Rosie O'Donnell's father, Edward Joseph O'Donnell, dies at 81

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Rosie O'Donnell's Father Dies at 81


Rosie O'Donnell's father, Edward Joseph O'Donnell, died of cancer on Sunday. He was 81.

Edward originally immigrated from Ireland and worked as an electrical engineer on New York's Long Island after arriving in the United States. He raised his five children after his wife, Roseanne Teresa Murtha, passed away in 1973 from breast cancer.

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Rosie has admitted to having a very strained relationship with Edward after her mother's death, but the 53-year-old comedian opened up to CNN's Piers Morgan in 2012 about finally forgiving him and moving on from their past, explaining that he had "a very tough childhood" and "had a lot of problems to deal with."

"There are some unforgivable things I think that as a child, the statute of limitations has to wear off," she told Piers. "You get to be 50 years old, and you can't be still angry at what your father did in 1970."

Her rep confirmed the sad news, which comes at the end of an already difficult week for Rosie.

Click through to see Rosie throughout the years:

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Rosie O'Donnell through the years
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Rosie O'Donnell's father, Edward Joseph O'Donnell, dies at 81
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 17: Rosie O'Donnell attends the 5th Annual Rosie's Theater Kids Spring Benefit at The Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater on May 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
BENTONVILLE, AR - MAY 07: Rosie O'Donnell attends the 'League of their own' event at Arvest Park hosted by Geena Davis and Rosie O'Donnell at the Bentonville Film Festival on May 7, 2015 in Bentonville, Arkansas. (Photo by Ernesto Di Stefano Photography/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Kate Mulgrew and Rosie O'Donnell attend 'An Evening with Kate Mulgrew', a reading and Q & A about her memoir 'Born with Teeth' at the Vineyard Theatre on May 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
Uzo Aduba and Rosie O'Donnell attend Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black" Season 2 premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Thursday, May 15, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: (L-R) Liz McCartney, Rosie O'Donnell and Sarah Uriarte Berry attend the 'Taboo:Ten Years Later' reunion concert at 54 Below on February 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Lena Hall, Rosie O'Donnell and Annaleigh Ashford pose backstage at the hit musical 'Kinky Boots' on Broadway at The Hirshfeld Theater on February 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Cyndi Lauper and Rosie O'Donnell attend 'Howard Stern's Birthday Bash' presented by SiriusXM, produced by Howard Stern Productions at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
THE VIEW - Rosie O'Donnell returns to THE VIEW to a standing ovation, FRIDAY, FEB. 7 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) airing on the ABC Television Network. Never shy on opinions, the Emmy Award-winner joins the co-hosts for Hot Topics, shares how her life dramatically changed since leaving THE VIEW and makes a declaration that even she thought she would never say. The appearance marks the first time Rosie O'Donnell has returned to the talk show since moderating Season 10 (2006-2007). (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) BARBARA WALTERS, ROSIE O'DONNELL
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Rosie O'Donnell, Billy Porter as 'Lola', Eric Stonestreet and Andy Kelso as 'Charlie' pose backstage at the hit musical 'Kinky Boots' on Broadway at The Hirshfeld Theater on February 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Rosie O'Donnell at SiriusXM's 'Howard Stern Birthday Bash' at Hammerstein Ballroom on January 31, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
Actress Jenny McCarthy, right, jokes with Rosie O'Donnell after a radio interview on radio row at the Super Bowl XLVI media center Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, in Indianapolis. The New England Patriots will face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Television personality Rosie O'Donnell and girlfriend Michelle Rounds attend the National Board of Review awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Rosie O'Donnell talks to the audience during a taping of her show in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011. "The Rosie Show" premieres Monday, Oct. 10 on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and will be taped at the former home of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
** FILE ** In this Nov. 13, 2008 file photo, Rosie O'Donnell and her son Parker arrive to the Broadway opening of Billy Elliot The Musical, in New York. O'Donnell's variety special, "Rosie Live," will air Wednesday, Nov. 26, on NBC at 8 p.m. EST. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson, file)
Rosie O'Donnell arrives at the opening reception for her art exhibition "Solace" at The Gallery at New World Stages Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Gary He)
Rosie O'Donnell performs during the True Colors Tour concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Rosie O'Donnell, second from right, poses with soldiers prior to the official dedication of the Center for the Intrepid, a $50 million high-tech rehabilitation center designed to serve the growing number of soldiers who return from war as amputees or with severe burns, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Monday, Jan. 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Rosie O'Donnell, left, fills the moderator spot as she joins co-hosts Barbara Walters, second from left, Joy Behar, second from right, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck during the taping of the first show of the 10th season of the ABC talk show, "The View," Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2006 in New York. The show began its 10th season with O'Donnell joining the returning Behar, Hasselbeck and Walters. Another change was a cozy, blue-and-orange arena-like set with a glass-top version of the drop-leaf table the ladies sit around for their "Hot Topics" segment. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Rosie O'Donnell gestures as she enters Manhattan state Supreme Court, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2003, in New York, where the popular TV personality and "Rosie" publisher Gruner + Jahr USA are suing each other for breach of contract. O'Donnell quit the magazine in mid-September 2002, following a dispute over editorial control, and it ceased publication shortly afterward. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Rosie O'Donnell hosts Nickelodeon's 15th annual Kids' Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., Saturday, April 20, 2002. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson)
Rosie O'Donnell appeares at the Gladstone Center for girls in Miami, Wednesday, July 26, 2000, during a presentation of a $ 1 million donation from Office Depot to the CHARLEE Program, a south Florida charitable organization that cares for children who have been abused or neglected. (AP Photo/Ed Cox)
Rosie O' Donnell, left, talks to parents about improving day care Tuesday, June 6, 2000, as Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper Gore listen at the Children's All Day School in New York. Gore, who is trying to soften his image and improve his support among women, announced today that he would propose to provide about $8 billion in incentives over the next decade to states that come up with plans to improve both quality and affordability of day care. (AP Photo/Mitsu Yasukawa, Pool)
Rosie O'Donnell, left, poses with Barbra Streisand during the taping of the Rosie O'Donnell Show in New York Wednesday, Nov. 19, 1997. The show will air Friday Nov. 21, 1997. (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Rav Amati)
Comedian-actress Rosie O'Donnell is shown in this 1994 photo. (AP Photo)
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Last Tuesday, she reported her 17-year-old daughter, Chelsea, missing, suspecting she had run away about a week earlier. Chelsea was found later that evening about 150 miles away in central New Jersey. The man she was found with, Stephen Sheerer, was later arrested and charged with child endangerment and communication of obscenity.

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