- NAME: Portia de Rossi
- OCCUPATION: Animal Rights Activist, Film Actress, Television Actress
- BIRTH DATE: January 31, 1973 (Age: 40)
- EDUCATION: University of Melbourne
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Horsham, Victoria, Australia
- Originally: Amanda Lee Rogers
- Full Name: Portia Lee James DeGeneres
- AKA: Amanda Rogers
- AKA: Portia de Rossi
- AKA: Portia DeGeneres
- ZODIAC SIGN: Aquarius
Best Known For
Portia de Rossi, wife of Ellen DeGeneres, is known for playing the cold and calculating Nelle Porter on Ally McBeal and Lindsay Bluth-Funke on Arrested Development.
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The show was quickly deemed a hit by critics, revered for its wit and cast of absurd yet relatable characters. For her performance on the series, de Rossi won a Golden Satellite Award (best actress in a series, comedy or musical) and was nominated for two more Screen Actors Guild Awards (outsanding ensemble). Though it won critical acclaim, the series saw poor ratings and was canceled after airing on FOX for three seasons. After its initial run (2003-06), however,
the show was renewed—due in no small part to its strong, cult-like following—this time airing exclusively on Netflix. Premiering in 2013, the series' fourth season saw the reunion of the entire original cast.
De Rossi has had a very public personal life. A lesbian, de Rossi was married to male filmmaker Mel Matcalfe from 1996 to '99, later stating that she had entered into the union in order to get a green card. In 2000, photos of the actress with her then-partner, female singer Francesca Gregorini, were leaked to the public, creating speculation surrounding her sexual orientation. Initially, De Rossi neither confirmed or denied the allegations, but she later used the photos as an informal way of coming out to the public and to her family, who was previously unaware of her sexual identity.
De Rossi dated Gregorini for four years before becoming romantically linked to comedian Ellen DeGeneres; the two first met when de Rossi was a cast member of Ally McBeal, before de Rossi had gone public about her homosexuality. They met again after de Rossi and Gregorini broke up, and their relationship began shortly thereafter. It was then, in 2005, that de Rossi publicly announced her sexual orientation. The couple married in 2008, and de Rossi legally changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres.
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America was introduced to the newest—and possibly the most dysfuctional—family to premiere on television with Arrested Development in 2003. The wealthy Bluths saw their lives come crashing down before them after the arrest of family patriarch George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor). Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) is left to pick up the pieces and keep his family together, creating a hilarious dynamic between the ragtag cast, including Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Michael Cera and Will Arnett. Several years after its 2006 cancelation, the series came back into the spotlight in 2013—due in no small part to its enormous, cult-like following.
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