Ellen DeGeneres

Actor / Comedian

Born: 26 January 1958
Birthplace: Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
Best known as: Host of daytime TV's The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Ellen DeGeneres got her start doing standup comedy in New Orleans before going to Hollywood in 1986. Her successful television sitcom Ellen premiered on ABC in 1994. A special episode in 1997 featured Ellen's character, Ellen Morgan, announcing "I'm gay." At the same time, DeGeneres came out publicly as being in love with her actor girlfriend, Anne Heche, making DeGeneres something of an icon to the gay community. Heche and DeGeneres were a couple until their break-up in 2000. DeGeneres restarted her stand-up career with concert tours and TV specials and had a key voice role in the animated feature Finding Nemo (2003). She began her successful run as a daytime talk show host with The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2003. The show features comedy, celebrity interviews, and a healthy dollop of whimsical audience participation. DeGeneres began dating the actress Portia de Rossi in 2005; they were married on 16 August 2008, after the California Supreme Court overturned a state ban on gay marriage. Her film roles include a brief appearance in Coneheads (1993), the lead in Mr. Wrong (1996) and a supporting part in the dark comedy Goodbye Lover (1998).
Extra credit: Ellen was initially titled These Friends of Mine... She joined American Idol as a judge in 2009 for one season.

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