A media personality from the time of her TV debut on the ’80s sitcom Gimme a Break!, Rosie O’Donnell (above right, with her son Parker) has turned her empathy and gift for comedy into a three-decade career. As her stint hosting The View ended in an acrimonious on-air argument with conservative host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, O’Donnell turned her attention to executive-producing A Family Is A Family Is A Family , a documentary about the diversity of American families, which premiered in January on HBO. Rosie’s other efforts on behalf of LGBT rights include co-founding R Family Vacations in 2003, the only gay family-focused cruise company. Always the philanthropist, O’Donnell has donated millions of dollars to children’s charities and seeded several foundations. She currently hosts Rosie Radio, a daily program on Sirius XM. Rumor has it O’Donnell will take over Oprah’s daytime slot with her own talk show next year. -KL
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