October 22, 2008

Rosie O’Donnell to Star in Lifetime Movie

U.S. actress and TV personality Rosie O'Donnell has agreed to star in and executive produce a movie based on the novel "America," Lifetime Networks said.

O'Donnell previously was the host of her own television talk show and the moderator of the five-host show "The View." Her film credits include "The Flintstones,""Sleepless in Seattle" and "A League of Their Own."

Lifetime said she has signed on to play a psychiatrist in the small-screen adaptation of E.R. Frank's book about a boy's journey through the foster care system.

Actress Ruby Dee is set to co-star as one of the boy's caretakers in "America," which is slated to debut in February.

Yves Simoneau has been tapped to direct.

"We are truly inspired by Rosie's passion for this project. She's an incredible advocate for reforming the foster care system and a strong voice for children," Tanya Lopez, senior vice president of original movies at Lifetime Networks, said in a statement. "Rosie really understands the issue of these kids 'aging out' of the system without any resources to prepare them for life on their own and this film shines a light on this tragic crisis."

"I optioned the book 'America' in 2002 and worked on the script for a number of years. The story has so much heart and I can only hope that by bringing the foster care system into the public's consciousness that much needed reform can be made," O'Donnell said.