Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres biography
Ellen DeGeneres / Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ellen DeGeneres biography

Ellen DeGeneres (January 26, 1958) comedian, actress and television presenter. She was born in the town of Metairie, Louisiana, United States. She is the daughter of Elliot DeGeneres, a salesman, and Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer. She was raised within the Christian faith until she was 13 years old and decided not to attend religious meetings anymore. Her mother and father ended their marriage in 1974, and soon after, Betty Jane remarried Roy Grussendorf. Ellen lived with her mother and her new husband in Atlanta, while her brother stayed with their father.

Ellen DeGeneres graduated from Atlanta High School in 1976, when she finished she moved back to New Orleans to attend the University of New Orleans, where she graduated in communications. While she was studying at university, she worked as a clothes saleswoman at the Merry Go Round store, and as a waitress at TGI Friday`s. As soon as she got her diploma she started thinking about a new life for her. So, she ventured into comedy, making comedy sketches in small clubs and coffee shops. Time later, she was able to join the Clyde’s Comedy Club, in 1981. Her style as through was equated to that of Bob Newhart.

At the beginning of the 80s, she made a national tour and was awarded the title to the funniest person in America, after winning a reality show broadcast by the television network Showtime. From there, her prestige and recognition grew considerably, managing to appear for the first time on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Her television and film work included, by the end of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, roles in Open House (1989) and Coneheads (1993). Later, she launched a successful comic series that was on the air for four years, her name was Ellen. The show was broadcast by ABC, it was popularized in its first season thanks to DeGeneres’ double-sided comic style. It reached its maximum popularity at the moment in which the actress declared her homosexual orientation in the show of Ophra. Subsequently, her character in the series would make the same revelation to her therapist. This was one of the most watched episodes of the show, but then its rating went down and was canceled.

Ellen DeGeneres, later on, starred in a series of films for a show called Ellen’s Energy Adventure, which was part of a Walt Disney World Epcot attraction. She also participated in films such as Mr. Wrong, along with Bill Pullman and Joan Cusack. The film Goodbye Lover where she worked with Patricia Arquette and Dermot Mulroney. After passing through the cinema, Ellen returned to the television series, with a new sitcom on the CBS channel, entitled The Ellen Show. The show was not really successful and with only one season on the air, it was canceled due to a low audience.

In 2003, she lent her voice to the role of Dory, in the animated Disney movie, Finding Nemo. Previously she had lent her voice to the character of a dog in the film Dr. Dolittle. The Disney movie was the key to getting attention back to her and provided excellent comments and recognition. This role earned her the Saturn prize, the Nickelodeon Kids Choice, and also the Annie Award.

In September 2003, she premiered a daily talk show, called The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In comparison to several series and programs broadcast that year, hers was ranked with the highest rating and was very well commented by critics. For this reason, she was nominated for 11 Emmys in her first season, winning four, including the Best Talk Show award. The show won for 15 years 15 Emmy awards, in its three seasons on the air. Ellen has become known for her jovial, extroverted and charismatic personality, dancing and singing with the audience, even when the program is in commercials.

She made her appearance again as host of the Emmy Awards Gala. It was issued three weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Previously she had been the host of the Grammy awards, during 1996 and 1997. She also presented the Oscar awards ceremony, being the first homosexual person in history to do so. Her overwhelming personality made a presentation of the pleasant and temporary awards, after which he received very good comments from the press.

She conducted her show in several locations, in March 2007, the show took place at the Universal Studios Orlando, as guests had Jennifer Lopez and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Months later she had a back-ligament injury and had to stop several weeks, then she broadcast her program from a hospital bed. A year later she returned to lead her program from Orlando Florida, with guests such as Jonas Brothers and Jeff Foxworthy.

Her personal life is kept discreetly, her first relationship to the public was with the actress Anne Heche. This ended after Heche broke with DeGeneres and started a relationship with Coley Hedison. From 2004, Ellen has been with Portia de Rossi, with whom she lives in Beverly Hills. They were engaged in May 2008.

Ellen DeGeneres participated with Julia Roberts, and David Beckham in a campaign for the recognition of professional women’s soccer, this campaign is called Pass The Ball and is a bet to motivate and second the players and to the society in general that their work and their talent should be valued and supported as much as that of men soccer players.

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