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

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)
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)
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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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