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Rosie O'Donnell gives thumbs down to Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor

April 24, 2012 |  1:22 pm

Rosie O'DonnellRosie O'Donnell joined the "Today" show panel discussion "Today's Professionals" for the first time on Tuesday (a seat occupied by Sarah Palin just a couple of weeks ago) and voiced her disapproval of the casting of Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime movie.

"I feel very sorry for her," O'Donnell told moderator Matt Lauer and fellow panelists Star Jones and Donny Deutch when the subject of Lohan came up. "I think she needs a lot of help. She needs a lot of time away."

Though Jones and Deutch were slightly more open to Lohan's casting, O'Donnell wasn't having any of it, stating flatly: "I don't think she's right for the role, and I don't think she's capable at this point of doing what's needed to portray that character," she said. "I think the interest level in her has waned significantly."

Lohan is set to begin filming "Liz & Dick," about the Hollywood icon's temptestuous love affair with Richard Burton, in Los Angeles beginning in June.

The Lifetime movie is Lohan's latest stop on her personal comeback trail that began with a "Saturday Night Live" hosting gig in early March and includes a cameo on Fox's series "Glee."

Don't bother attempting to explain the comeback to O'Donnell, though. She dismissed all her recent acting efforts by saying, "The last thing she did good, she was 16."

Michael Lohan, Lindsay's dad, took offense at the diss, telling TMZ on Tuesday, "Who the hell is Rosie O'Donnell to judge anyone, especially Lindsay, who has far more talent than Rosie ever had?"

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— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Rosie O'Donnell. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images.