When Rosie O'Donnell was 10, she lost her mother. I don't think she ever got over it. It made her both independent and vulnerable, sensitive and outspoken. She loves Barbra Streisand, Broadway shows, her partner Kelli, their four young children, anyone's babies ... and feuds. Not necessarily in that order. She hates what she considers injustice, snobby people, most of the current Administration, and chances are she will never live in a Trump building.
She is enormously charitable. She has two foundations: Rosie's Broadway Kids and the For All Kids Foundation. She gives unsparingly to returning veterans' causes and hospitals. And she visits them.
A year ago, I went to a screening of the HBO documentary All Aboard!: Rosie's Family Cruise. It followed a cruise that Rosie and Kelli had inaugurated. It was funny, touching andI guess to someunsettling. That night, inspired by her documentary, I asked Rosie if she would consider joining us on The View. And so, last September, we began a thrilling roller-coaster ride. We followed Rosie's passion and compassion, her feuds and fearlessness, her humanity and humor. When Rosie and ABC couldn't come to an agreement for her to return to the program next fall, it was for me a plunge on the roller coaster. But we remain respectful and affectionate friends.
Rosie, 45, is a fine actress, a great storyteller and a woman of conviction. Her opinions are heartfelt, passionate and often abrasive. Her views are not necessarily my views, but in her heart, she dearly hopes to be a force for good, a voice for people like her who are vulnerable and perhaps neglected. Her mother would be proud.
Walters is co-host and co-executive producer of The View
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