Rosie O'Donnell biography

Rosie O'Donnell

Date of Birth: March 21, 1962

Rosie O'Donnell is one of the more unlikely Hollywood success stories. But, as she says, "There's no map to success in this industry -- you have to take a knife and hack your way through the jungle."

Born in Commack, Long Island, her mother died when she was 10 leaving behind, she remembers, "five small children and an emotionally distant father. We sort of took care of ourselves." Then, as now, the television acted as entertainment and baby-sitter all in one. O'Donnell recalls her favorite viewing were the talk shows with Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas that she would race home from school every day to catch. But it wasn't as a talk show host that she saw herself making her mark but, rather, as an actor.

O'Donnell's career began when she was 16 and she took a pirated Jerry Seinfeld act that she caught on The Merv Griffin Show on stage. Everyone loved it, but she was informed that she really couldn't stand up and do other people's material. As a result she became the club's emcee, introducing other comedians with her banter and learning enough in the process to take her own act on the road at the age of 20.

A decade later, O'Donnell had succeeded in building a career as a stand-up comedienne, including a stint on the sitcom Gimme a Break and a producing and host gig on Stand Up Spotlight which led to her own short-lived series called Stand by Your Man in 1992. That same year, she was cast as Doris Murphy in 1992's A League of Their Own, which led to a role as Meg Ryan's pal in Sleepless In Seattle and a turn as Betty Rubble in The Flintstones.

But it's her first love, TV, that captures O'Donnell, just as she has captured the millions of viewers who tuned in to her syndicated talk show called, appropriately enough, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, which ran from 1995 to 2002. In 2005, she joined the talk show The View, but quit before her two-year contract came to an end.

Openly lesbian, Rosie and her partner, Kelli, have three adopted children and a biological daughter.

Filmography:

The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000) (voice)
Get Bruce(1999)
Tarzan (1999) (voice)
Wide Awake (1998)
Beautiful Girls (1996)
Harriet the Spy (1996)
A Very Brady Sequel (1996)
Now and Then (1995)
Car 54, Where Are You? (1994)
Exit to Eden (1994)
The Flintstones(1994)
I'll Do Anything (1994)
Another Stakeout (1993)
Fatal Instinct (1993)
Sleepless In Seattle(1993)
A League of Their Own (1992)

Rosie O'Donnell Filmography

Actor:

Rosie O'Donnell Photo