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Ellen DeGeneres

Comedian, Actor, Voice Actor, Television Producer, Screenwriter, Presenter
Ellen Lee DeGeneres (born January 26, 1958) is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. Degeneres starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and has hosted her syndicated TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003. Her stand-up career started in the early 1980s, culminating in a 1986 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Carson likened her to Bob Newhart, and invited her for an onscreen chat after her set; DeGeneres was the first female comedian invited by the iconic host to join him for such a discussion, at a time when such an invitation was widely regarded as one of the most influential endorsements available for a comic. As a film actress, DeGeneres starred in Mr. Wrong (1996), appeared in EDtv (1999), and The Love Letter (1999), and provided the voice of Dory in the Pixar animated film Finding Nemo (2003), for which she was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first time an actress won a Saturn Award for a voice performance. In 2010 she was a judge on American Idol for its ninth season. She starred in two television sitcoms, Ellen from 1994 to 1998, and The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002. During the fourth season of Ellen in 1997, she came out as a lesbian in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Shortly afterward, her character, Ellen Morgan, also came out to a therapist played by Winfrey, and the series went on to explore various LGBT issues, including the coming-out process. This made her the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on television. In 2008, she married her longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi. DeGeneres has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the Primetime Emmys. She has authored three books and started her own record company, Eleveneleven. She has won 13 Emmys, 14 People's Choice Awards, and numerous other awards for her work and charitable efforts. Early life and education DeGeneres was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana, the daughter of Betty DeGeneres (née Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer), a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. She has one brother, Vance, a musician and producer. She is of French, English, German, and Irish descent. She was raised as a Christian Scientist until age 13. In 1973, her parents filed for separation and were divorced the following year. Shortly after, Ellen's mother married Roy Gruessendorf, a salesman. Betty Jane and Ellen moved with Gruessendorf from the New Orleans area to Atlanta, Texas. Vance stayed with his father. On a February 2011 episode of her show, she told her studio audience of a letter from the New England Historic Genealogical Society confirming she is 15th cousin to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge via their shared common ancestor Thomas Fairfax. DeGeneres graduated from Atlanta High School in May 1976, after completing her first years of high school at Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana. She moved back to New Orleans to attend the University of New Orleans, where she majored in communication studies. After one semester, she left school to do clerical work in a law firm with a cousin, Laura Gillen. Her early jobs included working at J. C. Penney, and being a waitress at T.G.I. Friday's and another restaurant, a house painter, a hostess, and a bartender. She relates much of her childhood and career experiences in her comedic work. Stand-up comedy DeGeneres started performing stand-up comedy at small clubs and coffee houses. By 1981 she was the emcee at Clyde's Comedy Club in New Orleans. DeGeneres cites Woody Allen and Steve Martin as her main influences at this time. In the early 1980s she began to tour nationally, and in 1982 she was named Showtime's Funniest Person in America. Film career Ellen's work in the late 1980s and early 1990s included the film Coneheads. DeGeneres starred in a series of films for a show named Ellen's Energy Adventure, which is part of the Universe of Energy attraction and pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot. The film also featured Bill Nye, Alex Trebek, Michael Richards, and Jamie Lee Curtis. The show revolved around DeGeneres' falling asleep and finding herself in an energy-themed version of Jeopardy!, playing against an old rival, portrayed by Curtis, and Albert Einstein. The next film had DeGeneres co-hosting an educational look at energy with Nye. The ride first opened on September 15, 1996, as Ellen's Energy Crisis, but was quickly given the more positive-sounding name Ellen's Energy Adventure. Voice acting DeGeneres lent her voice to the role of Dory, a fish with short-term memory loss, in the 2003 animated Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo. The film's director, Andrew Stanton, claimed that he chose Ellen because she changed the subject five times before one sentence had finished on her show. For her performance as Dory, DeGeneres won the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Supporting Actress; Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie from