Mickey Rose Dies: Woody Allen's Early Collaborator Was 77

Friday, 12 Apr 2013 02:35 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Mickey Rose, a veteran television writer and collaborator on Woody Allen's early films, died Sunday in his home in Beverly Hills. He was 77.

Rose had cancer which was diagnosed in January, according to his daughter Jennifer, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Early on in his extensive comic writing career, Rose wrote one liners and comic sketches for many of the top entertainers of his day, including Johnny Carson and Sid Caesar. In the 1970s he relocated from his native New York City to California, where he wrote for several TV comedy series such as "The Odd Couple," "All in the Family," "The Smothers Brothers," and "The Tonight Show."

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Rose was a childhood friend of Woody Allen, who is also 77.

They grew up together in 1940s Brooklyn, N.Y., where they would often skip school to watch movies in Manhattan or catch a Dodgers game at Ebbets Field, according to Allen's biographer Eric Lax.

"They were just very good friends with similar sensibilities, who laughed at the same things and loved to make each other laugh," Lax said Wednesday.

"Mickey was one of the funniest humans I know, a true original and a total eccentric and a wonderful first baseman," Allen said in a statement released by his biographer. "We played a lot of baseball together. Once, when I asked him what death meant to him he said, 'no more malteds.' "

In addition to attending New York University together, until Allen eventually dropped out, the pair collaborated on several of Allen's earliest films including "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" in 1966, "Take the Money and Run" in 1969, and "Bananas" in 1971.

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Allen introduced Rose to his friend, Judy Wolf, who eventually become Rose's wife of 40 years. She died in 2003.

Rose's career hit a slump in the mid-1980s, according to his son Quincy Rose, a filmmaker, who told the Times that as a result he largely stepped back from comedy writing.

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