Rosie O’Donnell’s Ex-Wife Dead In Apparent Suicide

TMZ reports:

Rosie O’Donnell’s ex-wife, Michelle Rounds, was found dead in her home Monday of an apparent suicide, sources tell TMZ. Rosie tells TMZ, “I am saddened to hear about this terrible tragedy. Mental illness is a very serious issue affecting many families. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michelle’s family, her wife and their child.” Rosie and Michelle started dating in 2011 and got married in a private ceremony in June 2012. They broke up in November 2014 and Rosie filed for divorce in February 2015. Michelle was 46.

  • bkmn

    We need to do more to make it more acceptable to seek treatment for mental illnesses.

    • kaydenpat

      Yes. Too much shame is still associated with mental illness.

      • Roger E Silva Jr

        We first must admit we as a society there is a problem!

        • Regan DuCasse

          Oh yes. I remember when certain advocate groups would go to court for those with debilitating mental illness.
          Of course, involuntary commitment to mental hospitals could be abused.
          Certainly gay folks, and women especially were subjected to that.
          But with so much better diagnostics, the cost saving measure of having NO permanent facilities for the mentally ill to live in, has resulted in immense homelessness, and the mentally ill endangering themselves and the public.
          It’s still harshly stigmatized, depending on cultural differences too.
          So, you’re all absolutely right.
          Acceptance for seeking treatment, and having somewhere for every range of mental illness to be treated at all.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Prolonged custody battles can’t be good for one’s mental health.

      • Todd20036

        I suspect that the illness caused the divorce, not the other way around.

        • j.martindale

          You may be right. But, then again, you may be wrong. Relationships gone wrong can be very stressful.

          • Natty Enquirer

            It’s possible that you’re both right. The stress of separation may escalate existing illness to a fatal level.

        • Gerry Fisher

          I agree with you. And there’s often an evil synergy there.

    • Denis

      Also, treatment is insanely expensive. Insurance covers a handful of sessions and even with continued treatment, subsequent breakdowns can happen quickly and unexpectedly. We don’t really have a grasp on how to treat mental illness.

      • Natty Enquirer

        This is no longer the general case under the Mental Health Parity and other federal Acts.

        • stanhope

          Bullshit…have you noticed who is in the white house?

      • Gerry Fisher

        We know more than it appears at times. There is a really horrible tension between legal issues and the ability to provide treatment to people who are “on the fence” (or outright rejecting it). The law says that we need to let them be, unless they are in *imminent* danger of harming themselves or others. Someone might not be in the way of imminent harm when they speak with the counselor and are evaluated on Wednesday, but may isolate oneself, take a downward turn, and be very, very vulnerable over the weekend, as just one example. Unless it’s imminent, we can’t force them into the hospital.

        There’s another tension between the medical model and the counseling model. There are research proven counseling techniques that can really, *really* help clients…but they take longer and require more effort from the client than writing a script. Also, from the 90s until now, the conventional wisdom has shifted from, “counseling AND meds produce the best results” to “it’s a lifelong medical imbalance, so just medicate them…counseling is optional/minimal.”


    • Oscarlating Wildely

      hear, hear, hear, again and again and again

    • Stuart ArtFart

      Did she not seek treatment? I’m guessing that she DID seek treatment and that even though she paid exorbitant fees to a psychiatrist (and psychologist) who required payment in full at the time of service and did her the courtesy of providing her with the DSM codes and receipt she needed to deal with the insurance paperwork herself, the treatment was NOT HELPFUL.

      But if you feel comfortable blaming the victim for not seeking treatment and if you think treatment is always helpful, don’t let me rain on your sunny oversimplistic view of the world.

      I don’t know the (deceased) woman, but I know enough about Rosie O’Donnell in particular and spouses fighting over custody issues in general to question whether we should accept at face value the insinuation Michelle Rounds had a “mental illness”.


        No one here is blaming the victim but don’t let me rain on your overly stupid attempt to stir the shit pot with you singular Disqus comment. I’d comment further but with your comment I find you not worth the piss to put you out if you self immolate.

        • Stuart ArtFart

          Tsk, tsk.

          I guess AA doesn’t teach either reading comprehension or etiquette.

          I never was into watersports, so no worries!

          Warm best to you, always and forever.


            Etiquette, right.

            But if you feel comfortable blaming the victim for not seeking treatment and if you think treatment is always helpful, don’t let me rain on your sunny oversimplistic view of the world.

