Ellen DeGeneres is a beloved television icon and entertainment pioneer whose distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on television, film and in the literary world.
She has made a home for herself in the daytime arena with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The show, now entering its seventh season, recently won four Daytime Emmy Awards. During its six seasons, the show has earned a total of 29 Daytime Emmy Awards. Additionally, DeGeneres won five People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Daytime Talk Show Host and Favorite Funny Female Star — four years in a row. DeGeneres also won the Johnny Carson Producers of the Year Award in Variety Television from the Producers Guild in 2005 and 2006. Most recently, DeGeneres won her first “Teen Choice Award” for a new Twitter category and won the “Choice Twit” award. The show also won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Talk Show Episode.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was launched in September 2003 to great success and critical acclaim. In its freshman year, the show won four Daytime Emmys, including Outstanding Talk Show, after garnering a record twelve nominations.
DeGeneres was recently included in Forbes’ top five “Most Influential Women in Media” and was voted “Best Daytime Talk Show Host” by Parade.com readers. In addition, DeGeneres has been voted “Favorite TV Personality” by The Harris Poll’s annual Favorite Television Star list, beating out Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno. DeGeneres was included in MSNBC’s “Power players who shape your TV habits.” DeGeneres also was honored with Television Week’s Syndication Personality of the Year and voted number one in Oxygen’s “50 Funniest Woman Alive” special — in the company of such comic legends as Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin, and has been included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
In 2008, Ellen became the newest face for CoverGirl. The national print and commercial campaign for Simply Ageless Foundation premiered in December.
DeGeneres also continues to host Ellen’s Really Big Show for TBS. The one-hour variety special features performances by top talents from the worlds of comedy and music. DeGeneres most recently hosted her third TBS special, Ellen’s Bigger, Longer & Wider Show, as part of “A Very Funny Festival: Just for Laughs” in Chicago. The special was hosted from the famous Chicago Theater with guests including, Grammy-winning performer Kanye West, and magician David Blaine. The highly-acclaimed special aired on TBS.
DeGeneres had the honor of hosting the highly-rated 79th Annual Academy Awards and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. This follows her 2005 stint hosting the Primetime Emmy Awards, which marked her third time hosting the show. Her performance hosting the 2001 award show garnered rave reviews for providing a perfect balance of wit and heartfelt emotion to the post-September 11th telecast audience. DeGeneres won an American Comedy Award for her inaugural effort hosting the show in 1994. Additionally, DeGeneres co-hosted “American Idol’s” very successful “Idol Gives Back” special that raised money for children in extreme poverty in America and Africa.
In addition to her stints hosting the Oscars and the Primetime Emmy Awards, Ellen DeGeneres served as host for an array of industry events including the 38th and 39th Annual Grammy Awards, for which she earned an Emmy nomination.
Ellen DeGeneres partnered with American Express in 2005, appearing in their ad campaign “My Life, My Card,” including a national commercial and print campaign. DeGeneres currently appears in a new campaign entitled, “Are You a Card Member?” The national commercial pairs DeGeneres with pop sensation Beyoncé Knowles. DeGeneres also appears in the print campaign shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. In addition, DeGeneres appeared in the national commercial, which was perfectly suited for the animal-loving DeGeneres, who got a chance to work with a tortoise, a giraffe and penguins as part of the campaign, “My Life Goal: To Work with Animals” — which won a Primetime Emmy Award.
Prior to the launch of her talk show, Ellen DeGeneres scored simultaneous achievements on stage, film and in the literary world. She enjoyed unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, Dory, a fish with an extremely short-term memory in the blockbuster animated feature film, “Finding Nemo.” At the same time, DeGeneres crossed the country on a 35-city stand-up comedy tour entitled the “Here and Now” tour. Her stop at the famed Beacon Theater inNew Yorkwas turned into an HBO special and was subsequently nominated for two Emmys. Finally, in October, Simon & Schuster published DeGeneres’ second book, The Funny Thing Is…, comprised of the author’s comedic short stories and essays. The book hit the New York Times Bestseller List upon its release. In 2005, DeGeneres was nominated fora Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for the audio version of the book. Her first book, My Point…And I Do Have One, published in 1995, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Her career began 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 “Funniest Person in America” honor. When DeGeneres moved toLos Angeles, she filmed her first HBO Special, “Young Comedians Reunion,” then in 1986 filmed “Women of the Night.” That same year, DeGeneres scored a first by becoming the first female comedian to be summoned by Johnny Carson to sit down with him after her performance. In 1989, DeGeneres received a Cable Ace nomination for her “Command Performance: One Night Stand” special. She was also named “Best Female Stand-Up” at the 1991 American Comedy Awards.
DeGeneres began her acting career in television on FOX’s sitcom, “Open House.” She moved on to ABC’s “Laurie Hill,” prior to being offered a part on “These Friends of Mine” by ABC. After the first season, the show was renamed “Ellen.” Running from 1994 to 1998, the show garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy nominations each season in the Best Actress category. In 1997, DeGeneres was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as 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. DeGeneres followed with the CBS sitcom, “The Ellen Show,” which ran from 2001 to 2002.
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. Other television 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.
Ellen DeGeneres’ feature film credits include “EDTV” for director Ron Howard, “Mr. Wrong,” “The Love Letter” for Dreamworks, New Regency’s “Goodbye Lover” and “Coneheads.”
Both on and off screen, DeGeneres’ humanitarian efforts take center stage. DeGeneres is passionate about bringing awareness to the people of New Orleans, her hometown, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Her efforts have resulted in “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” raising over 10 million dollars to improve the lives of New Orleans residents. Overall, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” has raised over 50 million dollars and brought attention to various causes, including global warming and animals. Additionally, DeGeneres continues to raise awareness about breast cancer, and served as spokesperson for General Mills’ breast cancer awareness initiative, Pink for the Cure, and hosted special episodes of her show to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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, as well as an Amnesty International Award.