ROSIE O'DONNELL has helped launch the acting career of an unknown American teen - after she spotted him in a restaurant and urged him to audition for a part in her latest TV film.
The actress/TV presenter spotted 17-year-old Philip Johnson in a Detroit, Michigan eaterie, and thought the youngster had the perfect looks for a career on the small screen.
O'Donnell approached the stunned teen, and pleaded with him to try out for the role in TV film America, which she is starring in herself.
And Johnson couldn't believe his luck - especially when TV bosses agreed with O'Donnell and eagerly singed him up for the part.
He says, "I thought it was just somebody who looked like her. I didn't think it was actually her. I mean, what's Rosie O'Donnell doing in Detroit?
"It still hasn't hit me. I won't even realise it until it comes on TV; then it will finally hit me, I think."
Lucky Johnson will play a troubled teen who has been damaged by the U.S. foster care system, visiting a therapist, played by O'Donnell, in the Lifetime network movie, set to be aired in February (09).
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.