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Actress, comedienne, and television hostess Ellen DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana on January 26, 1958. She was raised as a Christian Scientist until she 1971. In 1973, her parents divorced. Her mother married Roy Gruessendorf shortly after that, and Ellen moved with her mother and stepfather to Atlanta, Texas. After graduation from high school, she moved back to Louisiana and majored in communication studies at the University of New Orleans. She left university after one semester. After working in sales for various shops and a waitress, and bartender, she started doing stand-up observational comedy. In the early 1980s, she toured nationally and in 1982 was named Showtime's "Funniest Person in America." She was a hit on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and starred her own sitcom, entitled "Ellen," from 1994 to 1998. In 2003, she became the hostess of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, a daytime talk and variety show which has won more than two dozen Emmy Awards. After a relationship of four years with Australian actress Portia de Rossi, the couple was married on August 16, 2008.

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