Rosie O’Donnell inspires people of all ages

By on April 18, 2002

From Koosh Balls to her own magazine, Rosie O’Donnell has changed the reputation of the daytime talk show. While Jerry Springer dodges chairs being thrown by angry men wishing they were women and Ricki Lake encourages a cheating boyfriend to take a paternity test, O’Donnell is making people laugh every morning with her crazy antics and bubbly personality.
It’s been a long ride-six years to be exact-and although it’s coming to an end in five weeks, The Rosie O’Donnell Show has left its mark.
It all began in 1996, when O’Donnell decided she needed the perfect job where she could do what she loved and spend time with her son.
She had just finished filming a movie version of the popular children’s novel, “Harriet The Spy”, when she realized just how difficult it is to raise children in the Hollywood atmosphere. She told TV Guide in 1999:
“I hardly ever saw my son…. I felt horrible. By the second day, I knew it wouldn’t work. This was not the kind of parent I wanted to be…. I want to be the one to put him to bed, to wake him up in the morning, and to be there when he takes his first step and says his first word…. I wanted to find a job in the entertainment industry that could accommodate my desire to be a full-time parent.”
O’Donnell found her home in the old NBC Studio of Phil Donahue and has interviewed hundreds of guests from Barbara Streisand to N*Sync. She is an Emmy Award Winner, a favorite at The Kids Choice Awards, and was even voted “The Queen of Nice” by Newsweek in 1996.
She appeared on Broadway in the musical “Grease” and finished a run last year in “Suessical The Musical.” Besides her love for Ring Dings, fast food toys, Broadway, Tom Cruise, and reality television, O’Donnell has been an inspiration to many.
O’Donnell’s “Chub Club,” started by herself and a few friends to lose weight, encouraged thousands of overweight individuals to start their own versions of the club.
“She gave people the courage to admit they had a problem and it was ok and that there was something we could do about it,” stated a fan in 2000. O’Donnell has not only provided support to overweight individuals, but is also an avid charity donator.
She is famous for her many donations to E-bay and is a spokesperson for dozens of other charities benefiting every individual from children to cancer victims. She is also a strong advocator for adoption, with her three adopted children-Parker, Chelsea, and Blake-as her motivation.
Now that her own magazine ‘Rosie’ is on top of the world and ready to conquer the next challenge. One of the more recent of these challenges has been her announcement that she is gay. Although it was not planned to be announced until the release of her autobiography, Find Me, on April 23, O’Donnell told Diane Sawyer in an in-depth interview on March 4 that she has known for a while:
“It took me a while to understand and to figure out all the things that made me me, where I was most comfortable, who I was, and how I was going to define my life,” she says. “And I found the coat that fit me.”
Now with her sexuality out in the open and her show coming to it’s final countdown, O’Donnell is looking towards a new path in her life. According to People Magazine last week, O’Donnell is thinking of retiring the Koosh Ball gun for a director’s chair:
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she told People. No matter what it is, her fans will not be disappointed, for we can expect nothing but more great things from this entertainment icon.


About Amy Dziobek Staff Writer