Beloved television icon and entertainment pioneer, Ellen DeGeneres' distinctive comic voice has resonated with audiences from her first stand-up comedy appearances through her work today on television, in film and in the literary world.
DeGeneres has made a home for herself in the daytime arena with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The show now in fourth season has recently won six Daytime Emmys, including Outstanding Talk Show and Outstanding Talk Show Host, earning the show a total of fifteen Daytime Emmy Awards during its first three seasons. Additionally, DeGeneres won two People’s Choice Awards for Favorite Daytime Talk Show Host and Favorite Funny Female Star for the second year in a row. She also won the Producers Guild Award for the second consecutive year for Outstanding Variety Television Show. DeGeneres was also selected as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and was voted “Favorite TV Host” in a Time Magazine poll, up against such competition as, Oprah Winfrey, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa and Meredith Vieira. In addition, DeGeneres has been tapped to host the 79th Annual Academy Awards on February 25, 2007.
“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 partnered up with American Express in 2005 where she appeared in their ad campaign "My Life, My Card," including a national commercial and a print campaign. DeGeneres will continue to appear in the 2006 ad campaign and recently shot a national commercial which was perfectly suited for the animal loving DeGeneres, who got a chance to work with new co-workers including a tortoise, a giraffe and penguins as part of their new campaign “My Life Goal: to work with animals.”
Prior to the launch of her talk show, DeGeneres scored a rare coup in 2004 with simultaneous achievements on stage, film and in the literary world. She enjoyed unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, ‘Dory,’ the fish with an extremely short term memory, in the blockbuster Disney/Pixar animated feature film, “Finding Nemo.” Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, and co-starring Albert Brooks and Willem Dafoe among others, the Academy Award winner for Best Animated Film has made over $850 million dollars worldwide to date, making it one of the highest grossing computer-animated films in history, as well as one of the highest domestic grossing films of 2003. In addition, DeGeneres was nominated for a 2004 MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance for her work in the film.
DeGeneres crossed the country on a 35-city stand-up comedy tour in Spring 2003, entitled the “Here and Now” tour. The series of shows included a performance at the famed Beacon Theater in New York, which was taped for HBO. The resulting special aired on June 28th, 2003 and scored higher ratings than any HBO comedy special had in years. It was subsequently nominated for two Emmys including Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program and Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special. HBO followed by releasing the special on DVD.
In October 2003, 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 for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for the audio version of the book.
A performer with a keen sense of comedy in the moment, DeGeneres garnered rave reviews for her performance hosting the 2001 Primetime Emmy Awards. Taking the reins of the high profile event with assuredness, she provided a perfect balance of wit with heartfelt emotion and gave the post-September 11th telecast’s audience a reason to laugh.
DeGeneres’ 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.” When DeGeneres moved to Los Angeles she filmed her first HBO Special “Young Comedians Reunion,” then in 1986 “Women of the Night.” That same year, DeGeneres scored a first by becoming the first and only comedienne to be summoned by Johnny Carson to sit down with him after her performance. DeGeneres followed in 1989 by receiving 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 “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 earning an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed “Puppy Episode” when 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.
DeGeneres’ feature film credits includes “EDTV” for director Ron Howard, “The Love Letter” for Dreamworks, New Regency’s “Goodbye Lover,” “Coneheads” and “Mr. Wrong” in which she starred with Bill Pullman.
DeGeneres has also served as host for several industry events including the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and the 38th and 39th Annual Grammy Awards, for which she earned an Emmy nomination, the 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, receiving an American Comedy Award, the VH1 Honors, which garnered her a Cable Ace Award, VH-1 “Diva’s Las Vegas” and The Saturday Night Live Christmas Special.”
In 1995, her first book My Point…And I Do Have One debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and in 1997 she released her comedy CD, “Taste This.” In July 2000, DeGeneres returned to stand-up embarking on a three-month tour of major theatres across the country that culminated in her critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated special for HBO, “The Beginning.”
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.
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