Ellen DeGeneres, A Comedic Legacy
She’s a woman of many talents; thriving not only as a comedian, but as a television host, actress, writer, producer, and brand owner.
- January 26, 1958: Birth in Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.
- 1984: Named Showtime’s Funniest Person in America
- 1989: First regular TV role on sitcom Open House
- 1994: Comedy career became basis of sitcom Ellen
- 1997: Came out as lesbian on The Oprah Winfrey Show
- 2001: Hosted the Emmy Awards
- 2003: Launched daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show
- 2003: Voiced Dory in the animated film Finding Nemo
- 2007: Hosted the 79th Academy Awards ceremony
- 2010: Served as a judge on the ninth season of American Idol
- 2016: Voiced Dory again in the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory
- 2017: Began hosting the game show Ellen’s Game of Games
- 2022: The Ellen DeGeneres Show ended after its nineteenth season
“Don’t worry about what people say about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying.”
Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born January 26, 1958 in Metairie, Louisiana, U.S. She started on her standup comedy journey by performing at coffee houses and small clubs. By 1981, she earned the role of master of ceremonies at Clyde’s Comedy Club in New Orleans. Promoting her success in comedy, she began to tour nationally and was named Showtime’s Funniest Person in America in 1984.
Ellen ventured away from stand-up into the film and television industry in the following years. Her first regular TV role was on the sitcom Open House in 1989. Her next role came in 1992 on the sitcom Laurie Hill. Despite this show’s short life, the producers were so impressed with Ellen that they cast her in their next pilot, titled These Friends of Mine. Ellen’s comedy career became the basis for the show, changing its name to Ellen after the first season.
In 1997, Ellen came out as lesbian on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her character on Ellen came out at this same time, becoming one of the show’s highest rated episodes and the height of its popularity. It was canceled soon after in 1998. A few years later, in 2001, Ellen reached wider exposure by hosting the Emmy Award Show where she received several standing ovations for her performance.
In 2003, Ellen voiced the role of Dory in the animated film Finding Nemo. She also launched a daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in September that same year. This show became a huge success, receiving 11 Daytime Emmy Award nominations in its first season and winning 25 Emmy Awards for its first three seasons on the air. In 2009, Ellen celebrated her 1000th episode, featuring a multitude of celebrity guest appearances.
Throughout the following years, Ellen managed a variety of pursuits while hosting her talk show: serving as a judge on the singing competition series American Idol for one season in 2010, hosting the Academy Awards for a second time in 2014, and voicing Dory again in the Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory in 2016. In 2017, she began hosting another TV show; this time a game show called Ellen’s Game of Games based on games played on her talk show. It came to an end in early 2022.
Recently, in May 2022, The Ellen DeGeneres Show came to an end after nineteen seasons, marking the end of an era that Ellen created for many. The impact of her many ventures remains strong in the lives of others, and we are excited to see where she goes next!