          • Stuart ArtFart

            LOL. So … expressing tolerance for somebody’s choice to make ungrounded assumptions and miss the mark by a mile by not imposing my thoughts is something that you find to be less than polite? Wow….I hope you find a way to work through your problems.

  • FAEN

    That’s awful. Always sad when one feels that suicide is the only way out.

  • MarkBuster

    Always sad to use a permanent solution for a temporary problem.

    • Natty Enquirer

      What we see as a temporary problem from the outside may well appear to be a permanent problem from the inside. Depression is a very convincing liar.

      • Lakeview Bob

        Well said.

  • JWC

    very sad

  • another_steve

    Horrible. My condolences to all who loved her.

    If anyone reading here experiences occasional or frequent mental/emotional distress, stay with us.

    Stay here, with a community that understands you and loves you.


      Yes we want you here. Your voice is welcome.

      Better still, though, If you’re experiencing the idea of suicide as an answer to depression/ anxiety or a sense of hopelessness, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to talk to someone more qualified to help you sort your thoughts and to find local help.


      • MarkBuster

        unless you are republican. in which case I encourage you to drink, and stay home alone

      • JCF

        This helps me:


          Excellent suggestion. Having been a member of AA for going on 20 years it was my personal experience that while I was sober I don’t have a mangeable emotional life, emotional maturity, if you will. AA doesn’t directly address this through the steps and traditions but many will emotionally mature through the process, some of us stay stuck emotionally. In my case I suffered constant emotional and verbal abuse throughout my upbringing and followed into adulthood from my father. Things are better now but more because he’s older and has slowed a great deal in recent years. I compounded this by making a horrific choice of partner to get out of house at 18. Out of the frying pan right into the fire, this added very physical abuse to the trifecta of my pain.

          If anyone reading identifies with this please know, if I could upturn and shake out my fucked up life and live a successful sober life with real boundaries, live my truth unapologetically and find love that is transcendent and transformative, ANYONE CAN!!!

          It wasn’t easy but what made the most radical lasting changes was the willingness to seek and accept help while doing the work of recovery.

          • The New Paige Turner™

            You are a survivor. I admire that. I have a similar story. It takes strength and courage to not only overcome all this but to flourish.

            Just the fact that we are still being here is incredible in and of itself

          • PamelaGOgletree

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          • BrendaRBrown

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        • Boo Hoo

          Not a big fan of help groups that emphasis a “Higher Power”. That may help the religiously-inclined, but are there none for atheists? We are 20% of this country, at least. It just seems to be a shame that a regular Joe like me can’t get help without someone’s god shoved in their face.

          • “SMART” recovery groups are anonymous non-HigherPower (no godstyle to outsource one’s ethics or morality). There are some groups in NYC, and elsewhere

          • trog

            Thanks for mentioning SMART recovery. The meetings and exercises really helped me. I wish there were SMART recovery meetings at every LGBT center and that they were as accessible as AA.

          • AA never forces you to accept a “higher power.” If you are successful, it is partly due to the wonderful people around you who are relating similar stories. If you make progress than choose to name such to your own self as in will power etc. AA never, never, shoves ‘God in your face” – most people believe in a higher power – but not what religion has done to basic spirituality.

          • JCF

            EA, Helpful Concept #8:

            “The steps suggest a belief in a Power greater than ourselves. This can be human love, a force for good, the group, nature, the universe, God, or any entity a member chooses as a personal Higher Power.”

            Personal note: in the place in the 12 Steps where it says “God” (Steps 3, 5, 6 and 11), AA members have long been known to say that G-O-D stands for “group of drunks”. Others have said it stands for “good orderly direction”.

            The important thing is choice: any entity, outside yourself (for accountability purposes), one choses as one’s higher power. Your dog/cat as your higher power? Sure, why not? Turn your life over to them! [Don’t cat owners do this anyway? ;-/]

            I can’t emphasize this enough: though the Steps say “God” [copyrighted legacy language from the 1930s), it’s always been “the God of your understanding”. If your understanding doesn’t include theism, that’s perfectly fine. Your higher power is your own: no one else’s.

  • Sam_Handwich

    the christers will jump on this to “prove” something about “teh gay marriage”

    • Oh, you are commenting about Rosie and her ex wife.

  • crewman

    That’s heartbreaking.

    I hope Trump is at least dignified enough (I know, right) to keep his mouth shut.

    • Paula

      He won’t be. It will be something like people will do anything to get away from Rosie. It’ll happen.

