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Rosie O'Donnell: How the Queen of Nice Became the Monarch of Mean

Updated on June 23, 2017
letstalkabouteduc profile image

I'm fascinated by celebrities and their impact on culture. Whether it's fashion, gender, sexuality, or politics, stars influence society.

Rosie O'Donnell's Personal Life Is a Mess and Her Career Is Stalled

Rosie O'Donnell was once the darling of daytime TV, but now she can't keep a job and her arch-enemy, Donald Trump, is riding high.
Rosie O'Donnell was once the darling of daytime TV, but now she can't keep a job and her arch-enemy, Donald Trump, is riding high. | Source

Mature Celebrities in the News: Rosie O'Donnell, Dick Van Dyke, and Burt Reynolds

Reading the latest issue of People while getting my hair done, it hit me hard that I didn't know these celebrities. I couldn't differentiate Benedict Cumberbatch from Eddie Redmayne from Shia LaBeouf to save my life. If receiving that AARP card in the mail wasn't enough, this was the official sign that I was old!

Accepting that my time as a People reader had maxed out, I decided to start writing about mature celebrities -- those 40 and older. I thought back to my childhood when I'd watch Good Morning America and dreamed of one day becoming a Hollywood gossip reporter like Rona Barrett. Forty years later, I now wish I had aspired to something loftier like a doctor, lawyer, or nuclear scientist but too late now so here I go! I'll start with three mature celebrities who have stood the test of time and are still making headlines today: Rosie O'Donnell, Dick Van Dyke, and Burt Reynolds.

Rosie O'Donnell: What Goes Around, Comes Around!

Holy Toledo, the hits keep coming hard for Rosie O'Donnell, and it's a wonder she's still standing! It seems many people who've crossed her path either personally or professionally have less than glowing comments to say about the star who was once dubbed The Queen of Nice. Oh dear, how the times have changed!

In recent months, O'Donnell's 18-year-old daughter, Chelsea, has left the family home to live with her 25-year-old boyfriend who's an alleged heroin dealer. There's some question whether O'Donnell kicked Chelsea out or whether she ran away, but now mother and daughter are most definitely estranged with no reconciliation in sight. In fact, Chelsea has made the divide even wider by giving an interview in which she labeled O'Donnell as “not genuine.” She claims Rosie acted friendly and funny in public but isolated herself at home, smoked weed, and left the parenting responsbilities to nannies.

To make matters worse for Rosie, a former producer at The View is suing her for defamation. In the lawsuit, Jennifer Shepard-Brookman claims O'Donnell publicly accused her of leaking information about the backstage bickering going on between O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg. Shepard-Brookman asserts that these false charges “destroyed her professional reputation” and led to her termination from the show. If that wasn't enough, Shepard-Brookman says that Rosie made staffers miserable behind the scenes at The View as she “fell into rages, screamed at the staff, insulted them” and was “vicious.” It seems The Queen of Nice title is definitely no longer fitting and probably never was!

Rosie is also dealing with a recent suicide attempt by her estranged wife, Michelle Rounds. Rosie and Michelle are in a nasty divorce battle with their 2-year-old adopted daughter stuck in the middle. Rounds is fighting to get sole custody, claiming Rosie's hands-off parenting style is harmful to the little girl's development.

On top of all that, Rosie has just split with Tatum O'Neal, the former child star. All this stress isn't good for O'Donnell who suffered a heart attack in 2012. Let's not forget, too, that Rosie's greatest nemesis – Donald Trump – is running for the highest office in the land. He once called her “crude, rude, obnoxious, and dumb.” Rosie once said that Trump's attack was the "most bullying I ever experienced in my life." Yet, now it seems clear that Ms. O'Donnell has often been the bully herself. The saying, what goes around, comes around, certainly seems true in this case!

