There is something very engaging about a beautiful woman with great comic chops. She was born Amanda Rogers in Geelong Australia. When she was just a 15 years old lesbian, she reinvented herself as Portia de Rossi, choosing the name from her love of Shakespeare & all things Italian. She was cast in the Australian film- Sirens, & then it was off to Hollywood. I first took note of her funny work as lawyer-Nell Porter on Ally McBeal..She was slyly hilarious in the much missed Arrested Development, & is the comic glue on the underrated Better Off Ted.
She feared she would jeopardize her career if she came out of the closet. When she finally did come out of the closet, many people didn't believe she was gay. She told the Advocate, "I had a hell of a time convincing people I was gay…which was so annoying! First of all, you live with the fear people might find out. Then you actually have the courage to tell people and they go, 'I don't think you are gay.'"
Besides being beautiful & funny, she was able to grab the attention of some woman named Ellen. Portia says when she first saw Ellen, she took her breath away. "That had never happened to me in my life, where I saw somebody & experienced all of those things you hear about in songs & read about in poetry. My knees were weak." Portia left Countess Francesca McKnight Donatella Romana Gregorini di Savignano di Romagna (Ringo Starr’s step-daughter) to be with & eventually marry Ellen DeGeneres (who had a birthday earlier this week). They were married in August 2008 in a small ceremony attended by family & a few close friends. They live in LA with their dogs.
Here is a very, very funny out-takes reel from Better Off Ted:
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