Rosie O'Donnell

Comedian Rosie O'Donnell moved from standup to television, film, and the Broadway stage before finding widespread success as a talk-show host. She attended Dickinson College and Boston University, then turned to comedy as a career. In 1986, she became a regular on the last season of the network TV sitcom Gimme a Break! and in 1992 co-starred on the short-lived series Stand by Your Man. Her film breakthrough came later in 1992 with A League of Their Own, a film about a women's baseball league during World War II. After that, she began to get frequent film roles as a comic character actress and appeared in Another Stakeout, Sleepless in Seattle, Car 54 Where Are You?, Exit to Eden, The Flintstones, I'll Do Anything, and Now and Then through 1995. She also made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in a revival of Grease. In the 1995-1996 television season, she premiered as a daytime talk-show host on Rosie and proved an immediate success. The show vastly increased her recognition and she went on to become a major celebrity, hosting awards programs and continuing to make the occasional film. In 1999, she lent her voice to the animated movie Tarzan and sang on the soundtrack album. That year, she also released a seasonal collection, A Rosie Christmas, on which she performed duets with various well-known performers, with the proceeds being donated to a children's charity foundation she had established. A second collection, Another Rosie Christmas, followed in 2000. ~ William Ruhlmann

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