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.

 

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

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 and Las Vegas’ Finest Celebrities will Roast Former Mayor Oscar Goodman on July 23rd

Rossi ready to roast

Steve is thrilled to be among the A list entertainers who will lend their humor to the ShowBiz Roast of Oscar Goodman on July 23rd at the Stratosphere.

As a performer with over 50 years of roasting other entertainers you can bet Steve will bring in the brutal tongue and cheek revelations you expect to hear about his friend Oscar Goodman. You may recall that Steve and Marty were roasted at the Friars club of New York in 1965. 

Get your tickets from the Stratosphere box office online today.  

This event is a benefit for Oscar Goodman’s charity Miracle League of Las Vegas. 

 

OSCAR POSTER 7.12.13

Steve Rossi and Slappy White Recognized by Las Vegas Mayor Oran Gragson for Promoting Better Racial Understanding

Jet Magazine February 27, 1969

Jet Magazine February 27, 1969

Steve Rossi and Slappy White were recognized by Las Vegas Mayor Oran Gragson for promoting better racial understanding in 1970.

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Jet Magazine September 3, 1970

Jet Magazine May 27, 1971

Jet Magazine May 27, 1971

Jet Magazine September 1968

sue sullivan

The act split up more than a year later with Slappy running for Vice President.

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.

Steve Rossi on the Morning Blend

Thank you Channel 13 Las Vegas for having Steve Rossi on Friday, December 14th 2012. Click on the image below to view the full clip. 

Steve shared his memories of Mae West. He also talked about his show Rich Little’s Jimmy Stewart and Friend which he co-wrote and is there 5 night a week as the director of the show. Rossi on the Morning BlendDuring the broadcast the interview was interrupted for coverage of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  Steve has those families affected by this unthinkable tragedy in his prayers.

Thank You Patty Warren for Sharing Your Memories of Showgirls ’79

Classic Las Vegas showgirls with Allen & Rossi. Check out these wonderful memories from 1979. Patty was the gorgeous star of the show!

 

Steve Rossi Back at Work With New Pacemaker!

As Norm Clark noted in his column of August 2nd, 2012 in the Las Vegas Review Journal: 

 

Steve Rossi is back on the job as director and co-producer of Rich Little’s show after having a pacemaker installed. Rossi, best known for teaming up with Marty Allen as the Allen & Rossi comedy duo, turned 80 in May. Little’s “Jimmy Stewart & Friends” is nearing its 18th week at The LVH.

Steve thanks his family, friends, and many well wishers during this time of recovery. He looks forward to working for many more years and has resumed his usual schedule including 5 nights a week at the LVH for the Jimmy Stewart & Friends show.  Steve is both director and c0-writer of the production.  

This stage production is certainly a pleasure to behold with great ticket specials including some very special offers for guests with local Nevada ID.

If you are visiting Las Vegas the LVH is offering some great room rates for ticket holders.

Special room rates from $49 and late check-out is available for show ticket holders! Call (800) 732-7117 for reservations and ask for “LVPROMO RATES”. Show tickets must be presented upon hotel check-in.

Book today! Please call the LVH – Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Box Office (24 hours a day) at (800) 222-5361 for tickets

 

Classic Television Showbiz Blog Interviews with Steve Rossi

Check out the interviews of Steve on the Classic Television and showbiz blog. This is a great insight into Steve’s career that may surprise those who think they know everything about his rise to fame.

Steve Rossi Interview Part One 

Topics Include: Joe E. Ross, Nancy Sinatra, Billy Strange, Lee Hazlewood, Marty Allen, Telly Savalas, Cindy Williams, Slappy White, Phil Foster, Norm Crosby, Mitch DeWood, the murder of Dorothy Kilgallen, Break up of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Danny Aiello, Sandy Baron, Corbett Monica, Harry Crane, Gene Baylos,

Steve Rossi Interview Part Two 

Topics Include: Working with Mae West, Arthur Godfrey, Trini Lopez, Slappy White, James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., Batman and Rubin, Bob Kane, The Man From O.R.G.Y., Real Gone Girls, Howard Stern, the murder of Dorothy Kilgallen,

The Ed Sullivan Show – LIVE from Las Vegas Special 1968

Steve appeared in a historic on the road episode of the Ed Sullivan show in March 1968. This program usually broadcast live from New York but made a special trip in March 1968 to feature Ceasars Palace in color.

 

When it was Big News that the Landmark Hotel in Las Vegas Would Have 27 Floors

Seems quaint today that it once made international news that the Landmark Hotel in Las Vegas was going to have a casino on the 27th floor. Of course Allen and Rossi were part of the big story.