YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In a few weeks outspoken, sometimes controversial and occasionally abrasive multimedia personality Rosie O’Donnell will return to daytime television as the host of her own eponymous talk show on the newly created and still struggling Oprah Winfrey Network, otherwise known as OWN. Miz O’Donnell will tape her new program at Harpo Studio One, the very same studio where her new boss Miz Winfrey taped her own sensationally successful and eponymous daytime chat show for about 100 years.
Over the course of Miz O’Donnell’s sometimes tumultuous 25-plus year career, the showbiz dilettante has worked it out in the public eye as a stand up comedian, television and movie star (A League of Their Own, The Flintstones), author/memoirist, magazine publisher (the short-lived and long-defunct Rosie), television and Broadway producer (Taboo, Fiddler on the Roof), blogger/video diarist, satellite radio personality, and gay vacation entrepreneur (R Family Vacations). She is probably, however, best known as a chat show host.
In the mid-1990s in to the early Noughts Miz O’Donnell hosted her own daytime tee-vee talk show (The Rosie O’Donnell Show) for which she was nominated for or won nearly a dozen Daytime Emmys. In the fall of 2006 she turned up as a co-host on that viper pit of a gabfest known at The View where her progressive/left-leaning political and social views frequently clashed explosively with those of conservative Christian co-host Elizabeth Hasselback.
Whatever one may think of Miz O’Donnell, her sometimes too brusque manner, polarizing commentary, and vehement (and vocal) opposition to conservative social and political points of view, she’s a tireless and incredibly generous advocate for philanthropic causes; She has, by some reports, donated as much as or more than $100,000,000 to charitable causes that include global disaster relief, LGBT rights, and the health, education and welfare of children. No, puppies, we did not drunkenly insert an extra zero there, that’s one hundred million clammers.
Back in March, when it was announced that she’d signed on to host a talk show that tapes in Chicago, she told USA Today that she planned to commute back and forth between The Windy City and her long-time residence just outside of The Big Apple, an expansive 4-crib compound on the bank of the mighty Hudson River in sleepy and affluent Nyack, NY. Presumably that choice had everything to do with her desire not to uproot the four children she co-parents with ex-wife Kelli Carpenter O’Donnell.
While Miz O’Donnell may indeed burn up the jet fuel with frequent trips home it seems she’s decided to set down some real estate roots in Chicago where she can lay her head when she doesn’t t feel like jumping on a plane..
According to the Chicago Tribune, Miz O’Donnell is currently in contract to purchase an approximately 6,000 square foot brick and limestone townhouse on an extra-wide lot in the Lakeview neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, just a stone’s throw from Wrigley Field and the Boystown ‘hood, Chicago’s version of the gay-gay-gay Castro District in San Francisco and Chelsea in New York City.
Listing information shows the 3-story residence was built in 2007 and includes 5 bedroom and 5 full and 2 half bathrooms. The property was last listed with an asking price of $2,500,000 but since Miz O’Donnell has yet to signed on the deed’s dotted line it’s not known exactly how much moolah Miz O’Donnell has agreed to cough up for her new Chi-Town pied a terre.
The bulky 12-room residence includes an entrance hall with white-veined brown marble floor, an intimately-scaled formal living room with fireplace and 11-foot ceilings, and an adjacent formal dining room with paneled dado. A generous pass-through butler’s pantry with sink, dishwasher and under-counter wine fridge connects the formal dining room to the expensively equipped open-plan kitchen and family room area with fireplace that opens through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to the compact city-sized rear garden.
According to marketing materials Your Mama peeped, there are four upper level bedrooms including a master suite with 29-foot long bedroom, fireplace, and over-sized bathroom with double sinks, built-in vanity, soaking tub, separate shower equipped with steam, and a cozy cubby for the crapper.
There’s a fifth bedroom–perfect for snoring guests or a live in domestic–on the half-submerged lower level of the house has a gigantic game/family room where the seller, an executive at Oprah’s media company, has three flat-scree televisions mounted to the wall. There’s also a home theater with wide screen and tiered seating.
Outdoor areas include a front stoop–who doesn’t love a front stoop in an urban or semi-urban locale from which to watch the world go by?–a rear garden finished with with SYNLawn artificial grass, and a gigantic 2,000 square foot roof terrace.
A heated three car garage at the back of the property ensures that Rosie’s whips will always be warm and ready even in the dead of Chicago’s (in)famously bitter cold winters.
Other amenities that may have appealed to Miz O’Donnell are a heated three car garage that ensures her fancy whips will always be warm and ready even in the dead of Chicago’s (in)famously bitter cold winters, a separate power generator, and top of the line audio and security systems.
Miz O’Donnell has long owned a riverfront compound in Nyack, NY that includes a 7,092 square foot Dutch Colonial main house with waterside swimming pool that property records indicate she acquired in March 2002 for $2,900,000. The O’Donnell compound also includes four more houses–two of which sit right on the water’s edge–that records show she scooped up between May 2001 and January 2008 for a total of $5,705,000. Combined, as per our hardworking bejeweled abacus, Miz O’Donnell has spent $8,605,000–not counting renovation and customization costs–to put her compound together.
Since March 1999 Miz O’Donnell has owned a 13,887 square foot mansion with 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms on the private, exclusive and guard-gated Star Island enclave in Miami Beach, FL. Other high-profile property owners on Star Island include Gloria Estefan, Puff Diddy (or Diddle Daddy or H.R. Puff ‘n Stuff or whatever the hell name Sean Combs calls himself nowadays), pharmaceutical tycoon Phillip Frost, and quirky German real estate developer Thomas Kramer.
In October 2008 the entertainment industry juggernaut that is Rosie O’Donnell paid $2,005,000 for a 1,391 square foot pied a terre at the Platinum building in the heart of the theater district just a block from New York City’s Times Square. It appears to Your Mama that Miz O’Donnell–and/or her ex-wife Kelli–still owns the modestly sized city view apartment.
listing photos: Koenig & Strey