The Philadelphia native attended George Washington University before moving to the Big Apple in the 1940s. Rose honed his craft at the Actor’s Studio Drama School, then landed parts in plays on- and off-Broadway. During World War II, he was recruited by the Office of War Information to work as a radio newscaster.
In 1948, Rose co-founded New Stages, an off-Broadway repertory company, with producer David Heilweil. New Stages presented the American debut of Jean-Paul Sartre’s best-known play, “The Respectful Prostitute,” prior to its run on Broadway.
After the war, Rose lent his distinctive voice to radio programs such as “Dimension X,” “The Martian Chronicles” and “CBS Radio Mystery Theater.” He narrated the short film “Harold and the Purple Crayon” in 1959, and provided several of the voices on the CBS cartoon “Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales.” From 1969 to 1974, Rose stepped in front of the camera to portray the same character — psychiatrist Dr. Marcus Polk — on two ABC soap operas (“One Life to Live” and “All My Children”).
A former drama instructor at The Juilliard School, Rose lived up to his reputation in 1975 when he provided the voice of God in the Woody Allen film “Love and Death.” The prolific performer later narrated the 70th anniversary broadcast of the Academy Awards and recorded numerous books for the blind, but he was most famous for giving a voice to Juan Valdez, the long-time advertising spokesman for Colombian coffee.