      • Natty Enquirer

        Maybe, but it will be a long time before he tweets something like that. He will start with insincere expressions of sympathy, if anything.

      • Randy503

        Never underestimate the vile of the people who hate us. After the Orlando shootings, there were people who said that’s what the gays had coming to them.

        If outright murder doesn’t faze them, a mere suicide certainly won’t.

        • Roy Moore is now stating that 9/11 was God’s anger at sodomy.

    • GeneInSJ

      I never even thought of that. He should just say nothing.

    • Treant

      He won’t, but the backfire will surprise him. There are some things you just don’t do, and that’s one of the few.

  • HZ81

    Aw, that’s awful. Condolences.

    • AC

      sometimes, it is a blessing

  • ByronK

    How tragic. I’m staying away from any boards where the trumpturds post. I can just imagine what the comments are going to be like.

    • another_steve

      In general I don’t think it’s a good idea for any sane person to spend much time at those places. Why immerse yourself in unrelenting horror?

      To his credit, Blogmeister Joe here on JMG occasionally posts “happy posts” in addition to the usual and standard “horror posts.”

      To your credit, Joe.

      • AmeriCanadian

        Also to Joe’s credit is the virtual lack of trolls here at JMG. It’s why I’ve made it my new “home” for all the latest LGBTQ et al news.

        • TuuxKabin

          Our House Is A Very, Very Fine House.

        • another_steve

          I’ve said this before: I don’t know how Joe does it. There must be a lot of troll traffic here that we never see.

          This is an amazing blog, and Joe is an amazing Blogmeister.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    That’s so sad. So young. My condolences to her family and all who loved her.

    I’ve only known two people that committed suicide. One was the brutally handsome, very popular, football player in High School. He put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. I can only wonder what demons haunted him.

    • ChrisInKansas

      There were a pair of very popular, very good-looking twins in my class in high school. One of them shot himself as a junior. I don’t think the other one ever recovered from the shock.

    • Denis

      Yeah. Two of the most popular guys in my high school killed themselves at 18/19. It still doesn’t make sense to me decades later even with a much better understanding of mental illness.

    • another_steve

      I had a first cousin who committed suicide as a young woman. She ran out of her home and on to the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn (New Yorkers reading here will know where that is). She was struck by a car.

      My uncle never fully recovered from it. My mother, when she discussed it, wept.

      • Rebecca Gardner

        This native NYer knows exactly where the Belt is. That’s so sad. I’m sorry.

        • another_steve

          Thanks, Rebecca.

          • Rebecca Gardner

            You’re welcome. I know how painful it is to loose a first cousin. My Mom is one of 8 kids. I had a TON of 1st cousins. I was very close with one of my cousins that was the same age as me. Of all the ton of cousins he was the most handsome, the most athletic, and the most intelligent. His only worry in life at the time was which Ivy League college to go to of the all that accepted him. He was about to graduate from Chiminade, which us NYers know is the premier prep-school for young men. One night, out with friends, heading north on the Meadowbrook Pkwy the car he was in was hit head on by an elderly woman with dementia heading south.

            It took me years to forgive myself because I was supposed to be in that car that night but I cancelled because I had to study for a Calculus final. I still wonder if he’d be alive if they had to come and pick me up. When I told my Mom I was supposed to be in the car she pretty much never spoke to me again. It really destroyed the family. He was only 18 years old.

            OK, now I’m crying. Short story long. I truly am sorry for your loss. I know how painful it is to lose a first cousin. They are like sibling to us when we are young.

          • another_steve

            So you must try to understand your mom’s reaction (a product of our inherent human frailty) and let fall away any lingering and unwarranted guilt that you feel, Rebecca.

            You’re a good and wonderful person, and everyone on this blog knows it.

      • AmeriCanadian

        Parents usually don’t recover from a child’s death. Ever. I watched my aunt and uncle spend the rest of their lives grieving their 21 year old son who was killed in an auto accident. They cherished every item that belonged to him and basically created a shrine in their home. You could not visit them without hearing them talk about him, even forty and fifty years later. Very sad.

