Emmy-winning talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans. Her father, insurance salesman Elliot De Generes and her mother, a real-estate agent, were divorced when she was 16 years old. Her mother remarried, and her new husband, salesman Roy Gruessendorf, moved the family (which included Ellen's brother) to Atlanta, Texas.
After graduating from Atlanta High School in 1976, Ellen attended the University of New Orleans as a communication major, but she dropped out after one semester. She held a wide variety of jobs until she turned to stand-up comedy, making her bones at small clubs and coffeehouses before working her way up to emcee Clyde's Comedy Club by 1981. Her comedy was described as a distaff version of Bob Newhart. Beginning in the early 1980s, she toured nationally and was named the funniest person in America after winning a competition sponsored by the cable network Showtime. This led to better gigs, including her first appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) in 1986.
Though DeGeneres's early forays into series television were not successful (she appeared as a supporting player in two short-lived TV situation comedies in the period 1989-92, "Open House" (1989) and "Laurie Hill" (1992)), she scored a hit headlining her own 1994 sitcom on ABC "These Friends of Mine" (later renamed "Ellen" (1994) after its first season). She made TV history in April 1997 when her character, and DeGeneres herself personally, revealed that she was a lesbian. However, the show was canceled the following season due to declining ratings, after which DeGeneres returned to the stand-up circuit. In 2001, DeGeneres launched a new series, "The Ellen Show" (2001), on CBS, but it suffered from poor ratings and was canceled.
Redemption as a television artiste came in 2003, when DeGeneres's daytime talk show, "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (2003) proved to be both a critical hit and a commercial success. Along with good ratings, the show has won unprecedented kudos from the industry, winning 15 Emmy Awards in its first three seasons on the air and becoming the first talk show in TV history to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show in its first three seasons.
DeGeneres has also made a name for herself as a host of awards shows. She hosted the Grammy Awards in 1996 and 1997, as well as the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2001 and 2005. In February 2007, she had the ultimate TV awards show gig, hosting the Oscars.
|Portia de Rossi||(16 August 2008 - present)|
Wears pants all the time
Quick comedic pauses
Short blonde hair
Voted "Funniest Person In America" in 1982.
"Best Female Club Standup," Comedy Awards 1991.
Named "Entertainer of the Year" by Entertainment Weekly 26 December 1997/2 January 1998, issues 411/412.
Spoke at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Pointed out that many film plots and images in Hollywood are "heterosexist," meaning that the filmmakers allow heterosexual characters to dominate the screen. She would like to see actors and actresses portray more gay and lesbian couples. 
Worked as a paralegal before becoming a comedienne.
Has two dogs named Bootsie and Muffin.
When Ellen came out as a lesbian on her show in April 1997, ABC's affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama, refused to air the landmark episode. Some of the show's sponsors, including Chrysler, withdrew their advertisements.
Was initially reluctant to do a love scene with Sharon Stone in If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) (TV), but Ellen's then-girlfriend Anne Heche, who was directing this particular segment of the film, encouraged her to do it. Ellen eventually gave in.
Split with girlfriend Anne Heche after being together for 3 years. [August 2000]
Her last name is pronounced "duh-generous".
Used to sell vacuum cleaners before she was discovered.
Has written two books, "My Point... And I Do Have One", a New York Times bestseller for six months, and "The Funny Thing Is...", also a New York Times bestseller.
Daughter of Betty DeGeneres.
Ended her four-year relationship with photographer-director Alexandra Hedison. [December 2004]
Is of French (paternal grandfather), Irish, English, and German descent.
Was the first female stand-up guest to be called to the "hot seat" on her first guest appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962).
Graduated from Atlanta High School in Atlanta, Texas, in 1976.
Is only the second woman to host the Oscars on her own. The first was Whoopi Goldberg.
She is a sweetheart of the fraternity Sigma Tau Gamma.
When she appeared on the April 14, 1997 cover of Time magazine, readers' voted it the magazine's best ever.
Good friends with actress Courteney Cox.
Ellen and her girlfriend, Portia de Rossi, got married on August 16th, 2008 at Ellen's home in Beverly Hills, California.
Younger sister of Vance DeGeneres.
Gave the Commencement Speech at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana in May 2009.
Quit smoking cigarettes using the Allen Carr method (also known as Easy Way).
Animal advocate and co-owner of "Halo".
She became vegan in 2010.
Ellen's first major league baseball game was at Target Field in Minnesota, home of the Minnesota Twins. She answered two questions right about Joe Mauer and got a Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer jersey.
Winner of the 2012 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, awarded by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame September 4, 2012.
I'm a lesbian, an Aquarian, and a vegetarian.
People always ask me 'Were you funny as a child?' Well, I was an accountant.
"I was raised around heterosexuals, as all heterosexuals are. That's where us gay people come from - you heterosexuals." - during her interview on "20/20" (1978).
I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-seven now, and we don't know where the hell she is.
You say you're sick and tired of hearing about me? I've got news for you: I'M sick and tired of hearing about me.
On hosting the Emmys after the 9/11 tragedy (November 4, 2001): "We're told to go on living our lives as usual, because to do otherwise is to let the terrorists win, and really, what would upset the Taliban more than a gay woman wearing a suit in front of a room full of Jews?"
Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing.
"I just like observing people-it's something I've done ever since I was a kid, and I got really good at it. That's a big part of why I became a comedian. My audience is filled with every kind of person you can imagine, and I love that." (Redbook, January 2006)
"I'd like to be more patient! I just want everything now. I've tried to meditate, but it's really hard for me to stay still. I'd like to try to force myself to do it, because everybody says how wonderful meditation is for you, but I can't shut my mind up. So patience and learning is the key." (Redbook, January 2006)
"I look at anything in nature and how things work-the stars, the pyramids-and I can't imagine that there's not some kind of design to it all. There's got to be something big that we don't understand. I do believe in Jesus. I believe in being good to one another. Life is about spending our time here contributing and not taking away. That's my faith." (Redbook, January 2006)
Really, he called me that? Ellen Degenerate? I've been getting that since the fourth grade. I guess I'm happy I could give him work. [When told in an interview that, after she revealed her homosexuality, Jerry Falwell called her 'Ellen Degenerate'].
There's two things I've always wanted to do in my life. One is to host the Oscars. The second is to get a call from Laura Ziskin. You can imagine that day's diary entry. - After receiving a call from Ziskin, producer of the 2007 Oscars, requesting that Ellen host.
Every morning, I would come down to the kitchen and I would see myself making coffee and I would think 'oh, she's pretty'. (on what life would be like with an identical twin)
On why she, a non-singing entertainer, would be a successful "American Idol" (2002) judge replacement: I know I'm going to be a great judge - because I've spent my whole life being judged.
Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.
What goes up must come down, which is why I don't wear tube tops.
Never follow anyone else's path, unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path; then, by all means, you should follow that path.
I'm glad I'm funny. I'm glad I make people happy, because that's very important. But I'm most proud to be known as a kind person...Because kindness spreads, and the world is a little nicer out there.
We can sit and worry about what's going to happen to us two weeks from now. I'd rather focus on the amazing things happening right in front of us. ANimals help us do that.
|Mr. Wrong (1996)||$2,000,000|
|"Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (2003)||$15,000,000|
(June 2006) Currently working on her hit show called "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (2003).
(September 2006) Announced she will host next year's Academy Awards Ceremony.
(April 2010) Is currently the fourth judge on "American Idol" (2002).
(September 2011) Working on the 9th season of her talk show, "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (2003).
(April 2013) Announced she will reprise her role as Dory in the sequel to Finding Nemo.
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.