Rosie Clooney, could have been another Doris Day

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Rosie Clooney, could have been another Doris Day

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having seen White Christmas probably over a 100 times, i can't help but wonder if Rosemarry Clooney had the potential to be a great actress. i was really impressed with her in the film where she held her own with great all-rounders Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. i thought having seen her performance Rosie might well have been capable of the roles that ended up Doris Day's way

i was amazed to read in a George Clooney biopic that Rosie's singing career was past it's pk by the mid 50s, because i've albums she made in the 70s and 80s where if anything she sounds every bit as good as she did in her recording prime. what i did read in the biopic was that her weight gain was due to her yrs of dependency on prescription drugs, even though she'd be clean for many yrs. i don't mean to be predudice against someone who's over weight, but if she'd kept her figure the way she kept her vocal cords i think in the 80s she could have held her own with Tina Turner and Cher
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Post by mrsl »


I think by 'past her peek' George meant her style of song rather than her style of singing. She did mainly ballads and love songs which people accepted from Sinatra and Martin and the other 'guys' but not the gals.

As for dependency on prescription drugs, it depends on what kind of drugs. All my life I was a tiny 110 to 120 lbs, yet when I hit 50 and cholesterol and other things started kicking in or falling apart and I had to start taking drugs to regulate, I started gradually gaining weight and nothing I did stopped it. I exercise, watch what I eat, I don't drink, eat potatoes, bread, or any other high calorie items, and now since I quit smoking, it's even worse. I know you weren't being unkind, but you never know what causes weight gain.


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the last thing i wanted to do was be unkind. one of my heroines was fromer Northern Ireland Secretary the late Mow Mowlam, who IMO was the greatest post war polititian Britain's produced and was a key figure in bringing peace in that troubled land. what made her all the more remarkable was the fact she suffered a brain tumour, her hair fell and because she used steriods her weight went up, while she was doing that important job. i also think one of the reasons she was able to do such a sterling job was her sex appeal, which seemed to break down several barriers. in fact i think her life would make a great movie. i still remember when Tony Blair was making a big speech at the Labour Party Conference when he mentioned some of his team. even he seemed shocked when he mentioned Mo's name the audience got their feet mid speech and gave her a standing ovation. i also remember a Tory MP tried to insult her by saying she was a pin up for Geordie Truckers. that backfired on him, because Geordie truck drivers started driving their lorries with a pin up photos of her in their wagon, a fact she was pround off

i'm also fan of Dawn French, another large lady with loads of sex appeal. she was in the double act French and Saundersi and played a man hungry vicar in The Vicar of Dibley

as far as Rosie was concerned, i wondered if their was simialarties with Elvis Presley as far as the drugs thing went. while Elvis died, Rosie came out the other side, but the book seemed to suggest that her illness still took its toll in her later yrs.

as a performer i thought Rosie in middle age was one of the worlds great jazz singers, as was Brit girl Helen Shapiro, whose recording pk was over by the time she was 20, but was a better performer later on.
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Post by sugarpuss »

I'm not sure if the book is available in the UK, but there's a whole section on Rosemary Clooney in a book called "The Star Machine" by Jeanine Basinger. She's under the section entitled, "Malfunctions" (which makes her sound like a robot!). It basically asks the same question that you do: why didn't she become as big of a star as Doris Day?

Clooney was signed to Paramount and the first thing they did was start negatively assessing her--her jaw was too big, her face was a bit "horsey" (their words, not mine!). They put her into a pretty weak picture called "Stars Are Singing" but apparently, Paramount got angry when she started dating Jose Ferrer, who was married at the time. They put her in three other films (White Christmas, Here Come the Girls and Red Garters), but that was it for her movie career. It lasted for only three years.

According to the author, she thinks that Clooney never became a big star because she didn't "give" herself to the audience in the way Doris Day she. She held back. Not to mention that Paramount always paired her with another big name star (Bob Hope, Bing Crosby) and somewhat weak scripts. I've never seen it, but "Red Garters" is supposed to be middling at best. It was as though they didn't have faith in her abilities alone. WB trusted Doris to carry a movie by herself. All her early movies have her paired with Jack Carson, who wasn't a huge above-the-title star, but who was still good enough to give her adequate support. It's as though Paramount didn't give Clooney a chance to blossom on her own.

Anyway, I love her voice. "Mambo Italiano" is one of my favorites. A long time ago, I posted a clip of her singing that and she's just absolutely adorable in it.
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Post by metsfan »

It's a shame their marriage didn't work. Here's a nice clip of them singing "Love And Marriage".

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Post by charliechaplinfan »

I've managed to get The Star Machine, it's listed on Amazon, Stuart and a couple of other sites :D It looks wonderful, it's in the pile to be read :D
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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Post by halcarter »

Perhaps some of the posts here have helped me to understand what may have caused Rosemary's star to ascend no higher than it did. I have always felt that "Red Garters" was not nearly the vehicle needed to increase her star power. "Red Garters" and the casting of Rosemary therein, seemed, to me, something of a 'throwaway'. It was a cleverly simple singalong thingy that was camp before camp slide into everyone's lexicon. If it was intended as something light and breezy for an afternoon matinee; it hit the mark. In spite of any constraints to her career, Rosemary was well loved in our home and I would have gladly traded any one of my aunts for her.

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Post by traceyk »

Maybe she didn't want it as much? As Doris Day, I mean. I remember something I read once, about the recordings she did with Marlene Dietrich in the 50's (which, weird as the paring sounds, actually work). She apparently would show up to do the recordings looking like a normal human being instead of a star and Dietrich was like, "At least comb your hair, Rosemary." Maybe all the fuss was more than she wanted to deal with?
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. "~~Wilde
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