Chelsea Says Rosie Is a Phony. Rosie Says Chelsea Has a Mental Illness

Chelsea O'Donnell has moved out of the family home and is living with her boyfriend.
Chelsea O'Donnell has moved out of the family home and is living with her boyfriend. | Source

As He Approaches 90, Dick Van Dyke Offers Up Some Advice!

From Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show to starring roles in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Bye Bye Birdie to more recent turns in the Night at the Museum series, Dick Van Dyke has brought us decades of happiness on the screen. As he heads toward his 90th birthday, the actor is spilling his secrets to staying vital in a new book called Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging.

According to Van Dyke, he stays young by singing, dancing, enjoying hobbies, living in the present, not fearing death, and having strong long-term relationships. He and his first wife had 4 children and divorced after 36 years of marriage. He lived with his long-time partner, Michelle Triola, for 33 years until she died. Now married to a woman 46 years his junior, Mr Van Dyke is going stronger than ever. Happy birthday, Mr. Van Dyke, and thanks for all the memories!

Bye Bye Birdie With Dick Van Dyke and Ann-Margret

Dick Van Dyke Is Married to a Woman 46 Years Younger Than He Is!

Dick Van Dyke has given up tennis but still  sings with an a cappella quartet in LA.
Dick Van Dyke has given up tennis but still sings with an a cappella quartet in LA. | Source

Dick Van Dyke: Magic at the Movies

What is your favorite Dick Van Dyke musical?

See results

Burt Reynolds: Spilling the Secrets on a 60-Year-Long Hollywood Career!

While not as spry and lively as Van Dyke, 79-year-old Burt Reynolds is also a recent author with his new memoir called But Enough About Me. Reynolds, the superstar hunk of 70's cinema starring in Deliverance, The Longest Yard, and Smoky and the Bandit, has an acting and directing career that spans 60 years. During his hey day, Mr. Reynolds was as well-known for his tabloid romances with famous women as he was for his films. In addition to marrying actresses Judy Carne of Laugh-In and Lona Anderson of WKRP in Cincinatti, Reynolds famously dated talk show host, Dinah Shore, country singer, Tammy Wynette, and actresses, Sally Field and Faye Dunaway.

But, as he details in his book, Reynolds also faced many dark days, including a serious illness that led to a prescription pill addiction. He also endured quintuple heart bypass surgery in 2010. Mr. Reynolds has been in the news of late for his financial woes. Left bankrupt due to poor businesses decisions, he auctioned off more than 600 mementos from his decades long career, including his Golden Globe for best supporting actor in Boogie Nights. He also sold his long-time Florida estate. With all these ups and downs, Reynolds's memoir should be juicy.

Boogie Nights Starring Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, and Julianne Moore

Burt Reynolds Sold Off His Hollywood Mementos Because He Needed the Cash

Final Thoughts

Whether you like these three celebrities or not, you must admire their staying power in the entertainment arena -- a notoriously fickle business. They've stood the test of time and are still working hard -- performing, writing books, and living their lives. It's talent combined with perseverance that have kept them in the limelight for decades.

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    • letstalkabouteduc profile image
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      McKenna Meyers 2 years ago from Bend, OR

      Jodah, if I knew complaining about a lack of reciprocation would bring me new readers, I'd have done it long ago. Thanks for reading! Now that I have 2 comments I might even continue the series.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Nancy, I saw your forum post about reciprocation and thought I'd come check your hubs. I used to always be up with what the celebrities were doing but now never read the mags such as "People" unless I am waiting in the doctor's surgery and then they are usually a couple years old. I am of the older brigade so have more interest in similar celebrities that I know. I found this very interesting and look forward to reading other editions of your "Celebrity News". Wow Dick Van Dyke sure looks good for 90. Well done.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image
      Author

      McKenna Meyers 2 years ago from Bend, OR

      Yes! You're the first follower of my series!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well that was a fun read. We are fascinated by celebrities, aren't we? I pay very little attention to them but still I enjoy hearing about them in small doses like this, so I'll be back for the next installment in this series.

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