Birthplace: Metairie, Louisiana
Television and film actress whose coming out of the closet in real life and on her sitcom was one of the biggest entertainment stories of 1997. Known for her daffy, wry wit, DeGeneres started her career as a standup comic before moving to television. Her television credits include The Ellen Show (2001), Ellen (1994–1998),Open House (1989), and HBO's original movie, If These Walls Could Talk 2. Her films include Mr. Wrong (1996), The Love Letter (1999), and the voice of Dory in Finding Nemo (2003). Her books, My Point…And I Do Have One (1995) and The Funny Thing Is…(2003) made the New York Times bestseller lists. DeGeneres earned an Emmy nomination for her performance as host of the 1996 Grammy Awards. In 2003 she launched her own talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, to good reviews and high ratings; the show won an Outstanding Talk Show Daytime Emmy in 2004 and 2005. Her partner was actress Anne Heche (1997–2000).