Ellen DeGeneres

From ArticleWorld

Ellen DeGeneres was born January 26, 1958 in Metairie, Louisiana. She and her brother Vance were raised Christian Scientists until her parents divorced and she left the religion. After the divorce, Ellen and her mother moved to Atlanta, Texas, upon graduating high school in 1976, Ellen moved back to New Orleans and enrolled at the University of New Orleans. After one semester, however, she withdrew. She began doing clerical work at a local law firm. In addition to doing clerical work, she sold clothes at the retail chain Merry-Go-Round, worked as a waitress, an oyster shucker, a hostess and a house painter.


Ellen realized early on that she didn't want to answer to a boss. She wanted to work on her terms. She began doing stand-up comedy at the only comedy club in New Orleans, Clyde's Comedy Club. She was a hit and began to emcee the shows. In 1982, she was named the funniest person in America by HBO. She was then invited to do the Tonight Show. She was the first female to ever be asked over to the couch after a routine. From 1989-1990 she appeared in the television show Open House and in 1992 'Laurie Hill.


DeGeneres turned her material into a sitcom from 1994-1998 in her self-titled sitcom, Ellen. The show was compared to Seinfeld. In April 1997, Ellen used the show as a vehicle to come out and declare publicly that she was a lesbian. She was one of the first openly gay actresses to play an openly gay character and she was soon forced into the role of gay activist. Her show now centered around the plight of gays and lesbians and the ratings dropped. The show was cancelled in 1998 due to poor ratings.

Current work

In 2003 Ellen did voice over work as Dory in the animated Disney film Finding Nemo. That year she launched her own talk show simple titled The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her talk show has continuously garnered high ratings and the show was nominated for eleven Daytime Emmy's it's first season.