Ellen DeGeneres | Biography 2021
Ellen DeGeneres | Biography 2021

Quick Information

  • Full Name Ellen DeGeneres
  • Occupation Comedian
  • Nationality America
  • Birthplace Louisiana, USA
  • Born Year And Birthday Jan 26, 1958
  • Age 63 Years, 4 Months
Host of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'

Ellen DeGeneres | Biography 2021

On May 12, 2021, DeGeneres announced that she would end her long-running TV talk show in 2022 after completing the upcoming 19th season. She said, "I don't intend on retiring. I want to do other things but if I never do another thing in my life, this has been the thing I'm most proud of, you know, to do something for 19 years, especially something that nobody thought would happen or give a chance. I had to fight really hard to get this show so it's just something I'm really proud of, something I'm really emotional about."


Quick Information
  • Full Name Ellen DeGeneres
  • Occupation Comedian
  • Nationality America
  • Birthplace Louisiana, USA
  • Birth Date Jan 26, 1958
  • Age 63 Years, 4 Months

Ellen DeGeneres is an Emmy Award-winning talk show host best known for her daytime syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She rose to fame in 1982 after she was named 'Funniest Person in America' and again in 1997 when she came out as a lesbian.

Who is Ellen DeGeneres?

Ellen DeGeneres began her career in stand-up comedy at local clubs and coffeehouses. After Showtime noticed her quirky and naive jokes, she entered the television and won Showtime's 'Funniest Person in America' contest in 1982. Her big break came in 1986 when she became the first woman invited on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show. 

Before launching her stand-up comedy specials Ellen DeGeneres: The Beginning (2001) and Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now (2003), DeGeneres starred as Ellen Morgan in the romantic comedy sitcom Ellen. She came to prominence when she came out as a lesbian in 1997. 

In 2003, she voiced Dory in the popular animated film Finding Nemo and reprised its 2016 sequel, Finding Dory.

She launched The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the fall of 2003. The show won a slew of 64 'Daytime Emmy Awards' since its inception. The show celebrated its 3000th episode on April 29, 2021.

Early Life and Education

Ellen DeGeneres, in full, Ellen Lee DeGeneres, was born in Metairie (New Orleans), Louisiana, the United States, on January 26, 1958, to a speech therapist mother, Betty DeGeneres (née Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer) and an insurance agent father, Elliott Everett DeGeneres. She has an elder brother, Vance DeGeneres, who became a musician and producer when he grew up. Born in a family of multiple ethnic backgrounds of French, English, Irish, German, distant Dutch, and Swiss-German descent, DeGeneres was raised as a Christian Scientist until age 13, when her parents divorced. Shortly after the divorce, her mother remarried a salesman Roy Gruessendorf, and they relocated to Atlanta, Texas.

After graduating from Atlanta High School in 1976, she returned to New Orleans and attended the University of New Orleans, taking communication as a major subject. But she dropped out in one semester after she was dissatisfied with University life. She then took up clerical work in a law firm. Later, she worked as a waitress, bartender, house painter, hostess, and oyster shucker.

Getting into Stand-Up Career

DeGeneres initially began humor as a medium to cope with the difficult situation of life to make her mother happy when she had a hard time after divorce. "My mother was going through some really hard times and I could see when she was really getting down, and I would start to make fun of her dancing," DeGeneres said and added, "Then she'd start to laugh and I'd make fun of her laughing. And she'd laugh so hard she'd start to cry, and then I'd make fun of that. So I would totally bring her from where I'd seen her start going into depression to all the way out of it."

DeGeneres used to put together comedy routines for a group of friends, and upon their constant encouragement and recommendation, she started performing in small clubs and coffeehouses in the late 1970s. After her acts went well, DeGeneres made her way to Clyde's Comedy Club in New Orleans by 1981. She then traveled throughout the United States on the comedy club circuit. Her quirky, naive jokes, along with her loose-limbed gestures, soon earned applause and grabbed the attention of American premium television network Showtime. As a result, a video of her stand-up routine won Showtime's 'Funniest Person in America' title in 1982. The title brought her both criticism and high expectations. It also became her springboard to stardom.

Her big break came in 1986 when she was invited to Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show. It was her first TV appearance, first stand-up comedy on TV, and first TV interview with the celebrated TV host Johnny Carson, chitchatting with him sitting on the famed couch on the show. She was the only woman Carson ever invited to talk to him. 

Later, she began appearing regularly on the talk show circuit, including The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and Good Morning, America. In 1991, she won the 'American Comedy Award' for 'Funniest Female Stand-Up Comic.' 

In 2000, she made her solo HBO special Ellen DeGeneres: The Beginning. The comedy special won her the 'American Comedy Award' for 'Funniest Female Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network, Cable or Syndication' in 2001.

In 2003, she made her second HBO special, a stand-up comedy routine Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now, for which she received two 'Emmy Award' nominations.

DeGeneres came to the comedy scene nearly after 15 years of a break with her announcement in May 2017 that she has been writing for the new stand-up special for Netflix. The stand-up special titled Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable was later premiered on December 18, 2018.

TV Series: 'Ellen'

After appearing in several short-lived TV series such as Duet (1989), Open House (1989-1990), and Laurie Hill (1992), DeGeneres launched and starred in the lead role of Ellen Morgan in the romantic comedy sitcom Ellen in 1994. The sitcom was originally titled These Friends of Mine in the first season.

In 1997, she revealed that she was lesbian. Ellen became the first prime-time show to openly feature a homosexual lead character. 

"I never wanted to be the lesbian actress. I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth," DeGeneres said in an interview.

The landmark episode was refused to be aired by an ABC affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama. However, the episode won the show the 'Emmy Award' for 'Best Writing in a Comedy Series.' DeGeneres was also named the 'Entertainer of the Year' in 1997 by Entertainment Weekly. When the show continued to focus mainly on homosexual issues in the following season, the show's ratings started declining, and the show was subsequently ended in 1998.

Movies

DeGeneres made her big-screen debut in the 1993 comedy sci-fi film Coneheads. In 1996, she starred in the dark comedy Mr. Wrong, portraying a lonely single woman searching for the perfect man to date. DeGeneres later appeared in the 1998 comic crime-mystery film Goodbye Lover, the 1999 satirical comedy film EDtv, and the 1999 romantic comedy film The Love Letter. In 2000, she shared a much-publicized love scene with Sharon Stone in the TV movie If These Walls Could Talk 2. The following year, she portrayed the role of Operator in the film Reaching Normal. 

Voice Acting

DeGeneres also lent her voice for several animated and video game characters. In 1996, she voiced The Octopus Lady in the video game 9. DeGeneres also voiced Prologue Dog in the fantasy-comedy film Doctor Dolittle in 1998. In 2003, she voiced forgetful but loveable little blue fish named Dory in the animated box office smash Finding Nemo, for which she won the 'Saturn Award' for 'Best Supporting Actress' and the 'Annie Award' for 'Outstanding Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production' in 2004. She reprised her voice to its 2016 sequel, Finding Dory, and it won her the 'OFTA Film Award' for 'Best Voice-Over Performance' and the 'People's Choice Award' for 'Favorite Animated Movie Voice' in 2017.

'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'

After Ellen ended in 1998, DeGeneres eventually moved to the daytime arena and launched her self-titled syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2003. Since its inception, the show has won more than 64 'Daytime Emmy Awards' in multiple categories. 

On May 12, 2021, DeGeneres announced that she would end her long-running TV talk show in 2022 after completing the upcoming 19th season. She said, "I don't intend on retiring. I want to do other things but if I never do another thing in my life, this has been the thing I'm most proud of, you know, to do something for 19 years, especially something that nobody thought would happen or give a chance. I had to fight really hard to get this show so it's just something I'm really proud of, something I'm really emotional about." 

Revealing about her plans, she shared, "I'm opening up my campus in Rwanda next year, and I want to be more involved with conservation and everything that matters to me as far as the environment and animals."

Personal Life

After she came out as a lesbian in 1997, she started dating actress Anne Heche the same year. Their relationship lasted only for a few years, and they split on August 16, 2000. She then dated photographer-director Alexandra Hedison for four years from 2000 to 2004. After ending her relationship with Hedison, she started dating actress Portia de Rossi in 2004. The couple tied the knot on August 16, 2008, at their Beverly Hills home in California.

Net worth

The award-winning TV host, comedienne, and actress has a net worth of $500 million as of 2021.

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