Rosemary Clooney 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”, though she would go on to 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 1974, 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.
Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky, to Andrew Joseph Clooney and Frances Marie Guilfoyle, both of whom were Roman Catholics of Irish and German ancestry. Her father was an alcoholic and she and her brother and sister were constantly moving back and forth between her parents. When Clooney was fifteen, her mother and brother, Nick, moved to California. She and her sister, Betty, remained with their father.
Rosemary, Betty and Nick all became entertainers. In the next generation, some of her own children, including Miguel Ferrer and Rafael Ferrer, and her nephew, George Clooney, also became respected entertainers. In 1945, the Clooney sisters won a spot on Cincinnati, Ohio’s radio station WLW as singers. Her sister Betty sang in a duo with Clooney for much of her early career.