Rose Freeman, an actress under the name Joan Taylor who later managed the “Hawaii Five-O” property created by her husband, writer-producer Leonard Freeman, died of natural causes in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 4. She was 82.
Freeman started her career as a performer at the Pasadena Playhouse, where she met Leonard when both worked in a production of “Here Comes Mr. Jordan.”
Under the name Joan Taylor, she starred in such science fiction films as “Earth vs. the Flying Saucers” and “20 Million Miles to Earth” and Westerns including “Rose Marie,” “Apache Woman” and “War Paint.”
On TV she played Milly Scott on “The Rifleman,” starring alongside Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford, and guested on numerous other shows.
After Leonard’s death in 1974, Freeman transitioned into managing the “Hawaii Five-O” property; the original series ran from 1968-80, followed by runs in syndication and a CBS series remake that premiered in 2010.
Freeman was also a writer. She penned an episode of “Family” in 1979, and a novel she wrote was adapted into the 1983 telepic “An Invasion of Privacy.” She was also one of the writers on the 1997 romantic comedy feature “Fools Rush In” and adapted a book for the 2002 telepic “Heart of a Stranger.”
Rose Marie Emma was born in Lake Forest, Ill. Her mother, Amelia Berky, was a vaudeville star in the 1920s; her father, who had been a prop man in Hollywood, moved to Lake Forest to manage a movie theater. She graduated from the Chicago National Assn. of Dancing Masters and headed to Los Angeles when she was 18 to become an actress.
Freeman is survived by three daughters, two brothers and six grandchildren.
Donations may be made to Leo Baeck Temple, 1300 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049 or Skirball Hospice, 6345 Balboa Blvd., Suite 213, Encino, CA 91316.