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Roseann Teresa O'Donnell
Life Span: Born 21st March 1962, Long Island, New York
Star Sign: Aries
Famous As: US comedienne and actress

Childhood: When O'Donnell's mother Roseann died of cancer in 1972, she and her four siblings (Eddie, Danny, Maureen and Timmy) were brought up by her father, Edward.
O'Donnell was very physically and socially active at school, playing in many of the sport teams, and being voted Homecoming Queen, Senior Class President, Student Council Member, Class Clown and Personality Plus in 1980, when she graduated.
In her youth she was inspired to have show business ambitions by Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand. At 16, she performed her first stand up show, and soon after dropped out of college to begin touring comedy clubs around the country.

Work: She toured so many clubs in the US, that she almost managed to do a club date in each of its 50 states (she managed 47)! By 1984, she began trying to settle into television appearances, first of all taking part in 'Star Search'. She made it to the final, but lost to fellow stand up comic Steve Mittleman.
The exposure the talent show gave her led onto more work, however. In 1986, she gained a role in the sitcom 'Gimme A Break' as a Boston-Irish dentist. Her performance received some critical acclaim and paved the way for higher exposure roles, and eventually her own show, 'Stand By Your Man', in 1992. It ran for just 7 weeks, however, and during the rest of the nineties, her career moved away from television and into small, but memorable, movie roles. 'Sleepless in Seattle' was the first, in 1993, along with a leading role with Richard Dreyfuss in 'Another Stakeout'. Other comedy movies followed throughout the 90s, including 'The Flintstones', 'Now and Then' and 'Beautiful Girls'.
In 1994, she briefly went back to the stage, this time singing and dancing in a Broadway production of 'Grease', playing the unconventional, wise-cracking tearaway, Rizzo.
In 1996, she changed career again and moved back to television as a full time talk show host. 'The Rosie O' Donnell Show' became the most popular daytime chat show of its time, focusing less on the debate of people's personal issues and more on live performance, interviews and entertainment.
The show ran until 2002, after which O'Donnell began seeking a simpler life with her partner Kelli Carpenter and their adopted children in Nyack, New York.
Despite taking this hiatus from television work, O'Donnell has many plans in the pipeline for books and new TV shows (one with Cyndi Lauper as co-host) and has since produced films, written an autobiography called 'Find Me' and a book, 'Everything Rosie'.

Friends & Relationships: O'Donnell met her partner Kelli Carpenter, a former Nickleodeon executive, in 1998 through her brother Daniel.
The two were married in 2004, in San Francisco. The timing of the marriage coincided with an announcement by President George W Bush that there would be an amendment to the constitution that would ban gay marriage. O' Donnell said of the announcement: "I think the actions of the president are, in my opinion, the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president, I am stunned and I'm horrified....And, you know, if civil disobedience is the way to go about change, then I think a lot of people will be going to San Francisco."
She also took time to comment on the place at which they held their marriage ceremony: "I want to thank the city of San Francisco for this amazing stance the mayor has taken for all the people here, not just us but all the thousands and thousands of loving, law-abiding couples."
O'Donnell did not reserve her outspoken nature just for her wedding day. She is an active spokesperson for gay rights. The couple now have a child of their own as well as their three adoptive children, and it was her role as a gay parent which made her come out in 2002. She had learned about a gay couple in Florida who were being prevented from adopting children whom they had successfully fostered for many years. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, she spoke of her outrage, and commented: "I don't think America knows what a gay parent looks like. I am a gay parent."

Greatest Achievements: The Rosie O'Donnell Show won an emmy in 1998 for Outstanding Talk Show.
O'Donnell is a loud voice in the struggle for gay rights in America.

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