The Legendary Steve Rossi

Steve Rossi was half of the world famous comedy team of Allen and Rossi. At the age of 6, he appeared in Going My Way with Bing Crosby, The Jolson Story and over 30 movies.

At 16, Steve received a scholarship to The University of Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, arts and theater and in Latin and Greek.

In 1954 Steve co-starred with Mae West in her sold out concerts all over America.

Steve served in the United States Air Force both in the reserve unit at Loyola Marymount University and on active duty at Parks Air Force base.  He was discharged from the service in May 1957 with the rank of Second Lieutenant. He served as a personnel officer. Throughout his career active duty military were always given free admission to his shows.

Steve Rossi and Mae West in Las Vegas 1954. All rights reserved copyright Steve Rossi

Steve Rossi and Mae West in Las Vegas 1954.
All rights reserved copyright Steve Rossi

Steve Rossi teamed up with Marty Allen in 1957 where they became America’s #1 comedy team.They appeared on over 700 television shows including 44 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show 3 of which were with the Beatles in 1964. Other shows he guest starred on were Perry Como, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

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Steve Rossi and Marty Allen with the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show

DERE_1Allen and Rossi were also regular guests stars on “What’s My Line“, “Hollywood Squares“, “Password” and numerous other game shows. They also starred in several Paramount films notably The Last of the Secret Agents with Nancy Sinatra and Ed Sullivan as guest stars.

The film is shown worldwide and has been the movie of the week on Showtime, HBO, Cinemax and 11 appearances (a record) on American Move Classics. Most recently September 21, 1999.

Steve Rossi produced and starred in The 25th Anniversary Allen and Rossi Special with special guest stars Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, Redd Foxx, Martin Sheen, Ernie Borgnine, Rich Little, Jack Jones and Tony Orlando.

Steve has produced 11 comedy albums and eight singing albums on such labels as RCA and Columbia. Steve sold 2 million copies of his hit record “More”, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Enjoy listening to Steve’s hits on his Last.fm station. 

On May 20th 1999, Steve Rossi was inducted into the Show Business Legends Hall of Fame at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas. In 1999, Steve celebrated his 50th year in show business.

Steve continued to work up until his death on June 22, 2014. He enjoyed writing with his friend Rich Little and stopping by Pia’s Place inside Piero’s Restaurant to belt out a few tunes. He was proud to make Las Vegas his home. No other place in the world could he be surrounded by so many lovely talented people who cared for him in his sunset years.

In his later years Steve continued to enjoy attending performances throughout Las Vegas.  The last year of his life he performed at charity benefits and continued to write every single day.

We will remember Steve for the bold beautiful life he enjoyed on this earth.  At the end of his life he was diagnosed with cancer which had spread to several areas of his body. Due to his age and weakened condition there were no treatment options available.  Steve reached the brave decision with the support of his wife, family, and friends to enter hospice care. He lived only 10 days after his diagnosis. Steve’s family would like to thank Infinity Hospice care of Nevada for their tremendous support during this difficult and confusing time. The end of his life he had the blessing of time to say goodbye to those he loved, and we had the gift to know how much we are loved.

Rest in Peace Michael Tessiero – A Devoted Friend to Steve Rossi

MV5BMTQwMjkzNzc1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODI4NTEzMQ@@._V1_SX450Michael Tessiero had movie star good looks.

He could play a bad guy on camera. MV5BMTUxMTMxNjgwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMDE3Mjgy._V1_SX160

Steve Rossi and his family knew our dear Mikee as a man with a heart of gold.

No matter the day or time if Steve needed Mike he would be there. He was there for Steve at the very end.

We will always be grateful to have counted as a friend Michael Tessiero who never let you go hungry. He always made sure you made it home. Michael was a blessing in our lives.

Thank you Michael for your genuine love, care, and concern. No one will forget the many nights of laughs. We will always wish that there had been many more.

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Steve Rossi Appears in Loving You – Campaign to Elect Christine Kramar Assembly District 13 Video

Working with Steve the last 4 years of his life was an experience for which I will always be grateful. I helped him, he helped me. Steve was a wonderful coach and mentor. He enjoyed watching my professional career grow. I loved working in technology to share his talent with new generations.

Steve’s passing on June 22nd was unexpected.  There are days when I am still in shock. When I reached the decision to run for office we talked about it over coffee. I walked out of the Einstein’s Bagels location Steve loved to hang out at on Sahara and drove down to file after hearing how much he believed in me and that it was time. Steve was my very first endorsement of my political life.

