For six years, Rosie O’Donnell was America’s best friend. For an hour each day she served as host and executive producer of the critically acclaimed and Emmy Award winning nationally syndicated talk/variety series “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” In her first season on the air, she won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. She continued her success for five consecutive seasons by winning Daytime Emmy’s for both Outstanding Talk Show Host and Outstanding Talk Show. Rosie was also seen on daytime television as moderator on the tenth season of ABC’s “The View,” and hosted the satellite radio show, “Rosie Radio” on SiriusXM. She returned to television hosting in the fall of 2011 with “The Rosie Show” on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network through spring 2012.
Rosie made her dramatic television debut in CBS’s Hallmark Hall of Fame production, “Riding the Bus with My Sister,” and has made guest appearances on “Will and Grace,” “All My Children,” “Suddenly Susan,” “Spin City,” “Sesame Street,” “The Nanny,” “The Larry Sanders Show, ” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Queer as Folk,” “Happily Divorced,” and Showtime’s “Web Therapy.” O’Donnell has also executive produced and hosted “Stand Up Spotlight” on VH1, and hosted Nickelodeon’s “Kids Choice Awards” from 1997–2003. Rosie executive co-produced, co-wrote, and starred in the 2009 Lifetime Original Film, “America.” Rosie has also been involved in several HBO documentaries. She was the co-executive producer of “Rosie’s Family Cruise” and “A Family Is a Family Is a Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration.” Most recently, she executive co-produced “Don’t Divorce Me,” a documentary examining divorce through the eyes of affected children, which will premiere on HBO on September 20, 2012.
On the big screen, O’Donnell has starred in A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle,Another Stakeout, The Flintstones, Exit To Eden, Now and Then, Beautiful Girls, Harriet the Spy, Wide Awake, and was the voice of Turk in Walt Disney’s Tarzan. In April 1997, Warner Books published Kids Are Punny, a best-selling collection of her favorite jokes sent to the show by kids, with all proceeds going to her ROSIE’S FOR ALL KIDS FOUNDATION. In April 2002, Rosie also shared her gift for writing with the release of her book Find Me, followed by Celebrity Detox: (The Fame Game) in 2007, and most recently Rosie O’Donnell’s Crafty U in 2008.
When critics claimed that Broadway was on the decline and the networks threatened to stop broadcasting the Tony Awards, Rosie, an ardent fan of the theater, came to the rescue. Not only did she agree to host The 51st Annual Tony Awards, but she also did a weeklong tribute to the Great White Way on her show leading up to the event. Following her heart to the stage, the multi-talented Rosie starred as Rizzo in Tommy Tune’s 1994 revival ofGrease. Her other stage credits include the Broadway productions of Seussical and Fiddler on the Roof, Love, Loss and What I Wore, and the Encores! production of No, No, Nanette. In 2004, Rosie combined her love of Broadway with 80’s pop musical sensation, Boy George and produced the musical, Taboo, based on his life.
Rosie O’Donnell has taken her popularity and put it to good use. As a tireless crusader for children, she established the ROSIE’S FOR ALL KIDS FOUNDATION, in 1997. Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than $60 million and awarded more than $27 million dollars in grants to over 1,400 child-related non-profit organizations to benefit low income families across the country. In 2005, Rosie established a fund to provide $3 million dollars to children and families displaced by Katrina which, among other projects built the first-ever childcare facility in a FEMA housing site, at Renaissance Village in Louisiana. In 2003, Rosie established ROSIE’s THEATER KIDS, a program that provides free in-school, after-school and summer instruction in musical theater to the public school children of New York. In February 2009, Rosie’s Theater Kids opened the door to its new home, Maravel Arts Center, a performing arts school in the heart of New York City’s theater district.
In addition to her multiple Daytime Emmy Awards, Rosie received a Primetime Emmy Award for “The 52nd Annual Tony Awards,” and has graced the cover of Newsweek magazine (dubbed the “Queen of Nice”). In 1996, she was named one of Ladies’ Home Journal’s Fascinating Women of the Year, one of Barbara Walter’s 10 Most Fascinating People of 1996, and Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainer of the Year. In 1997, she was cited as one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential People in America. Rosie launched her website www.Rosie.com where she publishes her photos, artwork, answers questions, and keeps a blog. The award-winning website has been recognized as one of the best celebrity blogs by Entertainment Weekly and earned a Blogger’s Choice Award in 2007. In May of 2007, Time Magazine named Rosie one of the one hundred most influential people in the world for their “Time 100” cover story.