Show-biz biographers often feel compelled to deliver dirt on their subjects, but not so Goodman in this exuberant, gossipy examination of TV's ""Queen of Nice"" (per Newsweek magazine). With O'Donnell, it seems, what you see is what you get. Schoolmates, owners of the comedy clubs where she got her start, co-stars on Broadway (Grease) and in the movies (Sleepless in Seattle, A League of Their Own), reviewers and even the ""dream guests"" on her hit daytime TV talk show have apparently had nothing negative to say about this girl next door. Goodman, described in the publisher's promo material as a ""longtime fan"" of her subject, recounts O'Donnell's early life as a ""bubbling Broadway fan from Commack, Long Island,"" whose mother introduced her to the thrill of Broadway and movies before dying of cancer when O'Donnell was 10 years old. The aspiring starlet was so popular in high school that she was elected ""senior class president, and homecoming queen, and prom queen."" Even early on in her career, according to the author, she used only positive humor to delight and endear herself to friends and fans alike. Her compassion permeates everything she does, notes Goodman, and led her recently to adopt two children and begin working for child advocacy. The adjectives ""unpretentious,"" ""genuine,"" ""funny"" and ""nice"" describe this biography as well as, evidently, its subject. B&w photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998 Release date: 08/01/1998 Genre: Nonfiction
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