Steve had great plans of how he was going to help me. He told me that one day I was going to be somebody. From that day in March I first filed for office I did not dream I would be at his hospital bed the day of the June 10th primary. Steve was a great cheerleader who wanted to make phone calls for me and even offered to come to Carson City to be my attache. We would crack up because everyone could imagine Steve in the Capitol passing out drinks and cracking jokes. Steve had worked at many candidate fundraisers over the years and with a gleam in his eye offered me a “family discount” on his services.

Historically Steve and Marty were the first comedians to go onto the floor of Congress.  Steve remained interested in politics the rest of his life. He had enjoyed lunch with John Boehner about 3 months before he passed away. We did not agree on everything but had passionate discussions which helped me to develop an even greater appreciation for all points of view. Steve’s brother Santi was a political campaign manager in California. It was a great blessing to have met Santi and to have his political counsel after losing Steve.

There will never be another guy like Steve. I am proud to call him my friend and mentor. It was fitting to have him in my campaign video because I both love him and he had planned to make an endorsement video with me but was so sick. We were holding on for when he would be looking good again. The day before Steve passed away I had to fly in and out of Reno on business for my campaign. Steve wanted me to go work my gig. I would have cancelled for him. I am forever blessed I made it back in time before he passed away.

I know Steve is pulling for me. He would have been happy to be in the video with a picture from when he was still feeling good and selling his show. Most of all I want him to know how very much I appreciated all he taught me in my life. I will carry those lessons forward in his memory.

Thank you Steve. I feel your encouragement every day.

Christine Kramar

Learn more about my campaign here.

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Steve Rossi StoryCorps Interview

08222005_boothOn April 24, 2013 Steve Rossi went to the StoryCorps trailer at the Historic Fifth Street School in Las Vegas to record his life story to be included in the national time capsule.  This story is also preserved with Library of Congress Folklife collection. StoryCorps-e1365090349737-630x416StoryCorps travels the country with a mobile studio in an AirStream trailer recording great America stories.

Steve sat down in the studio with Lisa Polito to record this interview.  It is about 41 minutes long.  Steve consented to allow his story to be used for future projects about the history of Las Vegas. Steve was in good health and good spirits for this interview. StoryCorps graciously gave permission to publish his interview on this website.

If you know someone who has a colorful life story please encourage them to sit down with StoryCorps to record their story. This was an experience Steve truly enjoyed and was honored to have his legacy preserved in this way.

 

Thank You for a Beautiful Service in Memory of Steve Rossi

Steve Rossi Prayer Card

A man concerned about details until the end Steve wrote his own prayer card.

Thank you to all who came to and those who sent their wishes to Steve Rossi’s memorial service on June 27th, 2014. Steve would have been touched to see how our community came together to honor his legacy.

Steve’s vigil opened with his friend and brother-in-law  Bob O’Brien warming up the crowd.  He shared some sweet memories of Steve’s tenacity to get himself discovered in show business.

The formal service when silence fell upon the chapel started with Steve’s grand daughter Gabriella singing the first verse of the Nat King Cole song: Smile.

 

Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

This song was a remembrance of how it was Nat King Cole who had believed in the comedy chemistry of Allen and Rossi.  He paid them $5000 to put together the act. Steve for the rest of his life acknowledged the debt of gratitude he had for Nat King Cole for making Allen & Rossi the big act they had become.

Steve’s daughter Gina Rembert delivered a beautiful speech about sharing her father with the world. She loved him dearly. She also read a letter from her brother Dean.  This was followed by Steve’s stepdaughter Tiffany Stevens who spoke about the special love Steve has for his wife Karma.

The service continued with remembrances from Steve’s friends. Marty Allen gave a deeply touching speech about his love for Steve over their many years together. Pia Zadora sang “I’m gonna miss you” as a send off to Steve.

Rich Little did what he does best and got us to laugh while honoring how Steve’s talents had contributed to his act, “When I found out I had to do this speech the first thing I wanted to do was call Steve and ask if he had any ideas on how to make it more funny. Then I realized I don’t know his area code.” Dennis McAllister spoke of his friendship with Steve and traveling together. Frankie Scinta shared his love of Steve. The vigil closed with Clint Holmes singing Steve’s hit “More” as we all stood for one last standing ovation as Steve’s casket left the vigil to be blessed by his priest.

