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With her own talk show, Ellen DeGeneres is one of America's most well-known comedians, also serving as a prominent gay/lesbian role model.
After Ellen DeGeneres came out on her show, ABC began receiving negative feedback and advertisers began pulling out from "The Ellen Show."
Ellen DeGeneres spent many years in local stand up clubs refining her act until she submitted her routine to Showtime and won the title Funniest Person in Louisiana, ultimately leading the way to the national title.
Ellen DeGeneres was born in 1958 in Louisiana. Through her parents divorce, Ellen discovered her gift of comedy to make others laugh and feel happy.
After the death of Matthew Shepard, Ellen DeGeneres came out to support the cause of the LGBT community, lending both her name and celebrity.
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Despite a supportive audience; an Emmy Award for the coming-out episode; and the show's groundbreaking place in television history; Ellen was canceled in 1998.
But DeGeneres had already made the move to the big screen, starring in the dark comedy Mr. Wrong (1996) as a woman in search of the perfect man. She has also appeared in the comedy EdTV (1999), starring Matthew McConaughey,
and the television production of If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000), in which she shared a much publicized love scene with Sharon Stone.
Returning to television in 2003, Ellen DeGeneres became a big hit with daytime viewers with her self-titled talk show, Ellen. Since its inception, the show has won an Emmy, nearly a dozen Daytime Emmy Awards, and numerous People's Choice Awards.
Also in 2003, DeGeneres lent her voice to the animated box office smash, Finding Nemo. The next year she received two Emmy Award nominations for her stand-up comedy special Ellen DeGeneres: Here and Now.
A unique combination of kind and funny, Ellen DeGeneres has been a popular choice for award show host in recent years. She has hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards twice, and the Academy Awards for the first time in 2007. In September of 2009, Ellen made headlines again when she was chosen to fill the coveted fourth slot as a judge on the ninth season of American Idol. Former judge, Paula Abdul, announced her departure from the show earlier in the year. Show executives had been searching for a replacement for several months.
In addition to her stand-up, film, and television career, Degeneres is also the author of several books, including My Point ... and I Do Have One (1995) and The Funny Thing Is... (2004).
For several years, DeGeneres dated actress Anne Heche and, in 1999, the couple bought a home together in Los Angeles. Although at one point they publicly announced their desire to be married, the couple broke up in August 2000. DeGeneres then dated Alexandra Hedison for a few years before becoming involved with actress Portia de Rossi in December 2004.
DeGeneres married de Rossi on August 16, 2008, in what was perhaps the highest-profile gay marriage after California legalized the unions.
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Taking on topics of politics, entertainment, women's issues and more, female talk show hosts have proven to be every bit as engaging, intelligent, and funny as their male counterparts. Oprah Winfrey's 25-year-reign as the queen of talk is unparalleled, but many other female talk show hosts have come into their own as well, including Tyra Banks, Ellen DeGeneres, Sally Jessy Raphael and Kelly Ripa.
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