Rosie O'Donnell was born into an Irish family in Commack, Long Island. She was the third of five children. Her mother died when Rosie was 10. O'Donnell said that she watched TV nearly 24 hours a day. When she was 18, she dropped out of college and went on to do shows like Gimme a Break!, and she produced and hosted Stand-Up Spotlight (1988). Now, she works on her own down-to-earth syndicated talk show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show.
O'Donnell appeared as a lifeline on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, correctly answering the question and helping the contestant win US$32,000. She later invited the contestant onto her show, and gave him a weeklong trip to London.