Steve had desired a traditional mass which continued after the vigil presentation.  He received full rites in the church. His priest Father Ron spoke about how he had come to know Steve over the last several years. He said that Steve loved bright colors and would have been at home at the Electric Daisy Carnival which gave us all a good laugh. Most importantly he spoke of Steve as the deeply spiritual man who cared tremendously for others.

At the graveside Steve received full military honors presented by the Air Force honor guard. Steve was tremendously proud of his military service and had been the American Legion’s Veteran of the year in 1966.  The presentation of his flag to his widow was tremendously touching.

Father Ron blessed Steve one last time at the graveside. We were tremendously grateful for the care he had shown to Steve throughout this journey.

Goodbye Steve

 

Steve’s family would like to thank the following people and organizations for their assistance with Steve’s Memorial Service:

Father Ron – Thank you Father Ron with St Christopher Church of North Las Vegas for coming to do Steve’s service. Father Ron got to know Steve many years ago when he was the priest at St. Joseph. The two went out to lunch many times and when it came time for Steve to prepare his living will it was Father Ron whom discussed the many details and how they aligned with their deep faith. It was touching that Father Ron mentioned during the mass the many times they had challenging spiritual discussions and how Steve invited him to lunch after he received blessing in the hospital.  We know today Steve was speaking of another table they will one day be at together. Father Ron attended to every one of Steve’s spiritual needs which has left us with a sense of tremendous peace and gratitude for his service.

Christine Kramar – Steve’s personal assistant whom worked for him the last 4 years of his life. The last 2 years of his life she worked with Steve to prepare for this time and was instructed how to carry out his final wishes. She ran back and forth the last week ensuring every final detail was attended to during this time of need. She managed Steve’s website, social media, press contacts, marketing, business matters, script writing, editing, and most of all helping Steve at events. His service was their last gig together.   A good assistant for the most part remains invisible to let the star shine which is a talent for which Christine excelled.

St Joseph Husband of Mary Catholic Church – We want to thank the parishioners, staff, and clergy of the church of Steve’s spiritual home. Ushers came in to volunteer for his service and assist with communion. The music at his mass was beautiful. Greg Sinclair the funeral director was tremendously helpful in navigating the necessary balance in Steve’s service to remain observant to his final wishes in respect to the church while celebrating his colorful life.  Greg was a comfort to Steve’s widow as we prepared for his final liturgy singing to us passages and contemplating their spiritual meaning.

Kraft Sussman Funeral Home - This family owned business was extremely courteous to Steve both before his death when he was concerned about planning in advance on a tight budget. They were there for his family when his health took a  turn for the worst. We would like to personally thank Laura Sussman for helping us to find the lovely hospice facility which helped us care for Steve in his final days. Every detail was attended to in order to ensure dignity and respect for both Steve and his family.  At the time we called on them that he had passed the driver was tremendously kind giving us one last moment before he left to hold hands and say a prayer over his body. We never once felt rushed through this experience a gift we shall always appreciate.  At the service staff anticipated our every need; yet empowered his widow to make choices she wanted to respect his memory.  We never would have made it through this difficult time without them.

Infinity Hospice – We want to thank Sharon Tolen-Lund for the personalized attention she paid to Steve when he needed it most. Sharon came to Steve’s bedside in the hospital and explained what their facility offers to Steve and his family. Steve had asked in advance for hospice care, and his daughter Gina is a hospice nurse, but to have someone come and show us what to expect was an extra reassurance important to us at that time. She transported Steve within 20 minutes to get him out of the loud hospital environment he wanted to escape. The facility itself is beautiful, peaceful, and had the quiet Steve wanted. There was space in his room to visit, and even a bed to sleep there overnight with him. Care provided was both for Steve and his loved ones struggling with this difficult time. When he passed the staff were tremendously respectful and supportive. After struggling through hospital care and a short term nursing facility Infinity was a beautiful clean, attentive, place of solitude for his final days.

Palm Mortuary Eastern – Thank you to the staff at Palm Mortuary for working with our funeral home to provide a dignified graveside service. It was further appreciated the time taken with us to ensure Steve’s final resting place is one he would have enjoyed to have some shade trees and a bench nearby.

 

A Reflection from Steve’s Time on the Howard Stern Show

Thank you to Gary Dell’Abate for sending this cute sweet clip of Steve from his time on the Howard Stern show.

Recorded September 3, 1986

Video was not taken of the Howard Show back at that time.  So the clip plays over some photos from Steve Rossi’s collection. 

Acts that will Pay Tribute to Steve Rossi

There will be a major fundraiser event with Steve’s celebrity friends in about 1 month.  But if you need to head out and grab a drink to toast Steve this weekend here are a few great places to acknowledge the Legendary Steve Rossi.

