Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1930, she began her career as a nightclub performer, later singing as lead vocalist with Charlie Spivak's orchestra. She later recorded more than 30 singles and two LPs for Columbia Records.
Her Broadway debut was in 1959's Fiorello!, where she sang the show-stopping "Gentleman Jimmy". In 1960, she appeared in Tenderloin. Two years later, in 1962, she headed the off-Broadway revival cast of Cole Porter's Anything Goes in the role of Reno Sweeney.
The show won the New York Outer Circle Critics' Award as Best Revival of 1962.
In 1965, Rodgers appeared in the infamous musical flop Kelly which closed on Broadway after one performance.
She served as a standby for Ethel Merman in the 1966 revival of Annie Get Your Gun.
Eileen Rodgers Thompson died of lung cancer on July 13, 2003 in Charlotte, North Carolina, three days after her 73rd birthday