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1925 Casper 2023

Casper Roos

March 21, 1925 — August 18, 2023

Casper Roos passed away on August 18th after a brief illness. He was born in the Bronx on March 21st, 1925, the youngest son of the late Jacob Conrad and Sabina (Uhlenbush) Roos.

In 1943, he graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and enlisted in the Merchant Marine as a ship's carpenter and Chief Petty Officer on Liberty Ships. He served in the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific until 1946. Convoys in which he sailed came under attack on two occasions. Casper's service was always a great point of pride for him. He was almost never seen around Middletown or Newport without his Merchant Marine cap.

After the war, he considered two career options- remaining in the Merchant Marine, or pursuing a career in the theater. He chose the latter to the delight of Broadway audiences who saw him perform over the following fifty years.

He met and married his beloved wife of 64 years, the late Shirley Anne (Nicholson) in 1953. They met when she was recommended to him because of her extraordinary skill as an accompanist.

Over the course of 56 years he performed in over sixty different Equity productions which included nineteen different Broadway productions, including the original casts of Once Upon a Mattress with Carol Burnett, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Mame, Shenandoah, and My One & Only. He also appeared in Broadway revivals of several musicals including Brigadoon in 1980, playing numerous roles. In Shenandoah he played the lead, Charlie Anderson.

He appeared on soap operas, usually as a minister or an undertaker, frequently claiming that he only "married and buried" soap opera stars. He also appeared in films. The 2013 Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy film, The Heat, was his last work as an actor at the age of 88. He can be seen slow dancing with Melissa McCarthy in the bar scene.

Casper's later years were occupied with friends and family around Aquidneck Island. He was a devoted patron of Gary's and Chelsea's and a great favorite of the staff and other patrons in both locations. He enjoyed the company of friends and neighbors at John Clarke Senior Living. He treasured spending time with his two grandchildren, Charlotte and Annika. He walked and drove all over the island until two weeks before he died. In the words of his favorite author, Cervantes, in Don Quixote: "Until death it is all life."

As someone who was a part of its golden age, a light on Broadway has gone out with Casper's passing, he has taken his final bow. The stage is dark; Casper we have turned on the "Equity light" for you.

He is survived by his son Pieter, his daughter-in-law Barbara, and his two grandchildren Charlotte and Annika. Visiting hours will be from 9am-Noon on September 29th followed by a memorial service at noon at Memorial Funeral Home on Broadway in Newport. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the SS John W. Brown Liberty Ship (www.ssjohnwbrown.org) or go see a play or musical.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Casper Roos, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, September 29, 2023

9:00am - 12:00 pm

Memorial Funeral Home

375 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840

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Service

Friday, September 29, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm

Memorial Funeral Home

375 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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