 

Pia’s Place at Pieros

This makes the top of the list because Steve loved hanging out here.

Pia’s place starts at 10:00 pm.  Steve won’t be there but you will feel him there.

You may even catch Pia asking “What are you doing Steve?” as they did together so many times before.

Pia whatcha doin StevePiero’s

355 Convention Center Drive LasVegas, Nevada 89109

702.369.2305

http://pieroscuisine.com/

Peter Pavone at El Cortez in the Parlour

One of the very last shows Steve wanted to see was Peter Pavone at the El Cortez.  He regarded Peter as a great talent and enjoyed his many impressions. Peter will have a photo of Steve at the show to toast this Thursday night. Show starts at 7:00.

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Memorial Service for Steve Rossi

Steve in ShadowPlease join us as for a memorial service for Mr. Steve Rossi.  This event will be open to the public.

Celebration of the Life of Steve Rossi 

Please join us as for a memorial service for Mr. Steve Rossi.  This event will be open to the public. 

Steve’s life will be celebrated with his personal Priest Father Ron at St. Joseph Husband of Mary Catholic Church. 

Please come to the service

ALL ARE WELCOME. 

 

RSVPs are closed.  We have a good idea of how many to prepare for at his service and we will be happy to see you there. 

 

Schedule of Events


1:00 – 1:45                  Visitation

Presentation of memories from dear friends of Steve Rossi 

1:45 – 2:00                    Reflection and Prayer 

2:00 – 3:30                    Celebration of Life with Father Ron 


Steve had spoken with his Priest Father Ron about his final wishes for his service and sought a traditional Catholic service.  

3:30 – 4:00                       Travel to Graveside Service

Steve’s final resting place is at Palm Eastern Cemetery 

          7600 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123
          (702) 464-8500

4:00                                   Graveside Service 

 

Due to limited financial resources the family will be unable to host a reception after the graveside service. In the near future there will be a benefit to help support Mr. Rossi’s widow and offset his final expenses. 

Donations in lieu of flowers toward his final expenses may be made through the funeral home Kraft Sussman at (702) 485-6500 

Donations are accepted through this website as well. 

Please direct further questions about this event to: LegendarySteveRossi@gmail.com or call (702) 606-2618.  Due to the volume of calls your message will be answered most quickly via email or text. 

We will hold a memorial service on Friday, June 27th for Steve Rossi in accordance with his deep Catholic faith.  There will be a future event as a celebration of his wonderful life in the near future which will also serve as a fundraiser to cover his final expenses and help in supporting his widow.

Steve’s life will be celebrated with his personal Priest Father Ron at St. Joseph Husband of Mary Catholic Church.

__________________________________________________

Schedule of Events

Church Services

St Joseph Husband of Mary

7260 W Sahara Ave

1:00 – 1:45                  Visitation

Presentation of memories from dear friends of Steve Rossi. Please remember there will also be a tribute show in a few weeks.  

1:45 – 2:00                    Reflection and Prayer

2:00 – 3:30                    Celebration of Life with Father Ron

Steve had spoken with his Priest Father Ron about his final wishes for his service and sought a traditional Catholic service.  

3:30 – 4:00                       Travel to Graveside Service

Steve’s final resting place is at Palm Eastern Cemetery 

          7600 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123 (702) 464-8500

4:00                                   Graveside Service

Due to limited financial resources the family will be unable to host a reception after the graveside service. In the near future there will be a benefit to help support Mr. Rossi’s widow and offset his final expenses.  Donations in lieu of flowers toward his final expenses may be made through the funeral home Kraft Sussman at (702) 485-6500  Donations are accepted through this website as well.  Please direct further questions about this event to: LegendarySteveRossi@gmail.com or call (702) 606-2618.  Due to the volume of calls your message will be answered most quickly via email or text.  Goodbye Steve

An Outpouring of Love for Steve Rossi From Around the World

Steve Rossi 1932 – 2014

Goodbye Steve

 

Steve Rossi passed away peacefully at 1:50 pm on Sunday, June 22, 2014.  He was surrounded by family and friends. His dear wife Karma held his hand as he left this world. Steve was at peace.  We choose to remember Steve for the bold wonderful life he lived, rather than the illness that brought his exit. steve and karma

What Steve wanted everyone to know is that he loves them.

Steve loved Las Vegas. He could have lived anywhere in the whole wide world, and certainly had the offers – Vegas was his home.

