O'Donnell started her comedy career while still a teenager and her big break was on the talent show Star Search in 1984. A TV sitcom and a series of movies introduced her to a larger national audience and from 1996 to 2002, she hosted The Rosie O'Donnell Show, which won multiple Emmy awards. During this time, she wrote her first memoir, Find Me, and developed the nickname "Queen of Nice" as well as a reputation for philanthropic efforts. She used the book's $3 million advance to establish her For All Kids foundation and promoted other charity projects, encouraging celebrities on her show to also take part.
O'Donnell came out, stating "I'm a dyke!" two months before finishing her talk show run, saying that her primary reason was to bring attention to gay adoption issues. O'Donnell is a foster and adoptive mother. She was named "Person of the Year" in a 2002 cover story by The Advocate with an in-depth interview by the magazine's editor-in-chief, Judy Wieder. In May 2003, she became a regular contributor to the magazine. She continues to do charity work and remains involved with LGBT and family-related issues.
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