Ellen Lee DeGeneres is an American comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer. DeGeneres’s career began in the 1980s and continues to flourish until today. She currently hosts her own TV talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.
Let’s learn some facts about her!
1.Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958, in Metairie, Louisiana.
2.She is of French, Irish, English and German descent.
3.She is the daughter of Betty DeGeneres, a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent.
4.She has one brother,Vance DeGeneres, a musician and producer.
5.She was raised as a Christian Scientist until age 13.
6.Her parents divorced in 1974.
7.Her mother remarried shortly after Roy Gruessendorf, a salesman.
8.Ellen moved with her mother and Gruessendorf to Atlanta, Texas, while her brother stayed with his father.
9.She graduated from Atlanta High School in 1976, after completing her first years of high school at Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana.
10.She then moved back to New Orleans to attend the University of New Orleans, where she majored in communication studies.
11.After one semester, she left school to do clerical work in a law firm with a cousin.
12.Ellen DeGeneres has a history of odd early jobs. She has worked as a bartender, a paralegal, a vacuum cleaner saleswoman, TGIFriday’s waitress and an oyster shucker in New Orleans.
13.She found her calling as a stand up comedian at age 23.
14.She began performing stand-up in 1981 and was named Showtime’s “Funniest Person in America” just one year later.
15.She made her breakthrough in 1986, were she appeared on the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
16.Carson took a liking in her and invited her for an on-screen talk after her set.
17.DeGeneres was then the first female comedian invited by the host to join him for such a discussion. At that time such an invitation was widely regarded as one of the most influential endorsements available for a comic.
18.Ellen DeGeneres became an author in 1995 when she penned the comical, “My Point… and I Do Have One.”
19.The book climbed to the number one slot on the New York Times bestsellers list. It also stayed on the “Publishers Weekly” bestseller list for 24 weeks.
20.She starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted her own TV talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, since 2003.
21.As a film actress, she starred in Mr. Wrong, appeared in EDtv and The Love Letter.
22.She was originally offered Sandra Bullock’s role in Speed in 1994.
23.In 1997, DeGeneres came out as a lesbian on her popular sitcom Ellen to Oprah who was acting as her therapist.
24.In her book Love, Ellen, DeGeneres’ mother, Betty DeGeneres describes being initially shocked when her daughter came out, but she has since become one of her strongest supporters.
25.Her mother is also an active member of Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project.
26.The same year she came out, DeGeneres started a romantic relationship with actress Anne Heche that lasted until August 2000.
27.She then played the first gay lead character on TV. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled a year later.
28.Ellen DeGeneres turned down a role in Friends before starring in Ellen.
29.DeGeneres quickly finds new love with actress/photographer Alexandra Hedison. They date from 2000 to 2004.
30.Since 2004, DeGeneres has had a relationship with Portia de Rossi. After the overturn of the same-sex marriage ban in California, DeGeneres and de Rossi were engaged, and married on August 16, 2008.
31.DeGeneres received wide exposure on November 4, 2001, when she hosted the televised broadcast of the Emmy Awards.
32.DeGeneres lent her voice to the role of Dory, a fish with short-term memory loss, in the 2003 animated Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo.
33.The film’s director, Andrew Stanton, said that he chose Ellen because she changed the subject five times before one sentence had finished on her show.
34.She reprised the role of Dory from Finding Nemo in the 2016 sequel, Finding Dory.
35.Her talk show has been a success. The show has won a total of 33 Daytime Emmy Awards, including four for Outstanding Talk Show (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and three for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment (2010, 2011, 2013).
36.In 2015, she was named the 50th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes and number two on the World Pride Power list.
37.Forbes estimated DeGeneres’ 2015 earnings at US$75 million.
38.The contentiousness of the media coverage stunted DeGeneres’ professional career and left her “mired in depression”.
39.After she moves with her mother to Texas, while her mother struggles with breast cancer, she is being secretly molested by her stepfather. The moment she graduates high school and moves back to New Orleans, Ellen finally tells her mother the truth.
40.DeGeneres began working with CoverGirl Cosmetics in September 2008, for which she has been criticized, as her animal-friendly values clash with Procter and Gamble’s (the maker of CoverGirl Cosmetics) animal testing.
41.Her face became the focus of CoverGirl advertisements starting in January 2009. The beauty campaign was DeGeneres’s first.
42.In 2011, she announced to her audience that she had received a letter from the New England Historic Genealogical Society confirming she is 15th cousin to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge via their shared common ancestor Thomas Fairfax.
43.American Express signs DeGeneres as one of its spokespeople for a global ad campaign. Photographer Annie Leibovitz shoots the print ads, and humorous TV commercials feature DeGeneres dancing and working with animal colleagues.
44.Madonna is DeGeneres’ eleventh cousin.
45.She is 5′ 7½” (1.71 m) tall.
46.Ellen decided to get healthier and quit smoking in the year 2005.
47.DeGeneres defines herself vegan and “big animal lover”.
48.She and Portia own four dogs and three cats.
49.Ellen is an active PETA member.
50.She uses an elliptical machine to help her keep in shape now while she watches one of her favorite TV channels, “Animal Planet.”
51.Ellen has her very own ride at Disney called Ellen’s Energy Adventure which is a popular attraction at the Epcot Future World park.
52.In November 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named her a Special envoy for Global AIDS Awareness.
53.The best seat at the studio where “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is recorded is reserved for Ellen’s mom, Betty.
54.She did a hilarious dramatic reading of Fifty Shades of Grey:
55.She holds the record for the most retweeted tweet:
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
56.DeGeneres won the won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2012. Her words? “It’s such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder… why didn’t I get this sooner?”