Early TV Actress Rosemary Rice Dies — Do You Remember ‘Mama’?

Aug 23, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Rosemary Rice, who played the oldest daughter, Katrin, on the 1949-1957 television show "Mama," has died, reports The New York Times. Rice, 87, later known as Rosemary Rice Merrell, died of a heart attack.

The TV show, which was broadcast from a studio in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal above the Oyster Bar, was based on the Kathryn Forbes book "Mama’s Bank Account," and told the story of the Hansens, a Norwegian immigrant family, in the early 20th century. The 1948 movie “I Remember Mama,” starring Irene Dunne and Barbara Bel Geddes, was based on the same book, which was also adapted as a play and a radio show.

Rice played the "wholesome but occasionally saucy Katrin" on the TV series, while Dick Van Patten played her brother Nels. Peggy Wood played Mama, Judson Laire played the father and Robin Morgan played the other daughter.

Each episode started with Katrin looking through a photo album and reminiscing about her mother, saying, "But most of all, I remember Mama," the story says.

Rice had a brief TV career outside of “Mama,” but worked regularly in radio, where her appearances included “Studio One,” “The Cavalcade of America” and, in the 1970s, “CBS Radio Mystery Theater.” She also made a number of successful children’s recordings.

rosemary-rice.jpgRosemary Rice Merrell

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