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Profile of Rosie O'Donnell, Liberal Activist & Talk Show Host


Profile of Rosie O'Donnell, Liberal Activist & Talk Show Host

Photo of Rosie O'Donnell & Kelli Carpenter: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Rosie O'Donnell, Liberal Activist, Former Moderator of "The View" :

Rosie O'Donnell, passionate activist, assumed the moderator role in September 2006 on popular ABC talk show "The View," where she was the outspoken liberal foil to conservative co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Rosie revealed in April 2007 that she would depart "The View" in June after a controversial 8 months during which Rosie feuded with many celebrities. After a heated May 23, 2007 argument with Hasselbeck over the Iraq War, Rosie was granted her request to not return to "The View."

Rosie publicly revealed herself as gay in her 2002 best-selling autobiography, "Find Me."

Rosie on Same-Sex Marriage:

On February 26, 2004, Rosie and partner Kelli Carpenter were married in San Francisco after Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The California Supreme Court voided all such marriages in August 2004.

On the president's support of a constitutional amendment barring gay marriage, Rosie said, "I think the actions of the president are...the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president."

Rosie on Same-Sex Family Parenting:

"My worldview revolves around children," Rosie told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in 2002. She supports adoption and parenting by gay families, and has fought Florida law prohibiting same-sex family adoption since the state removed a child, Mia, from their home in 2001.

"I think what children need is love, security, stability, consistency and kindness," she told O'Reilly. Not necessarily a "heterosexual family."

Rosie and Kelli currently run a travel company aimed at gay and lesbian families.

Rosie on Gun Control:

Rosie O'Donnell is a major supporter of the Million Mom March, a national grassroots organization dedicated to "fight against gun violence and the devastation it causes."

A famed moment on her former talk show occurred in 1999 when she aggressively challenged actor and NRA supporter Tom Selleck on his gun control views. Rosie insisted, "But you can't say that 'I will not take responsibility for anything the NRA represents' if you're saying that you're going to do an ad for the NRA."

Rosie on the Iraq War:

Rosie O'Donnell is a vociferous critic of the Iraq War, and has dubbed President Bush a war criminal who should be tried for war crimes for "invading a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11."

Rosie uses her public blog to air her views on the war and other matters, and in 2005, recounted dozens of hilariously now-hypocritical quotes uttered by top Republicans when President Clinton committed troops to Bosnia.

Personal Data:

Birth - March 21, 1962 in Commack, New York to Irish Catholic immigrant Edward and his US-born Irish wife Roseann, who died of cancer and was buried on Rosie's 11th birthday.

Education - 1980 graduate, Commack High School. Voted Homecoming Queen, Senior Class President and Class Clown. Attended college before dropping out for the comedy club circuit.

Family - Lesbian life partner is Kelli Carpenter, former dancer, Nickelodeon executive. Four children, 3 adopted and 1 born to Kelli in 2002.

Rosie's Growing Up Years:

After her mother died, Rosie took primary care of her 4 siblings. She's described her father as emotionally distant, and said that she grew up watching TV almost 24 hours a day. Rosie says she won't have biological childen because of a family history of alcoholism and cancer. She is estranged from her father.

At 18 years old, Rosie realized that she was gay, although she says that she's had male lovers. Rosie made her stage debut in 2nd grade as Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wizard of Oz."

Rosie O'Donnell, Actress and Talk Show Host:

In the 1980s, Rosie's comedy won the TV "Star Search" contest 5 times. Her first and finest film role was as Doris Murphy, the tough-talking third basewoman in the 1992 "A League of their Own."

Rosie won 6 Emmy awards for outstanding talk show for "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," which aired from 1996 to 2002. She was executive producer, director and star of the program. In 2000, Rosie entered a brief and ill-fated partnership to publish "Rosie" magazine.

The Rosie O'Donnell Persona:

Like many comedians, Rosie channeled her private pain into her comedy. She developed her unabashed style while still in high school. Rosie is known as earthy, emotional, generous and exceedingly honest, no matter the personal cost.

She's unafraid of conflict, and has appeared on Fox News programs hosted by conservatives Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. She's a New York Jets fan, only signs autographs for kids, and counts singer Madonna among her closest friends.

Memorable Quotes:

"This President invaded a sovereign nation in defiance of the UN. He is basically a war criminal. Honestly. He should be tried at The Hague. This man lied to the American public about the reasons for invading a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11." -- April 30, 2005 to interviewer Geraldo Rivera

"I have lived my life very openly and very truthfully. When I was with a man, everyone knew who my partner was. And when I was with a woman, everyone knew who my partner was. There was never any secret or any hiding." -- August 25, 2005 to AP reporter David Bauder

"I personally, Rosie O’Donnell, have always been a Democrat. I will always support the Democrats and I love the Democratic agenda about gun control. This is not about politics. We didn’t ask the people standing here before us whether or not they’re Republican or Democrat. We asked if they care about the fact four thousand children are shot dead every year..." -- May 2000 to interviewer Cokie Roberts

"We tried to make a women's magazine that was intelligent, that spoke to women about real issues, that knew that breast cancer was more important than your waist size." -- October 7, 2002 to interview Paula Zahn

"There are nuclear weapons everywhere. If one goes off, it is the end of the world as we know it. It’s a different game than it was in World War II. And this is a preemptive strike. This is not the American way of life. This is not American values. When there are alternate means, when the UN, an organization that is set up to prevent World War III, is saying please follow these rules and we are saying, no, we won’t...

To me, it reminds me of where 12th graders in high school and there’s a third grader with a knife. And instead of a bunch of 12th graders going and taking the knife away, we’re going to kick the crap out of this third grader. Well, I don’t want any part of that. Not in my name...." -- February 24, 2003 to interviewer Phil Donahue

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