Rosie O'Donnell during "A League of Their Own" Los Angeles Premiere at Academy Theater in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Rosie O'Donnell Defied The Director To Keep Her A League Of Their Own Character Gay
The original 1992 film, "A League of Their Own" is not explicitly queer, one lesbian icon prevailed despite all odds: Rosie O'Donnell as third base player Doris Murphy. It would be another 10 years before O'Donnell herself would come out as gay, but she made sure to do her best to tell Doris' authentic story, even when Penny Marshall couldn't see what the text already knew — that the character was gay.
In a recent interview, O'Donnell talked about the making of the original film, and her determination to portray Doris as gay even when no one else could see the obvious queer coding of the character. O'Donnell said that after shooting one particular scene, director Penny Marshall recognized what she was doing and told her, "Rosie, don't do it so gay."
"There was no 'Will & Grace,' there was no Ellen [DeGeneres] being out," O’Donnell said. While the queerness was canonical to the real-life players in the film, O’Donnell is touched by the new Amazon Prime series of the same name, and how they’re able to take the real stories of Black women and queer women from the league and open it all up to a new audience and worldview, something that just was not possible in the early ‘90s.