- NAME: Rosie O'Donnell
- OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Comedian, Talk Show Host
- BIRTH DATE: March 21, 1962 (Age: 51)
- Did You Know?: Rosie O'Donnell has been a long-time fan of Barbra Streisand, to the point that she sends Streisand flowers and frames every hand-written thank you letter that she receives from the singer.
- EDUCATION: Dickinson College, Boston University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Commack, New York
- Full Name: Roseann O'Donnell
- Nickname: Rosie
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aries
Best Known For
Rosie O'Donnell is a comedian who made the move to the big screen with 1992's A League of Their Own, going on to co-host TV's The View.
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Born on March 21, 1962, in Commack, New York, Rosie O'Donnell graduated high school and went on a stand-up comedy tour in the US. She made five winning appearances on Star Search before moving to Los Angeles in 1984. After her role in the film A League of Their Own, O'Donnell went on to further success in television, notably with The View, and her own radio show, Rosie Radio. O'Donnell suffered a heart attack in August 2012,
"Faith of fear, that's your choice. You can walk through life believing in the goodness of the world, or walk through life afraid of anyone who thinks different than you and try to convert them to your way of thinking."
"I'd always admired writers. I'd always loved words on a page. Somehow, words seemed to bypass image and get straight to the heart of things. Somehow words seemed big enough to contain pain, and sentences could pull broken bits together."
"Maybe compassion is compulsion, creativity is insanity. If this is so, then is craziness a good thing, the source of our humanity?"
"Sometimes, when people speak, I cease listening to their words and zoom in on instead the cadence, and it can seem lovely, and at other times absurd, all this verbiage, these seemingly random consonants clattering on the stream that is sound."
"I think if I could take a pill to make myself straight, I wouldn't do it, because I am who I am and I've come to this point in my life, and I'm very happy."
"Nothing happens by chance."
"You have to know that families are forever. That means, no matter what happens, your family is always going to be there for you to help you and to love you."
"To give them what I never had heals me. Some days I look at them and almost start to cry. I think, 'How can I love them more than I did the day before?' But it keeps growing."
"I am difficult to love, and I know it."
"I act irrationally, I defy the odds. I engage when others would run. I look for trouble, I seek chaos. It's a burden."
"When I read about this lawsuit, when we had the experience of being discriminated against with our foster child, that's when God tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'You're in, Kid,'"
after which doctors discovered a 99 percent blocked artery in her heart.
Actress, comic, talk show host and author Rosie O'Donnell was born Rosann O'Donnell March 21, 1962, in Commack, New York. The middle of five children, she is the daughter of Roseann and Edward O'Donnell, a homemaker and an electrical engineer, respectively. Being one of five children had its challenges. "We weren't poor—my father was an electrical engineer. But there were five children. The kids who went to school with us in Dix Hills [New York] would all get Camaros on their 16th birthdays. And at our house, we had a Plymouth Volare with an AM radio. All five of us kids had to use that car. We went to the flea market to buy clothes, not Macy's," O'Donnell later said.
Life got harder when Rosie was 10 years old; her mother died of cancer, and her father took the loss particularly hard. Becoming emotionally distanced from the rest of the family, O'Donnell's father coped by removing most of his wife's belongings from the family home. One of the few reminders of their mother that escaped their father's touch was an old record collection. O'Donnell and her siblings often sought comfort by listening to their mother's albums—particularly the Barbra Streisand records.
"When we came home from school, [my mother] would put on Barbra Streisand's A Happening in Central Park and cook dinner, and we would sing all the songs to it. [My father] didn't know about that, because that was a ritual that was done while he was at work. . . So the only thing I had that was hers were the records. My love of Barbra Streisand is totally taken from my mother's sheer and complete adoration of her. She is what my mother left me," she explained to Redbook.
O'Donnell's love of music and theater didn't stop with Streisand, and by high school she had officially caught the acting bug. She imitated Gilda Radner's character "Roseanne Rosannadanna" for a skit, which earned her high praise and helped foster a desire to pursue a career in comedy. By watching and imitating other comics such as Jerry Seinfeld, O'Donnell eventually came up with her own material and honed her magnetic presence for the stage.
O'Donnell was a popular student who was elected prom queen, homecoming queen, most school-spirited and class president before graduation. After matriculating, she embarked on a stand-up comedy tour around the United States, appearing in 49 states over a five-year period. It was a difficult and enlightening time for O'Donnell, who slowly came to grips with the unhealthy lifestyle and sexist climate of the comedy world.
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