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Ellen Degeneres

Ellen Degeneres

A pioneer and a television icon, DeGeneres made history in April 1997 with her on-screen persona, ‘Ellen Morgan' from the series Ellen. Her groundbreaking legacy began in 1986 during her first appearance on The Tonight Show when she became the first and only woman to be summoned by Johnny Carson to sit down with him after her first performance.

DeGeneres spent 2003 traveling the United States for her Here and Now standup tour, culminating in New York City in May. HBO plans to air a taping of her live performance in a special broadcast in June.

Preparations are underway for her to launch her own syndicated daytime talk show this Fall. The show is being produced in association with Telepictures Productions and will be distributed by Warner Brothers Television. Also in late Fall, Simon & Schuster will publish her latest book of comedic short stories and essays.

DeGeneres hosted the 2001 Primetime Emmy telecast and garnered rave reviews for a performance unequivocally combining her signature wit with heartfelt emotion, giving the post-September 11th audience a reason to laugh.

She began her career as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans, which led to national recognition in 1982 when her videotaped club performances won Showtime's award for Funniest Person In America. When she moved to Los Angeles she filmed her first HBO Special, Young Comedians Reunion, then Women of the Night (1986) and Command Performance: One Night Stand (1989), for which she received a Cable Ace nomination. She was also named Best Female Stand-Up at the 1991 American Comedy Awards.

DeGeneres began her career in television on Fox's Open House, then moved on to ABC's Laurie Hill until being offered These Friends of Mine by ABC, which transformed into Ellen after its first season. The show garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy nominations for Best Actress each season. In 1997 she was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as earning an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed Puppy Episode, in which her character came out as a gay woman to a record 46 million viewers. Last year she starred in the CBS show The Ellen Show.

In the course of producing and starring in Ellen, DeGeneres received numerous accolades including The People's Choice Award in 1995, two Golden Globe nominations and two Screen Actors Guild nominations. Her other TV credits include executive producing and starring with Sharon Stone in the Emmy nominated If These Walls Could Talk II for HBO, as well as a guest appearance on the Larry Sanders Show, for which she received another Emmy nomination.

Her feature film credits includes EDtv for director Ron Howard, The Love Letter for Dreamworks, New Regency's Goodbye Lover, Coneheads and Mr.Wrong in which she starred with Bill Pullman.

DeGeneres has also served as host for several industry events including the 38th and 39th Annual Grammy Awards, for which she earned an Emmy nomination; the 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, receiving an American Comedy Award; the VH-1 Honors, which garnered her a Cable Ace Award;VH-1 Divas Las Vegas and The Saturday Night Live Christmas Special.

In 1995, her first book My Point ... And I Do Have One debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list, and in 1997 she released a comedy CD, Taste This. In July 2000, DeGeneres returned to stand-up, embarking on a three-month tour of major theatres across the country that culminated in her critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated special The Beginning.

Since she was first nationally recognized in 1982 as a comedian in New Orleans, Ellen's many contributions to the entertainment industry have earned her numerous accolades including a Golden Apple Award as Female Discovery of the Year from the Hollywood Women's Press Club, a Lucy Award honoring women in Television and Film, and an Amnesty International Award.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Ellen Degeneres Facts

Birth Name Ellen Lee DeGeneres
BirthdayJanuary 26, 1958 (65)
BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Height5' 6½" (1m69)  How tall is Ellen Degeneres compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.