On May 23, 1928, Andrew and Frances Clooney of Maysville, Kentucky welcomed a daughter named Rosemary. Performing was in the Clooney kids' blood; Rosemary and her sister Betty were talented singers and their brother Nick would go on to be an anchorman and television personality.
At the age of 10, Rosemary played the witch in her school's talent show production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Rosemary and Betty began to sing at their grandfather (the Mayor of Maysville)'s political rallys. By 1945, the Clooney sisters had a spot on Cincinnati radio station WLW as singers, earning $20 a night. The next year, Rosemary recorded a song called "''I'm Sorry I Didn't Say I'm Sorry When I Made You Cry Last Night.'' She was known for her recording ''Come On-a My House'' and her performance in the classic movie White Christmas.
Rosemary Clooney was far more than an iconic singer and actress or the doting aunt of superstar George Clooney. She was a beloved Kentucky legend -- at the height of her fame, she chose Maysville's Russell Theatre for the premiere of her film The Stars are Singing. In her later life, she founded her hometown's Rosemary Clooney Festival with proceeds going toward the renovation of the Russell.
Rosemary was outspoken about her own difficulties -- her family's history of addiction (including her own battle with pills), her lifelong struggle with bipolar disorder, and Betty's sudden death of a brain aneurysm. Her memoirs provided a candid account of life as a young starlet, memorably saying "I felt trapped and fabricated in the fifties living up to other people's expectations."
Today, HerKentucky salutes the fabulous, one-of-a-kind singer and actress who put Maysville, Kentucky on the map. Here's to Miss Rosemary Clooney, Kentucky's biggest star!