Rosie O'Donnell

     
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Real Name: Rosie O'Donnell
Birthday: March 21st

 

Biography And Filmography:

Openly gay comedienne and talk show host Rosie O'Donnell first made a name for herself with her stand-up comedy, and later as the star of films and her popular daytime television talk show, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (1996-2002). Just before leaving her talk show, O'Donnell came out of the closet, revealing both her homosexuality and a whole new side to her personality. To the excitement of viewers who missed her show on television, she returned to daytime television by replacing moderator Meredith Vieira on "The View" (1997- ).

Born March 21, 1962 in Commack, Long Island, Rosie O'Donnell was the middle of five children. Her mother died when she was ten years old – a disturbing event that would effect almost every area of her adult life. Rosie focused her pain into her comedy, creating her act while still a Long Island high school student. She dropped out of college, choosing the life of the comedy stand-up circuit. 

Perfecting her skill while on the road, O'Donnell went on to make her television debut on "Star Search" in 1984, winning the show's comedy competition five times in a row. After making her series debut as Nell Carter's neighbor on "Gimme a Break" in 1986, she became host and producer of VH1's "Stand-Up Spotlight," which would lead to to her own series. The comedy "Stand by Your Man" (1992) cast her opposite Melissa Gilbert as one of two sisters living together while their husbands serve time in jail for robbery. 


Her feature film debut was in the role of Doris Murphy in Penny Marshall's "A League of Their Own" (1992) starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna. During filming, Rosie became friends with co-star Madonna, someone who had also lost her mother at a young age. After appearing as Meg Ryan's friend in "Sleepless in Seattle," she starred with Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez in "Another Stakeout" (1993), playing a district attorney who goes undercover to find a missing witness. 

Rosie O'Donnell next appeared as Betty Rubble in the film "The Flintstones" with John Goodman and Halle Berry. Next was the undercover cop investigating a sexual fantasies resort in the comedy "Exit to Eden" (1994). O'Donnell then played a doctor in the comedy "Now and Then" (1995) with Demi Moore, which she followed with the comedy "Beautiful Girls" (1996) with Natalie Portman and Uma Thurman.

The actress then started on a career as host and executive producer of her own daily talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." The show was a throwback to the daytime talk shows she had grown up watching. She won the Outstanding Talk Show Host Daytime Emmy Awards for her work.

O'Donnell mesmerized audiences with her tenderness, humor and honesty, and unashamedly booked as guests her own heroes like Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Elton John and Tom Cruise, appearing as star struck as anyone watching at home. 

In 2002, O'Donnell felt it was time to see if her fans would accept her as a lesbian, and made a guest appearance on "Will & Grace," (1998-2006), playing the role of a lesbian. Shortly before leaving her show, Rosie confirmed the rumors about her sexuality, admitting to a long relationship with girlfriend Kelli Carpenter. 

O'Donnell then made headlines when she and Carpenter entered into a legal marriage two weeks after California authorized marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but the license was later revoked by the California Supreme Court. In reaction to the anti-gay crusade in Washington, the couple created "R. Family Vacations", a travel company targeted to gay and lesbian families. They launched a cruise ship, creating a documentary film about the trip, “All Aboard: Rosie's Family Cruise” (2006).

When Meredith Vieira announced she was taking over Katie Couric’s job on “The Today Show", Rosie was hired as Vieira’s replacement on "The View". In 2006, she made her formal return to daytime television, helping to launch season ten of the smash hit show "The View."


The first of her now famous on-air feuds occurred with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The biggest battle, however, came when she took on Donald Trump after the real estate giant gave his Miss USA winner, Tara Conner, a second chance at keeping her title following some drug related problems. As anticipated, Trump shot back, calling O’Donnell “fat,” “a loser” and “disgusting.” The war of words intensified each day they would not let the issue drop, giving statements to anyone who would listen. 

After she criticized Barbara Walter’s friend, Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch from the podium – the comic announced that she would be leaving “The View” by June. 

Rosie O'Donnell has had only a few guest appearances since her departure from "The View", including three episodes of ""Queer as Folk" and four appearances on "Nip/Tuck". She also worked behind the scenes as producer of  "After the Storm" (2008) a documentary that follows a group of New York Broadway actors who were inspired to help the youth of New Orleans. 

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