Rosie O’Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell

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.”

Rosie was born on March 21, 1962 March 21, 1962, in Commack, Long Island; Her mother died when she was 10 leaving behind, Rosie 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 has captured O’Donnell once again, just as she has captured the millions of viewers who tune to the “Queen of Nice” on her syndicated talk show called, appropriately enough, The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

And along with her four-year, $4-million TV contract, O’Donnell’s also nabbed a $3-million deal with Warner to publish her memoirs. All this and she still remains more or less untainted by her celebrity status. As she says, “I’m not jaded. I really do have this gushing, true, genuine admiration and affection for entertainment people.”


Sarah Zammit is the Founder and Editor of the Plus Size Clothing Network, which includes web properties such as, the Plus Size Clothing Scoop, The Plus Size Bride and Wide Width Shoes Online. Learn more about her here and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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