.
"I'd call myself a sweet singer with a big band sensibility," she wrote.In 2005 the album Reflections of Rosemary by Debby Boone was released.
Boone, who was Clooney's daughter-in-law, intended the album to be a musical portrait of Clooney, or as Boone put it: "I wanted to select songs that would give an insight into Rosemary from a family perspective".Lung cancer and deathA long-time smoker, Clooney was diagnosed with lung cancer at the end of 2001.
Around this time, she gave her last concert, in Hawaii, backed by the Honolulu Symphony Pops; her last song was "God Bless America".
Despite surgery, she died six months later on June 29, 2002, at her Beverly Hills home.
Her nephew, George Clooney, was a pallbearer at her funeral, which was attended by numerous stars, including Al Pacino.
She is buried at Saint Patrick's Cemetery, Maysville.In 2003, Rosemary Clooney was inducted into the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit and her portrait by Alison Lyne is on permanent display in the Kentucky State Capitol's rotunda.In September 2007, a mural honoring moments from her life was painted in downtown Maysville.
The mural highlights her lifelong friendship with Blanche Chambers, the 1953 premier of The Stars are Singing and her singing career.
It was painted by Louisiana muralists Robert Dafford, Herb Roe and Brett Chigoy as part of the Maysville Floodwall Murals project.
Her brother Nick Clooney spoke during the dedication for the mural, explaining various images to the crowd.
Bing Crosby - Silver Bels