      • Steverino

        Hubby’s mother committed suicide at the age of 50, when he was only 24. Carbon monoxide poisoning from a hose attached to the exhaust pipe of her idling car in her closed garage. She was distraught and could not hold onto a job due to the adverse effects of the meds she was on. His dad was stiffing her for alimony. His two siblings and dad (his mom had divorced his dad several years prior, after 32 years of marriage, due to his philandering) were too “out of it” to take care of the funeral and burial, so that task fell on hubby himself. I don’t know how he did it. He was in college at the time, and didn’t have much money, himself (he was even on food stamps for awhile). When going through her purse, she had only one dollar left in it. One. Dollar. Many years later, he donated that very same dollar to a food bank along with the story behind it, and the food bank replied with a very kind letter (we give regularly to food banks, and are leaving a portion of our estate to several).

        The suicide happened about a year and a half before we met, so I never met his mother. But having met his dad and both his siblings, I definitely know her through him. Even now, almost 44 years after the fact, and at age 68, he still chokes up if it comes up in conversation. It even is difficult for me to write about this now. Hearing the song “Moon River” always make me tear up, as hubby said that was her favorite song.

        He had never “come out” to his mother before she died, even though the two were very close. Of course when my mother found out I am gay, and thus the true nature of my relationship with hubby, she accused hubby to his face of causing his mother’s suicide “because you are gay.” I demanded her to apologize to him for that vile remark, but she refused, saying “well, didn’t he blame himself for her death?” (he had suffered from “survivor’s guilt” after her death).

        I had little to do with my mother after that. It is one of the reasons why when she died 13 years ago, just as with the unseen character Karp in “A Chorus Line,” I felt nothing.

        Hubby was fortunate.

        • TuuxKabin

          You are both fortunate. You have each other and understanding. Hugs to both of you from the 2 of us.

          • Steverino

            Thank you, sweetheart.
            : )

          • TuuxKabin


            We sure enjoyed our five days in PDX. ChowHoundFoodies that we are we ate our way through the farmers’ market on Saturday and Wednesday. Wow. Just wow. PDX is zee bomb! Reminded me of Berkeley before it became Bezerkeley, tho the scale of things is increasingly higher in PDX. It had a fee of a manageable city. Le Sigh.

        • another_steve

          The important thing, I think, Steve, is to not carry the emotional burden of the past forward with us. To let it go.

          I had a lot of conflict with my sister, regarding the care of our aging parents. Who would do what. Who would spend time with them, doing this or that. It strained my sister’s and my relationship.

          Today, I’ve let the conflict go. I’ve let it fall away, naturally, by itself. The Way of Nature – to let fall away that which is not useful.

          Today my sister and I are best buds.

          • Steverino

            Yes, even though as I wrote, I felt nothing at her death (no sadness, no emotion), I must say I stopped being angry with her then, as well. When I write about it, I am writing about my anger in retrospect, not in the moment.

            Dear hubby, to his credit, was never as bothered by that remark as was I.

        • Tom000

          HOLY CRAP! You are the very first person I’ve ever heard that has had that experience with their own mother – besides me. My mother is still alive and I’ve had to get an unlisted number and threaten an injunction to keep her away from me.

          HER: “A.I.D.S. is getting so bad even innocent people are getting it now.”
          ME: “Huh? What do you mean?”
          HER: “Well, it was just gay people before.”

          (It was 1989 and I had just recently moved back from San Francisco. I feel like the lone survivor of a plane crash now. The last one died this past July.)


            I’m so sorry we’ve experienced these heartless emotionally abusive remarks.
            My father: I’ll kill you as quick as any other queer on the street, so don’t let me catch you out there.
            Parent of the fucking year.

          • The New Paige Turner™

            I have no voicemail due to my Mother’s vitriolic and abusive messages after she obtained my number from a family member. I have had to call the police on her due to her threats of violence towards me, her neighbours and her self. There are several police reports at my local station that I have raised due to her behaviour.

            She got very pissed at this so she called the mental health services on me and told them that I had been threatening her. Luckily the police reports backed up my story.

            The police offered me a Domestic AVO (injunction?) and the support of the Male domestic abuse support service.

            This is weapons grade Borderline Personality disorder.

    • JCF

      My godparents lost their youngest (of four) daughter (she was late 20s). Brutal. A suicide can wipe out an entire family.


    • That_Looks_Delicious

      I’ve known a few. The one that I remember the most was, like your football player classmate, this guy whose life appeared perfect perfect from the outside and also committed suicide with a gun to his head. Fantastic body, handsome face, beautiful condo in the best location in town, a very successful lawyer…. on the outside it seemed like he had everything that most people would say they wanted. I dated him briefly. I do remember having a feeling when I was with him that he seemed to lack any genuine enthusiasm for anything, which at the time I attributed to him having “been there and done that,” or maybe that he found me personally underwhelming, but nothing more than that. I was shocked a couple years later when I heard about his suicide.

