Rosie O'Donnell to Star in "America" Film for Lifetime

News   Rosie O'Donnell to Star in "America" Film for Lifetime Actress, stand-up comic, producer and talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell, who will try her hand at reviving the variety show genre in November, will executive produce and star in a made-for-television film for Lifetime.
Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell

Entitled "America," the telepic, Variety reports, concerns the struggles of a teenager who is part of the foster-care system. The film is based on E.R. Frank's book of the same title.

O'Donnell will play the therapist of the 16-year-old America. Ruby Dee will co-star. Yvez Simoneau will direct the Sony Pictures Television production.

"America," which will air in February 2009, will be produced by Larry Sanitsky and written by Joyce Eliason. Both had worked with O'Donnell on CBS' 2005 film "Riding on the Bus With My Sister."

Rosie O'Donnell made her Broadway debut as Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease!, played a limited engagement as the Cat in the Hat in the Ahrens-Flaherty musical Seussical, and portrayed Golde in the recent revival of Fiddler on the Roof. The performer also spent some time on the other side of the footlights as producer of the Broadway version of Boy George's Taboo.

O'Donnell rose to fame as a stand-up comic before landing roles in such films as "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "The Flintsones" and "Exit to Eden." Her Emmy-winning talk show, "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," ran from 1996 to 2001, and her more recent TV credits include appearances on "Will & Grace" and "Queer as Folk" as well as the made-for-television movie "Riding the Bus with My Sister" and the cable series "Nip/Tuck." She also spent a year as co-host of ABC-TV's "The View." O'Donnell is married to Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell; the couple has four children. O'Donnell's autobiography is titled "Find Me"; her newest book is "Celebrity Detox."

As previously announced, "Rosie's Variety Show" will make its debut Nov. 26 at 8 PM ET on NBC. Celebrity guests, comedy skits, musical acts and contests will be part of "Rosie's Variety Show," which will air live from Manhattan. O'Donnell will executive produce the show with David Friedman ("Last Comic Standing").