Rosie O’Donnell’s Father, Edward Joseph O’Donnell, Dies at Age 81 From Cancer

Rosie O'Donnell
Rosie O'Donnell's dad has passed away Noam Galai/WireImage

Rosie O’Donnell’s father, Edward Joseph O’Donnell, has passed away. The former View co-host’s dad was 81 and died of cancer, Us Weekly can confirm.

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Rosie, whose dad worked as an aerospace electrical engineer for Fairchild, Schlumberger and Grumman, had a strained relationship with her father following her mother’s death when the actress was just 10 years old. 

"He had his own issues and demons, he had a very tough childhood, he had an alcoholic, abusive father and never really got the help that I think every person needs when they have lived through that as a child," the comedian, 53, told Piers Morgan in 2012 of how her father was distant growing up. "I think that he had a lot of problems to deal with."

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The sad news comes after Rosie’s mentally ill daughter, Chelsea O’Donnell, went missing last week. As previously reported by Us, Chelsea disappeared on Aug. 11. After Rosie posted an alert on her website and Twitter on Aug. 18, the 17-year-old was found safe by authorities in New Jersey with an alleged drug addict she met on Tinder. On Saturday, Aug. 22, the 25-year-old man named Steven M. Sheerer was charged in connection with Chelsea’s disappearance.

Edward is survived by Rosie and her four other siblings as well as his grandchildren.

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