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n Lee DeGeneres (born January 26, 1958) is an American stand-up comedian, television host and actress. She currently hosts the Emmy Award-winning syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
She has hosted both the Academy Awards and the Primetime Emmys. As a film actress, she starred in Mr. Wrong, appeared in EDtv and The Love Letter, and provided the voice of "Dory" in the Pixar animated hit film Finding Nemo. She also starred in two television sitcoms, The Ellen Show from 2001 to 2002 and Ellen from 1994 to 1998. In 1997 during the fourth season of Ellen, she came out publicly as a lesbian, in an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Shortly afterwards, her character Ellen Morgan also came out to a therapist played by Winfrey and the series went on to explore various LGBT issues as well as the "coming out" process.
In September 2003, DeGeneres launched a daytime television talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Amid a crop of several celebrity-hosted talk shows surfacing in 2003 such as those of Sharon Osbourne and Rita Rudner, her show has consistently risen in the Nielsen Ratings and received widespread critical praise. It was nominated for 11 Daytime Emmy Awards in its first season, winning four, including Best Talk Show. The show has won 25 Emmy Awards in its first three seasons on the air. DeGeneres is known for her dancing and singing with the audience at the beginning of the show and during commercial breaks. She often gives away free prizes and trips to her studio audience with the help of her sponsors. On November 17, 2005, the show was played in reverse.
In November 2004, DeGeneres appeared, dancing, in an ad campaign for American Express. Her most recent American Express commercial, a two-minute black-and-white spot where she works with animals, debuted in November 2006 and was created by Ogilvy and Mather. In 2007, the commercial won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial.
In August 2005, DeGeneres was selected once again as host of the 2005 Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, which was held on September 18, 2005. The award ceremonies aired three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, making it the second time she hosted the Emmys following a national tragedy. Because DeGeneres is from New Orleans, the tragedy hit close to home. When she announced that she would again host the Emmys, she joked, "You know me, any excuse to put on a dress." She also hosted the Grammy Awards in 1996 and in 1997.
In February 2006, DeGeneres celebrated her thirty-year class reunion by flying her graduating class to California to be guests on her show. She presented Atlanta High School with a surprise gift of a new electronic LED marquee sign.
In May 2006, DeGeneres made a surprise appearance at the Tulane University commencement in New Orleans. Following George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to the podium, she came out in a bathrobe and furry slippers. "They told me everyone would be wearing robes," she said.
In March 2007, DeGeneres continued her talk show with a week at Universal Studios Orlando with guests Jennifer Lopez and Lynyrd Skynyrd. DeGeneres did skits with the Hulk Roller Coaster Ride and the Jaws Boat Ride.
In May 2007, DeGeneres was placed on bed rest due to a torn ligament in her back. She continued hosting her show from a hospital bed, tended to by a male nurse, explaining "the show must go on, as they say." Guests sat in hospital beds as well.
In March 2008, DeGeneres hosted her talk show once again from Orlando Florida at Universal Studios Orlando with guests including the Jonas Brothers and Jeff Foxworthy.
In Fall 2008, The Ellen DeGeneres Show will be moved to a larger studio; in addition the Ellen show will be produced in high definition. With her moving to a new studio, her producers will have a new HD control room and equipment.