Rosemary De Camp

Rosemary De Camp
Gabor Rona / CBS


Rosemary De Camp
TV: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Actress | Writer
Born Nov. 14, 1910 in Prescott, Ariz.
Died Feb. 20, 2001 of pneumonia in Torrance, CA

Rosemary De Camp was a venerable actress whose work ranged from radio to motion pictures to television. Born in Prescott, Az., De Camp studied education at Mill's College in Oakland, Ca. At her mother's behest whe became a teacher. She taught speech and dramatic arts, but disliked the work and after a year moved to New York.

She worked briefly as a theater critic, before landing a walk-on role in a Broadway show. From the theater, she discovered radio, which eventually led her to movies, which in turn took her into television.

The attractive but matronly actress looked like the warm, capable mother in the kitchen baking cookies for her children after school. She became that in real life, and she certainly played the part —often under heavy makeup to age her — on both large and small screens throughout her career.

Barely into her 30s, De Camp was cast as James Cagney's mother in the 1942 film "Yankee Doodle Dandy," and that same year she played Sabu's mother in "Jungle Book." In 1945 she appeared as George Gershwin's mother in "Rhapsody in Blue."

In the 1950s, De Camp landed a leading role in "The Bob Cummings Show," portraying Bob Cummings' maternal widowed sister and housekeeper.

The Institute of Family Relations once granted her its "Mother of Distinction" award for doing "more to glorify American motherhood through her film portrayals than any other woman. . . . "

Aside from acting, De Camp was a respected copper enamelist, staging one-woman shows of her art at the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry and several galleries.

She wrote a children's novel, "Here Duke," in 1962 and in 1991 published her memoirs, "Tales From Hollywood," as an audio book.

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