HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Singer Rosemary Clooney, the 1950s pop crooner and actress who found a second act as a jazz song stylist in the last 25 years of her life, died Saturday evening at the age of 74 at her Beverly Hills home, surrounded by family.
She had been hospitalized in early June and returned home, where her treatment for lung cancer continued. In January she entered the Mayo Clinic in January, where she underwent surgery and was treated until May.
"For over 50 years she has brightened our lives with the richness of her personality and her voice," Dolores Hope, a fellow singer and wife of entertainer Bob Hope, said in a statement. "Her courage and love have been an inspiration to all who called her friend."
"Her music was an extraordinary extension of this joyful soul," her longtime friend, singer and pianist Michael Feinstein, told the Los Angeles Times. "She was an earth mother, a heart person, and that quality came through in her music."
Clooney achieved her height of popularity in the early '50s, when she had 13 Top 40 hits, among them the novelty numbers "Come On-a My House" (a No. 1 hit) and "Mambo Italiano." Her last top 10 hit was "Mangos" in 1957.
She also enjoyed a brief film career under contract at Paramount starring in such early '50s films as "Deep in My Heart" and "White Christmas." Clooney, who had her own variety series in 1956, appeared regularly on popular programs featuring Steve Allen, Perry Como and Ed Sullivan.
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