the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards; and the Annie Award from the International Animated Film Association for Outstanding Voice Acting. She was also nominated for a Chicago Film Critics Association Award in the Best Supporting Actress category. She also provided the voice of the dog in the prologue of the Eddie Murphy feature film Dr. Dolittle. Her win of the Saturn Award marked the first and only time the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films has given the acting award for a voice performance. Television career DeGeneres's first regular TV role was in a short-lived Fox sitcom called Open House. She played the role of Margo Van Meter, an office worker at the Juan Verde Real Estate company. The show co-starred Alison LaPlaca and Mary Page Keller. In 1992, producers Neal Marlens and Carol Black cast DeGeneres in their sitcom Laurie Hill, in the role of Nurse Nancy MacIntyre. The series was canceled after only four episodes, but Marlens and Black were so impressed with DeGeneres' performance that they soon cast her in their next ABC pilot, These Friends of Mine, which they co-created with David S. Rosenthal. DeGeneres's comedy career became the basis of the successful sitcom Ellen, named These Friends of Mine during its first season. The ABC show was popular in its first few seasons due in part to DeGeneres's style of observational humor; it was often referred to as a "female Seinfeld." Ellen reached its height of popularity in February 1997, when DeGeneres came out as a lesbian on The Oprah Winfrey Show. That April her character on the sitcom came out of the closet to her therapist, played by Oprah Winfrey. The coming-out episode, titled "The Puppy Episode", was one of the highest-rated episodes of the show. The series returned for a fifth season, but experienced falling ratings due to ABC's cutting back on promoting the show. It was believed that The Walt Disney Company, ABC's parent owner, had become uncomfortable with the subject matter depicted on the show now that DeGeneres' character was openly gay.[citation needed] In May 1998, Ellen was canceled. DeGeneres returned to stand-up comedy, and later re-established herself as a successful talk show host. DeGeneres returned to television in 2001 with a new CBS sitcom, The Ellen Show. DeGeneres launched a daytime television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in September 2003. One of several celebrity-hosted talk shows surfacing at the beginning of that season, including those of Sharon Osbourne and Rita Rudner, her show has consistently risen in the Nielsen ratings and received widespread critical praise. It was nominated for 11 Daytime Emmy Awards in its first season, winning four, including Best Talk Show. The show has won 25 Emmy Awards for its first three seasons on the air. DeGeneres is known for her dancing and singing with the audience at the beginning of the show and during commercial breaks. She often gives away free prizes and trips to be in her show's studio audience with the help of her sponsors. Personal life Forbes estimated DeGeneres' 2015 earnings at US$75 million. In 2015, she was named the 50th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes  and number two on the World Pride Power list. She is a fan of the National Football League, and has shown particular support for the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers. In 2011, she attended a Saints practice dressed as Packers Hall of Famer Don Hutson. Sexual orientation and relationships In 1997, DeGeneres came out as lesbian. The disclosure of her sexual orientation sparked intense interest by American tabloids. The contentiousness of the media coverage stunted DeGeneres' professional career and left her "mired in depression". In her book Love, Ellen, DeGeneres' mother, Betty DeGeneres describes being initially shocked when her daughter came out, but has become one of her strongest supporters; she is also an active member of Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project. The same year she came out, DeGeneres started a romantic relationship with actress Anne Heche that lasted until August 2000. From 2000 to 2004, DeGeneres maintained a close affair with actress/director/photographer Alexandra Hedison. The couple appeared on the cover of The Advocate after their separation had already been announced to the media. Since 2004, DeGeneres has had a relationship with Portia de Rossi. After the overturn of the same-sex marriage ban in California, DeGeneres and de Rossi were engaged, and married on August 16, 2008 at their home in Beverly Hills, California where they live with their four dogs and three cats. The passage of Proposition 8 cast doubt on the legal status of their marriage, but a subsequent California Supreme Court judgment validated it because it occurred before November 4, 2008. On August 6, 2010, de Rossi filed a petition to legally change her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. The petition was granted on September 23, 2010.

Wikipedia ]

Born
Ellen Lee DeGeneres
January 26, 1958 (age 66)
Profession
Comedian, Actor, Voice Actor, Television Producer, Screenwriter, Presenter
Spouse
Portia de Rossi (m. 2008)
Parents
Elliot DeGeneres, Betty DeGeneres
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