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Rosie O'Donnell

Talk Show Host / Actor / Comedian

Born: 21 March 1962
Birthplace: Commack, New York
Best known as:

Host of TV's The Rosie O'Donnell Show

The afternoon talk show The Rosie O'Donnell Show established O'Donnell as "The Queen of Nice" after its 1996 debut. Rosie O'Donnell was a former stand-up comedian whose career took off when she landed a role alongside Madonna and Tom Hanks in the 1992 baseball movie A League of Their Own. She played the wisecracking second fiddle in other films like Sleepless in Seattle (1993, with Meg Ryan), until she moved into daytime television in 1996 as a cheerful, upbeat host. The Rosie O'Donnell Show focused on pleasantries and entertainment rather than conflict and issues, separating it from the shows of Oprah Winfrey and other daytime hosts of the era. O'Donnell won the Daytime Emmy Award as outstanding talk show host in 1997, 1998 and 1999. She left the show in mid-2002 and was replaced by actress Caroline Rhea. In February of 2004, O'Donnell married her longtime partner, Kelli Carpenter, in San Francisco after that city began approving gay marriages. As she became more open about her political opinions, O'Donnell became a high-profile advocate for gay rights and gun control, making her a target for criticism from conservative pundits such as Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan. In 2006 she joined the hosting cast of The View (with Barbara Walters), and in no time was making headlines again with political comments (she was a harsh critic of George W. Bush) and a public spat with Donald Trump. Unable to reach a contract agreement with ABC in 2007, O'Donnell left the show in May, but not before engaging in a public spat with co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Rosie O'Donnell then had another talk show on Oprah Winfrey's cable network, The Rosie Show. It ran from October of 2011 through March of 2012.

Extra credit:

Rosie O'Donnell replaced Meredith Vieira on The View; Vieira left to host The Today Show after Katie Couric left that show to succeed Dan Rather as host of The CBS Evening News.

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