  • PickyPecker

    Sad, sad news. Rest in peace, Michelle. And to Michelle’s wife, child and loved ones: surviving a suicide of someone close is excrutiating. Seek out others in many organizations who have shared a similar experience to help you understand.

    • GeneInSJ

      Well said.

  • MikeBx2

    Never let hopelessness take over. Talk to someone.

    Everybody hurts. You are not alone.

    • CanuckDon

      I’ve always regarded “Everybody Hurts” as one of the most important songs to come out of pop culture.

  • Ninja0980

    May she RIP.

  • Tragic news.

    Seriously, if you or anyone you know is considering suicide, please seek help. Here is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, which answers calls 24/7. In addition to trained responders, they also often have information to help deal with the proximate causes and complications which might be prompting these thoughts: 1-800-273-8255. And their site is here:

    You are not alone. Many of us, myself included, know exactly what it feels like to think there’s no hope. There is.

    • Gigi

      There is hope. I’m living proof of this. Many years ago I was on a bridge contemplating jumping but somehow, I managed to stop myself. At the time I thought it was because I was weak. I later came to realize it was because I had hope. A small sliver of hope, but it was there. On this side of it, I’m amazed at the life I have today. I’m so very thankful, but my heart breaks for those who don’t make it.

      • Phillip in L.A.

        Thanks for telling this story, Gigi! I’m very glad you are here to tell it!

  • Ernest Endevor

    Very tough on her family. Not sure that suicide has to signify mental illness but I didn’t know the woman. Sometimes it’s the most practical solution. I’m kind of living with it myself and have thought long and hard about my feelings concerning it. She was young and I doubt her wife had much in the way of warning. But who knows. My heart goes out to the survivors.

  • billbear1961
    • TuuxKabin

      Thank you Mr. Bear. A welcome release for so much and so many sorrows.

  • billbear1961

    What is there, anymore, but a steady stream of bad news and sadness, as “Chuck and Nancy” try to manage a corrupt MANIAC?

    • GayOldLady

      Last night on MSNBC Chris Hayes said “Chuck and Nancy ride again”. I laughed when he said it because it reminded of the reader I had as a child “Dick & Jane”. If I was a photoshop person I’d change this to read “Fun with Chuck and Nancy”.

      • UrsusArctos

        Most of us boys instinctively knew how to have fun with Dick. *innocent look*

        • GayOldLady

          Y’all are such bad boys, particularly on Friday. 🙂

          • UrsusArctos

            Like you’d want it any other way? And y’all gals can keep up with most of us any day. ;D

          • TuuxKabin


      • UrsusArctos
        • GayOldLady

          That’s fabulous, thank you. I’m gonna save it

      • Rocco

        I loved those books! I used them when I taught my kids to read also. Thanks for that warm memory!! I’m a little extra nostalgic as my youngest just left the nest for college.😪

        • GayOldLady

          An empty nester. Trust me you will get accustomed to it quickly, or at least I did.

        • Phil2u

          Interesting. I hated them and was put in a slow reading group when I was in 3rd grade because I wouldn’t read Dick and Jane aloud. My parents assumed teachers knew everything and offered no protest. They knew that I read above grade level at home, but shrugged it all off. I was in 6th grade before I was moved to an approrpriate reader. Fortunately, I knew where the library was.

      • marachne

        “Sally” of the Dick and Jane books, or at least the girl she was modeled on is a brilliant lesbian who used to tear up the old Usenet group Soc.Women.Lesbian-and-bi

        • GayOldLady

          That’s interesting.

  • Blake J Butler

    O/T: Federal judge says Jeffy can’t withhold grant money from sanctuary cities.

  • edrex
  • Bad Tom

    Very sorry to hear this. Condolences to their families. It is never easy when this happens.

  • geoffalnutt

    I like Rosie – so I was disturbed to hear her offer of “thoughts and prayers”. It’s knee-jerk reaction. I have very negative associations with it. I guess everyone says it, though.

    • billbear1961

      It has become–if it wasn’t always–a meaningless, empty phrase that makes me sneer, inwardly if not visibly (that, too, sometimes).

      I avoid it like the PLAGUE, or a Dump speech.

      Also, people DIE–they DIE–they do not pass away, or “pass.”

      If someone says I “passed” when I DIE, they’d better hope I can’t come back from the grave to pay them a little visit.

