The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Brooke Elliott says a pivotal moment in her career started with an inexpensive outfit.

The star of Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva" got her big break in the 2004 Broadway show "Taboo," produced by Rosie O'Donnell.

Elliott wanted to make a good impression on the TV personality so she put together an ensemble that cost $117, which can be costly for a struggling actress.

"Rosie asked, 'How much did that outfit cost you?' and I said, 'Oh, you know.' And she said, 'No, really. How much did it cost you?' and I said, '$117,' and she said, 'Well, if you get the job I'm going to reimburse you.' The first day of rehearsal I got a check for $117, which was really cool."

The $10 million production of "Taboo" - a musical about Boy George and his relationship with fashion designer Leigh Bowery - closed after just 100 performances.

Even though the show didn't do well, Elliott says O'Donnell's passion for the show meant a lot to the cast and crew.

"It was immeasurable. Her heart was so into that show and I think it meant a lot to her and it meant a lot to us too."

Elliott has now gone from Broadway to starring in her own TV show. She plays a shallow, aspiring model reincarnated as a plus-size lawyer. It co-stars Margaret Cho.

The premiere set a record for Lifetime with its best ratings yet.

Elliott and O'Donnell were recently reunited when O'Donnell guest-starred on "Drop Dead Diva, " which airs 9 p.m. EDT Sundays. She will appear in another episode in September and has blogged about the experience on her Web site saying, "I love this show."

On the Net: