DeGeneres, Ellen Lee

DeGeneres, Ellen Lee, 1958- , American actor and talk-show host, b. Metairie, La. DeGeneres’s parents split in 1974, and she subsequently lived with her mother. After attending one semester of college, she worked a variety of odd jobs, starting to perform stand-up comedy in the late ‘70s. In 1981, she became the host of Clyde’s Comedy Club in New Orleans and soon became a regular on the national comedy club circuit. Although she has appeared in a few films—her most notable role to date is providing the voice for the fish Dory in the films Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016)—she has gained the most success working as a television actor and talk show host. She starred in two sitcoms, Ellen (1994-98) and The Ellen Show (2001-02); in 1997, she made headlines by coming out as a lesbian. In 2003, she launched the daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which became one of the most popular of all syndicated programs; the show won 25 Emmy Awards. After reports of workplace problems among the show’s staff, DeGeneres announced that she would be ending it at the end of its 19th season in 2022. In 2017, she became the host of the nighttime gameshow, Ellen’s Game of Games. DeGeneres has also hosted major award shows, including the Emmys and the Oscars.

See her My Point…and I Do Have One (1995), The Funny Thing Is (2003), Seriously…I’m Kidding (2011)

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