      • JCF

        Heh, I’ll say “passed away” of you then, Bill—just to bring you back! 😉

        Nihilism: a lifestyle choice I’m just unprepared to make. “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living”: that was Mother Jones’ way, and it’s mine too. Pax et Bonum.

  • TuuxKabin

    Ah, jeeze. How tragic. My condolences to all.

    Her brother is our State Assemblyman and neighbor when in the city. I just took our old cell phones to his office this afternoon, he sent out a bulletin to us constituents asking for non-perishables for Houston and Florida residents.

  • M Jackson

    My partner and I sat behind Rosie at a Broadway show last year. She was friendly to all who came up to talk to her, and she did a funny little dance to make us laugh as we were exiting up the aisle at the end.
    I would guess she is happiest when she’s seeing theater.

    • TuuxKabin

      Agreed, re: being happiest when seeing theater. I have often felt that, and hope many of us have as well. Thank you, from the UWS.

      • M Jackson

        That describes me too. Actually, now I have to silence my cellphone because the play is about to start.

        • TuuxKabin

          Please do. Come back and give us a review of what you saw.


          • M Jackson

            My pleasure. We saw the play “Charm” at MCC at the Louise Lortel. Based on true story of Miss Grace Allen who mentored a charm class for trans youth at the LGBTQ center in Chicago. We loved it a lot. Young cast a mixture of cis and trans actors, a racous energy and fantastic humor mixed with incisive serious observations. Reminded me of the energy in “Wig Out” and the plays of Coleman Domingo.
            I highly recommend any JMG readers in NYC to see it and embrace it.
            My partner and I average 60+ plays/musicals a year and we’re lucky when we happen upon an experience like “Charm”.

          • TuuxKabin

            You two GO! For us & A lot of others. Bum knees keep me from theatre seats unless an extraordinary short performance. And vertigo from any thing other than lower house seats. But for what you say, I will recommend the play. Thank you!

          • M Jackson

            Thank you! Some theater’s seats can be brutal. I can vouch for especially comfortable roomy seats at the Samuel J. Friedman where “Prince Of Broadway” is, and the newly renovated Hudson where “1984” is playing. Though I recommend neither of those shows.

          • TuuxKabin

            I’m just feeling masochistic enough to see “1984,” tho.

            Did you see any of the SUMMERFEST productions? A friend finally got a break and did his one man show, RESIDUAL EFFECTS. Was so good to see him in his own , one man production. And it was mercifully short. It was at the NOMAD Theater, West 20’s. Middle of August.

            I miss the days when I was a member of TDF.

            Sometime in the mid 80’s I was living in The Masters, where the Equity Library Theater was housed. For the “New Faces ’50’s something revival. Eartha Kitt stepped in to play her original role. I just happened to buy a row of seats for the production before anyone knew she was going to do that. Mobs spilled out on to W 103rd Street @ RSD. Later she’d come to the Long Term Care Facility I worked at to visit and take her dresser, who was a resident, out to lunch. Such a marvelous woman and so kind to the resident and staff.

            Well. Nice memories, and good night. Thanks for bringing up memories.

          • M Jackson

            Precious memories. I’d love to read more of yours, anytime.
            I have the same with Julie Wilson, Jennifer Holliday, Diane Schurr, Jamie Farr, Rip Taylor, lots more friends since my time in the business, way back when.

          • TuuxKabin

            Thank you, how gracious. They are precious, aren’t they.

            Jennifer Holiday knocked my sox off.

            A newly acquainted friend was musical director for Dreamgirls. She comp’d me seats so many times I was able to afford tickets to visiting friends and relations for a year or so.

            I ‘fell in’ with a group of actors, scenic designers, agents and musicians. Was so heady to be a in that circle of talent. Most Saturday nights found us closing P&G’s, at the corner of Amsterdam and 73rd. Playing the jukebox, dancing and drinking pitchers of beer, with runs to a pizza place a few doors up A’dam. Many a sunrise I saw, walking, well, reeling home, up B’dway to 103rd then a left over to RSD and The Masters.

            The only female vocalist we had the good fortune to make any connection with was Dakota Staton. We were just about groupies, she made her self so accessible. One night in particular, at the Angry Squire, she was strolling between tables, making stops, all but embracing some of the audience. She stopped at our table. Leaned against it and ran her fingers thru my then head of full hair am gave a questionable glance to el HubCap (before we were married), as if to say, “do you mind?” Couldn’t have been a happier couple in the room. She later retired to Morningside House, a Long Term Health Care, i.e., nursing home in Upper Manhattan. I was working at another facility here in the neighborhood, and sometimes would get news she was going to perform for the residents. I asked the director of the facility, if she was open to visits from her fans. We didn’t want to be an invasion of her privacy, since we couldn’t make the performance, it was during a week day. He told me she loved visitors, especially if they were fans of hers. Wish we would have done it before she died.

