Portia de Rossi is a woman of many talents and achievements. She is best known for her roles in popular TV shows such as Ally McBeal, Arrested Development, and Scandal. She is also the founder and CEO of an art company called General Public. But beyond her professional success, she is also a devoted wife to Ellen DeGeneres, a passionate animal rights activist, and a proud LGBTQ+ icon. In this article, we will explore the life and career of Portia de Rossi, and discover what makes her one of the most influential and inspiring women in Hollywood.
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Early Life and Education
Portia de Rossi was born Amanda Lee Rogers on January 31, 1973, in Horsham, Victoria, Australia. Her father died when she was nine years old, and she grew up with her mother and brother in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong. She started modeling and acting as a child, and appeared in some TV commercials and print ads. At 15, she changed her name to Portia de Rossi, inspired by a character from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. She later said that it was the most daring thing she had ever done at that point. She attended Geelong Grammar School and the University of Melbourne, where she studied law. However, she dropped out of college to pursue her acting career.
Portia de Rossi’s first significant role was as a young and impressionable maid in the Australian 1994 film Sirens, starring Hugh Grant. She then moved to Los Angeles and landed guest roles on several TV shows, such as Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher, Veronica’s Closet, and The X-Files. She also appeared in the horror film Scream 2 in 1997. Her breakthrough role came in 1998, when she joined the cast of Ally McBeal as the cold and ambitious lawyer Nelle Porter. She won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance, and became a household name.
In 2003, she starred as Lindsay Bluth Fünke, the spoiled and clueless daughter of a dysfunctional family, in the critically acclaimed comedy series Arrested Development. The show ran for three seasons on Fox, and was revived for two more seasons on Netflix in 2013 and 2018. Portia de Rossi also played the role of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr., in the 2003 TV movie America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story. She also portrayed Olivia Lord, a manipulative and seductive plastic surgeon, in the drama series Nip/Tuck from 2007 to 2009. She then starred as Veronica Palmer, a smart and ruthless boss of a research and development company, in the sitcom Better Off Ted from 2009 to 2010.
Portia de Rossi’s most recent role was as Elizabeth North, the chief of staff of the president of the United States, in the political thriller series Scandal from 2014 to 2017. She announced her retirement from acting in 2018, saying that she wanted to focus on her art business and her philanthropic work. However, she made a cameo appearance in the Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie in 2019, as a favor to her wife Ellen DeGeneres.
Portia de Rossi is the founder and CEO of General Public, an art company that uses a technology called Synograph to create 3D-printed reproductions of original paintings. The company aims to make art more accessible and affordable to the public, and to support emerging artists. Portia de Rossi launched the company in 2018, and has partnered with several retailers, such as RH, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn, to sell the Synographs. She has also curated collections of artworks from various artists, such as Kali Sanders, Paul Robinson, and Seb Sweatman.
Personal Life and Relationships
Portia de Rossi met Ellen DeGeneres, the comedian and TV host, at a Rock the Vote concert in 2001. She felt an immediate attraction to her, but did not come out as a lesbian until 2005. She was previously married to Mel Metcalfe, a documentary filmmaker, from 1996 to 1999, mainly to obtain a green card for the US. She also dated Francesca Gregorini, the daughter of Ringo Starr, from 2000 to 2004. She reconnected with Ellen DeGeneres at an event in 2004, and they began dating shortly after. They got engaged in 2008, after the California Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. They got married on August 16, 2008, at their home in Beverly Hills, in a private ceremony attended by their families and close friends. They have been happily married for 15 years, and have four dogs and three cats as their pets. They also have a ranch in Santa Barbara, where they rescue and care for various animals, such as horses, cows, pigs, and goats.
Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres have faced several rumors and speculations about their relationship, such as divorce, cheating, and having children. However, they have always denied them and maintained that they are very much in love and supportive of each other. Portia de Rossi has also stood by Ellen DeGeneres during the controversy surrounding her talk show in 2020, when several former and current employees accused the show of having a toxic and abusive work environment. Portia de Rossi posted a message on Instagram, saying “I stand by Ellen” and “To all our fans…we see you. Thank you for your support.”
Philanthropy and Activism
Portia de Rossi is a passionate advocate for animal rights and veganism. She has been a vegan since 2007, and has influenced Ellen DeGeneres to adopt the same lifestyle. She has also supported various organizations that work for animal welfare, such as the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, and The Gentle Barn. She has also appeared in several campaigns and documentaries that raise awareness about the plight of animals, such as Earthlings, Vegucated, and Unity.
Portia de Rossi is also a proud LGBTQ+ icon, and has spoken openly about her struggles with coming out and accepting her sexuality. She has also written a memoir, titled Unbearable Lightness, in which she revealed her battle with eating disorders and self-esteem issues. She has also supported various causes and charities that promote LGBTQ+ rights and equality, such as the Trevor Project, GLAAD, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She has also received several awards and honors for her contributions to the LGBTQ+ community, such as the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award, the GLAAD Stephen F. Kolzak Award, and the Ally for Equality Award.
Here are some interesting facts about Portia de Rossi:
|Portia Lee James DeGeneres
|Ellen DeGeneres (m. 2008)
|University of Melbourne (dropped out)
|Michael Rogers (brother)
|Favorite TV Show
Portia de Rossi is a remarkable woman who has achieved a lot in her life and career. She is not only a talented actress, but also a successful entrepreneur, a loving wife, and a generous philanthropist. She is an inspiration to many people, especially those who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. She is a living proof that love conquers all, and that one can overcome any challenge with courage and grace. Portia de Rossi is truly a wife, an actress, and a philanthropist.