Steve loved his many dear performers throughout Las Vegas. He always made time to see not only the big acts, but the small acts too.  Steve performed  up until 6 weeks before he passed away. His last large audience was a full room at the LVH on February 28th. He sang his last song at Piero’s with Pia Zadora before he got sick.

His family does see his many tributes on social media and the kind thoughts do warm our hearts.

Steve’s family thanks the Infinity Hospice Care team for the wonderful care and support they offered at this difficult time. His room was a beautiful restful space for everyone to say their final farewell. Care was taken to ensure Steve had tremendous dignity in his final days. Steve believed in hospice care and made this choice for himself. We hope that his courage to be public about this decision offers some hope to other families one day faced with this choice.

Steve’s final arrangements are with Kraft Sussman funeral home of Las Vegas.  We extend our gratitude for their efforts to work with him while he was still here to plan for his services.  Tentatively his services will be held on Friday, June 27th in Las Vegas. Final arrangements once they are made will be posted.

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Prayers Requested for Steve Rossi

The family of Steve Rossi wish to thank the Las Vegas community and the world for the outpouring of love and well wishes. dean martin and steve rossi motion

 

Steve has enjoyed a large life of many adventures and the love of great friends.

This chapter of Steve’s eternal life is coming to a peaceful end surrounded by those close to him.

His family asks at this time for privacy. Steve will be unable to visit with any further guests.

Your prayers for a peaceful transition to heaven are all we request at this time.

_________ Please direct media inquiries to Mr. Rossi’s secretary Christine Kramar at LegendarySteveRossi@Gmail.com

Wake Up with the Wagners Video Vault Story about Allen and Rossi

allen and rossi strip sign Wake up with the Wagners went into their video vault for a segment that aired February 12th 2014 about the historic career of Allen and Rossi.

Click here to see the clip.

The clip covered their careers and even touched on the lifetime contract they had with the Vegas World Casino before it became the Stratosphere.

STeve and Marty 1994

So much to Love about Gordie Brown! Especially When Steve Rossi and Rich Little Stop By!

My Buddy – Starring Sandy Hackett Coming to Las Vegas March 15th & 16th

Sandy Hackett has a wonderful touching play about his father and my friend Buddy Hackett.  It will be at the Star Bright Theater on March 15th and 16th.

A loving tribute to legendary comedian, Buddy Hackett ***STARRING SANDY HACKETT***

LEGENDARY COMEDIAN BUDDY HACKETT is brought to life in this live musical, theatrical production, told by the person closest to him… his son, Sandy Hackett.

Directed by Lisa Dawn Miller, the show takes the audience on a journey that explores the deep bond between a father and son. Sharing personal anecdotes, Sandy brilliantly captures the nuance of his father’s comedic style as he reminisces about a lifetime together, including the 10 years they spent touring on the road, sharing stories and memories from the beginning days of Buddy’s career, to his skyrocketing success as a movie star and night club entertainer, to being the most sought after comedian of his day – to his rule breaking, fearless comedic truth, which broke barriers paving the way for today’s comedians.

“My Buddy” reveals personal, never-before-heard stories about Buddy Hackett holding court with some of his friends: Johnny Carson, George Burns, Richard Pryor, Jerry Lewis, Bob Newhart, Phyllis Diller, Milton Berle, Danny Thomas, Sid Caesar, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Alan King, Mickey Rooney, Harvey Korman and countless more.

With the success of “Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show,” produced by Hackett and Miller, Sandy shares what inspired him to honor his father and his pals, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Dean Martin and tells stories of the times they shared together when they ruled the Las Vegas strip and beyond. Through original, distinctive, humorous and poignant Hackett storytelling, “My Buddy” is funny, witty and touching as Sandy recreates some of his father’s comedic moments and for the first time uncovers some interesting family drama that transpired after Buddy passed away in 2003.

“My Buddy” will make you laugh, make you cry and put you in the mood for a kosher hot dog and a beer… in the story that has never been told until now, the life and times – the joy and pain of comic genius Buddy Hackett.

Steve Rossi on the Kevin Wall Show

Steve was on the Kevin Wall show to talk about the Beatles.

Live And Local With Kevin Wall 02/10/14: Glenn Cook, Steve Rossi, Kendall Tenney

February 10, 2014 6:06 PM

Heard on KXNT – Weekdays

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Call in: 702-733-KXNT (733-5968) Text: 84816, text “KXNT”

50 Years Ago The Beatles Were on Ed Sullivan with Allen and Rossi