Traces the career of the comedienne, movie actress, and TV talk show hostess from her roots in Long Island, to her stint on the nightclub circuit and her syndicated show.
"For anyone who doubts that comedian/talk-show hostess Rosie O'Donnell is now the Queen of Daytime, these two--yes, two--simultaneously published biographies should settle the issue. In terms of content, they are almost identical, and both should generate demand from the star's many fans. Both authors have obviously used the same print sources and Web sites, watched the same installments of Rosie's show, and latched on to the same bits of stand-up comedy. Personal interviews in both books are sorely lacking. What really sets these books apart, though, is tone. Parish's Rosie is a standard star bio, workmanlike but entertaining enough if you're interested in O'Donnell. Mair's work sounds as if it's written by the fan from hell. Besides detailing every teeny-weeny piece of Rosie's life, Mair periodically interrupts himself with fanzine-style sidebars offering either trivia questions ("In A League of Their Own, what was the number on Doris Murphy's uniform?) or nuggets of human-interest celebrity info (Susan Lucci once brought Rosie an All My Children scrapbook). Then there is Mair's cliche-ridden prose: "To empathize with Rosie O'Donnell, know that for twenty-two years she walked around with a giant, gaping hole in her heart." On the question of O'Donnell's sexuality (she is rumored to be gay), both books turn coy and rely mainly on published stories in the tabloids for their answers. O'Donnell has signed on to pen her own book, which will perhaps deliver more personal insights into her life. Or at least less trivia. --Ilene Cooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Unlike most teen performers whose ambitious parents shepherded their careers, Rosie O'Donnell suffered her mother's death when she was only 11. She used to sneak into comedy clubs with a fake ID; the first evening she took the stage on an amateur night, she won $50. In this unauthorized bio, seasoned Hollywood journalist and author Parish (The Liza Minnelli Story, etc.) has researched O'Donnell's climb to fame mostly through secondary sources, drawing on print and TV interviews, critical reviews and press releases, as well as interviews with her colleagues. O'Donnell's comic career, feature films and Broadway show are well detailed here nonetheless, and her story is an inspiring one. Her fans will buy and enjoy this book, particularly as it's the first full-length bio of the talk-show star, but even they may be disappointed with the author's thin rendering of his subject's private life. Parish hints that, as an executive producer, O'Donnell has been known to be tyrannical and bad-tempered. Yet she has become known as the "Queen of Nice," as a star-struck hostess with a heart of gold, and he provides too little information about the mature, successful woman behind the persona. But until O'Donnell writes her autobiography, as she's under contract to Warner to do, this bio may be the most thorough we'll get. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved