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Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres, born in 1958 in Louisiana, began her career performing stand-up comedy. After making a name for herself on the comedy club circuit, DeGeneres scored her own sitcom in 1994. The popular series, titled “Ellen,” was loosely based on her life and career. The show made TV history in 1997 when DeGeneres’ character came out as a lesbian, shortly after she came out in real life on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The sitcom, however, was cancelled in 1998 after ABC reportedly became uncomfortable with the subject matter and gay themes.

Undeterred by her previous experience, DeGeneres returned to network television in 2001 with “The Ellen Show.” The CBS sitcom, however, was cancelled after just 13 episodes. The comedienne reinvented herself as a talk show host in 2003 with the debut of her NBC daytime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The series quickly became one of the most successful talk shows on television and has won 59 Emmy Awards as of 2018. Some of DeGeneres’ trademarks include dancing with the audience at the start of the show and during commercial breaks, as well as giving out big prizes and trips to her studio audience. In December 2017, DeGeneres returned to primetime TV with a NBC game show called “Ellen’s Game of Games,” which features contestants competing in a variety of outlandish games, some of which were originally played on her talk show.

DeGeneres has also appeared in a number of films, primarily in the ’90s while her sitcom was still on the air. Some of her early comedies included “Mr. Wrong,” “EDtv” and “The Love Letter.” Her most iconic movie role is as the voice of Dory in the 2003 Pixar film “Finding Nemo.” The 2016 sequel, “Finding Dory,” revolved around her character, a blue tang fish with short-term memory loss. DeGeneres has also hosted many awards shows over the years, including the Emmys, Grammys, and Oscars, some more than once.

Shortly after DeGeneres came out in 1997, she started dating Anne Heche. The two broke up in 2000, after which the talk show host began a relationship with photographer Alexandra Hedison. That romance ended in 2004, and later that year, DeGeneres began dating Portia de Rossi. The two got married in 2008 shortly after California overturned its ban on same-sex marriage. The happy spouses, who are often the target of false tabloids stories, share a home in Beverly Hills.

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