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Ellen DeGeneres

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Emmy-winning talk show host Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a New Orleans suburb. She is the daughter of Betty DeGeneres (née Elizabeth Jane Pfeffer), a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. Her brother is musician and producer Vance DeGeneres. Her parents divorced when she was sixteen years old. Her mother remarried, and her new husband, salesman Roy Gruessendorf, moved the family 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, which she hosted again in 2014.  See full bio on IMDb »

LATEST STORIES
  
Ellen DeGeneres Chows Down with Ryan Seacrest and Talks 'American Idol'  (VIDEO)

Ellen DeGeneres
Seacrest Hasn't Met a Job He Didn't Like!!!

Ellen DeGeneres made one thing clear and another thing unclear ... Ryan Seacrest is a workaholic who may or may not become the host of the "American Idol" reboot. Ellen and wife Portia de… READ MORE >

Kim Kardashian Tells Ellen The Paris Robbery Made Her a Better Person (VIDEO)

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Kim Kardashian says the Paris robbery was meant to happen to her and she actually sounds grateful for how it's changed her. Kim told Ellen authorities gave her lawyer the lowdown -- the robbers… READ MORE >

- 57 days ago
Ellen DeGeneres' Incredible Home Up for Sale, $45 MIL!!! (PHOTO GALLERY)

Ellen DeGeneres
Incredible Home Up for Sale $45 Million!!!

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have just put their amazing Montecito estate on the market ... and you gotta think, anyone who has cash to burn would be lucky to have it. Ellen and Portia… READ MORE >

- 95 days ago
'Ellen DeGeneres Show' Wins 'Titi' Lawsuit, Judge Says Lighten Up! (VIDEO)

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Big 'Titi' Win In Name Game Lawsuit

Ellen DeGeneres' wisecrack about boob piercings forced a judge to actually break down the English language for the woman suing Ellen's show ... before tossing the case out of court. You'll recall… READ MORE >

- 127 days ago
Ellen DeGeneres' 59th Birthday Party Draws Big Stars (PHOTO GALLERY)

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59 Never Looked More Famous

Ellen DeGeneres turned 59 ... and she can certainly draw a crowd. Ellen celebrated at her Bev Hills home with lots of famous well-wishers, including Jimmy Kimmel, Bruno Mars, Channing Tatum,… READ MORE >

- 145 days ago
Ellen DeGeneres' Inauguration Friday Is Wide Open (VIDEO)

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Ellen DeGeneres is sticking to her guns, and that means NOT falling in line with the growing number of celebs who think it's time to at least give the Prez-elect a chance. We got Ellen and… READ MORE >

- 155 days ago
Ellen DeGeneres and Pharrell Talk Kim Burrell Controversy (VIDEO)

Ellen to Pharrell
No Way I'm Giving Kim Burrell a Platform

Ellen DeGeneres and Pharrell took a strong stand against gospel singer Kim Burrell and her homophobic rant. Pharrell was supposed to appear with Kim to do their song from the "Hidden… READ MORE >

- 169 days ago
Ellen DeGeneres -- Oops, No ID ... Still Wriggles into White House for Medal (PHOTOS + VIDEO)

Ellen DeGeneres
Oops, No ID ... Still Wriggles into White House for Medal

Ellen DeGeneres' face was apparently ID enough to get her past White House security with a bunch of other celebs getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ellen says she forgot her ID and… READ MORE >

- 213 days ago
Ryan Lochte -- I Asked Michael Phelps for Advice ... He Hit a Low Point, Too

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Ryan Lochte says he reached out to Michael Phelps for life advice after his drama in Rio -- explaining, "I knew he hit a low point in his life and he bounced back from it." Lochte revealed the… READ MORE >

- 287 days ago
Ellen DeGeneres -- Show Sued Over Hilarious 'Titty' Joke (VIDEO)

Ellen DeGeneres
Show Sued Over Hilarious 'Titty' Joke

A Georgia woman has her t** in a ringer over a joke Ellen DeGeneres told on her show ... in fact she's so upset she's suing the talk show's producers for allegedly besmirching her good name. In a… READ MORE >

- 381 days ago
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