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Newsmaker: Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell will be a regular contributor to the gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate. Her first column appeared in the May 13 issue. In the column, titled "The Yellow," O'Donnell describes how fame robbed her of her "yellow," a metaphor she...

Rosie O'Donnell will be a regular contributor to the gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate. Her first column appeared in the May 13 issue. In the column, titled "The Yellow," O'Donnell describes how fame robbed her of her "yellow," a metaphor she uses for energy and happiness.

Early years: O'Donnell was born March 21, 1962, in Commack, N.Y.

Her mother died of cancer when she was 10 years old, which she describes as the defining event of her life.

Her father was emotionally ill-equipped to raise his children, and she dealt with his detachment by immersing herself in television.

At 16, after watching Jerry Seinfeld perform on "The Mike Douglas Show," O'Donnell went to a comedy club and used his material. She was told to write her own jokes. O'Donnell attended both Dickinson College and Boston University, but she dropped out to pursue comedy.

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Career: O'Donnell toured comedy clubs from 1979-1984 and became a champion on "Star Search." She has appeared in films such as "A League of Their Own," and "Beautiful Girls."

After adopting her first son in 1995, O'Donnell developed her television show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." She has adopted two more children.

O'Donnell was the focus of "Rosie" magazine, but pulled out, saying the publisher was squelching her voice.

Family: O'Donnell came out as a lesbian in March 2002. Her girlfriend, Kelli Carpenter, gave birth to a daughter in November.

In her words: "I was canonized the Queen of Nice. ... At first it felt nice. But that soon began to change. You can develop a taste for worship, and when you do, the yellow fades."

Web link:

www.advocate.com/html/stories/890/890_odonnell.asp

Compiled by Carol Bradley Bursack

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Sources: Associated Press, Allsands.com

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