            Precious memories from you, por favor?


            For the memories:


          • M Jackson

            Boy, your stories go WAY back. Mine too.

            Out of my hometown Dallas I was in a cabaret jazz quartet in the 1980s, modeled originally after the harmonies of The Manhattan Transfer. We performed across the country and made a splash in the New York City cabarets — Don’t Tell Mama, Eighty Eights in the West Village, Steve McGraws and the original Duplex on Grove St.. We were nominated 3 times and won the MAC award, Manhattan Assoc, of Cabarets for Best Group.

            Between New York and Dallas we cultivated friendships in the later half of the 1980s, most importantly with the dear Julie Wilson who supported us early on, and we were able to return the favor by getting her a few bookings at clubs in Dallas. What a fantastic woman she was.

            We met Diane Shurr when her first album came out, 1985, she ‘sat in’ with us at a gay club where we were performing in Dallas and we did the same the next weekend in her show at a supper club across town. We closed down the club after hours sitting in a booth while the owner played the Dinah Washington album that Diane loved so much from her childhood, she wept and sang along to “I’ll Close My Eyes” and “I Want To Be Loved”. Three of us ended up back at her condo at 3AM and along with her two ‘companions’ listened to her album “Deedles” from a tape recorder in her lap, drinking white wine and eating barbecue Fritos at her kitchen table, while she explained the genesis of each song, and then sang along with the tape and cried, as did we. An overwhelming encounter for me still to this day.

            We forged friendships with such talented people up here while still living in Dallas, and we got them work in Texas when we could — the marvelous Karen Mason and Anne Hampton Calloway, Julie Wilson, Sally Mayes and our friends Billy Stritch and Jim Caruso.
            Jennifer Holliday we met singing on two gay cruises in the late 1980s, the RSVP cruises. We sang on the main stage the first night, she headlined later in the week. One night we sang in the smaller lounge with our standard 3 hour show, She came in, alone, and sat through our second set, we sat at her booth and chatted during our break, and then she stayed for our third (midnight) set, and gave us a request to re-sing our version of “(You’re Love Is Lifting Me) Higher and Higher”. I’ll never forget how simply friendly she was with us that night, and how she traveled alone, literally just her and a satchel full of her musical arrangements. I remember she sang a a simple version of “Walk On By” that was the best thing i’ve ever heard her sing.

            I also got to form a friendship with the crazy Rip Taylor, when he came to Dallas to do a tv charity telethon and since he traveled alone a fabulous friend of mine provided him with interesting companions while he was in town, which were me in my blond twink-20s and the fabulous big-haired gal that I sang with in my nightclub group. She and I had three different nights out on the town with Rippy over the years when he was in town, including a night when he was performing in Fort Worth with Debbie Reynolds at the historic theater Casa Manana where we were mainstays on that stage. I had two meet-ups with Debbie, one time when she heard us sing and met us afterwards, and they were unforgettable moments, she was so immediately and undeniably *special*.

            I have been in New York for 20 years, and stopped performing 13 years ago, for more lucrative employment. My partner is a theater journalist and we see so much theater, week after week, I couldn’t be happier to be sitting in the seat, and not having to be up there onstage.
            When I moved to the city my first apt. for two years was W73rd and Columbus, my first NYC grocery store was that horrible Pioneer on Columbus, and the original FairWay on Broadway with the sawdust floor and all the old ladies banging you with their carts around the olive bar.
            But you could always count on seeing Bernadette Peters or Francis McDormand or Matt Dillon. I did love the Upper West Side. Today I live in Astoria and couldn’t be happier.

          • TuuxKabin

            WOW! That’s quite a line up. I remember many of those you mention. Some, no. Thinking we may seen Billy Stritch perform I asked my better half, “who was the cabaret performer we saw on a W 46th St. club? “John Wallowitch.” Guess he told me. I remember he was quite flirtatious with us, the only two men in an intimate setting.

            I remember that Pioneer. Bought a lot of imported beer there and did see Faye Dunnaway shortly after “The Eyes of Laura Mars.”

            I’m glad we got to see and hear so much talent then. Appeared more casual and relaxed. Even The Carlyle Room. Plush and lush, to see Shirley Horn.

            Now it’s really an effort to get me out. I miss it all, then remember the crush of it all, as it all appears now and relax.

            I remember the autumnal excitement reading the line up of Fall concerts. And the NY Film Festival.

            NY, NY it’s a hell of a town, sure.

          • M Jackson

            In the 1980s we would hear our friend Ann Hampton Calloway do three sets on piano and vocals in The Oak Room at The Plaza Hotel, for free. When I moved here permanently in 1996 I paid $100 to see her 45 minute set at a jazz club.
            My partner and I did catch Elaine Stritch’s last appearance at The Carlyle, and I was prescient enough to buy my ticket way back in January to see Bette in “Hello Dolly” when you could still get seats for face value price. That was as thrilling as anything I’ve seen here, it made me so happy!

          • M Jackson
          • Stubenville

            Avoid seeing The Mousetrap in London; they had the most horribly cramped seats I’ve ever had the misfortune to plunk my butt in.

          • TuuxKabin

            The same Mousetrap that’s been playing longer than we’ve probably been on this planet? Okay. Thanks. No plans for London, but will make note.

          • Stubenville

            Yup; the very one. It premiered on October 6th 1952. The seats were so uncomfortable we spent the last 2/3 of the show standing in the back of the theater.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        For me it’s Opera. But I gave up doing my little dance years ago. 🙂

  • Regan DuCasse

    omg…that is so terribly tragic. Especially for her child!!! Suicides so rarely can be understood. So many questions left unanswered. Especially if the person was otherwise healthy, and especially if they had children.
    Sad all around.

  • TuuxKabin

    Slightly OT, but fitting:

    CARE is a moving and powerful film that shows the dynamics of care and caregiving relationships — something we don’t often see on TV or in the movies. Using personal stories, some from Caring Across supporters like you, it connects the dots between care workers and families, and shows, through these intimate relationships, how stretched the system is for everyone. And it makes the caregiving visible and highlights the value of care relationships — an important step in ensuring that everyone can live well and age with dignity.

  • Gerry Fisher

    Horrible news. 🙁 Rest in peace, Michelle.

  • Rocco

    So sad for the ones left behind…especially the wee one.

  • Katie Showers

    What’s sad is really the only well wishes for Rosie are on here a lot of the comments elsewhere have been like you would too if you were married to her.It’s sad really.

  • fuzzybits

    Sorry to hear of this. Condolences to her wife and kids,and Rosie. RIP Michelle.

  • John Ruff

    Aw, so sad. But, what’s with lesbians? As soon as they marry, they seem to divorce pretty fast.

    • Andymac3

      I don’t know that many lesbians but this sounds like an unproven generalization. Edie Winsor just died, she was with Judith Kasen since they were teens and until Judith died, so that happened. Oh, and she gave us all marriage equality, so…..

      • John Ruff

        Thanks for the lecture, mom.

    • Stubenville

      Citation required.

      • John Ruff

        Not on social media or IMHO posts.

  • JCF

    Very, very sad. RIP.

  • blackstar
  • TampaDink

    I haven’t been around and posting here too much lately…for reasons that some here know & understand…but this news item cuts me to the core. Having survived the suicide of my oldest brother, 17 yrs. ago…..combined with living with my own depression issues as well as the hurdles of the effects of bipolar disorder that my beloved had been struggling with for decades, I fully understand the things that can drive a tortured soul to suicide. Whenever I read or hear of anyone who completes suicide, my heart always goes out to the survivors.

    • BeckyCrawfordThaThird

      The only thing that drives a person to suicide is the person. Sorry to hear about your loses. It’s not all about you, I hope you know that.

      • TampaDink

        Sorry, Becky, I didn’t intend to make a comment that was focused on myself.

  • Mike Knife

    Psychiatrist are over drugging their patients and killing them. They killed Chester Bennington.

  • Stubenville

    Such as sad and unnecessary loss. My condolences to her family, friends and loved ones.

  • Eric Lewis

    So nice to see kind & loving comments here … Twitter is evil & bashing, blaming Rosie.

  • Chris Lion

    So sad. I can’t imagine being in a place so dark I couldn’t see any light and that was my only option. My condolences to her family.

  • Katie Showers

    I say one comment that said that “she destroyed her daughter Chelsea life and that they were not surprised that she destroyed her exs life too.” I mean really.