Portia de Rossi
Portia Lee James DeGeneres
Date of Birth:
January 31, 1973
Place of Birth:
Horsham, Victoria in Australia
Mel Metcalfe (1996-1999), Ellen DeGeneres (2008 to present)
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Who is Portia de Rossi?
Portia de Rossi is an American and Australian model, actress and philanthropist. Portia began her acting career in Australia before moving to Los Angeles. She has featured in over 30 series and movies. Portia is also known as the wife of comedian and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres.
Portia de Rossi was born Amanda Lee Rogers on January 31, 1973, in Horsham, Victoria, an Australian state. Her father is Barry Rogers, and her mother is Margaret, a medical receptionist. As part of efforts to create a new identity, Portia gave herself the name Portia de Rossi. Portia was previously married to Mel Metcalfe, a documentary filmmaker. She was also once in a relationship with Francesca Gregorini. In 1994, Portia starred in the Australian film, "Sirens" before moving to Los Angeles.
Portia is a lesbian actress who came out with her sexuality in 2005. She is also a philanthropist who openly supports multiple charities. According to Portia’s Instagram bio, she is now the "owner of general public, an art curation and publishing company."
Although Portia was born in Horsham, she grew up in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong in Victoria. Her father, Barry Rogers, died when she was nine years old. Portia has one brother, Michael Rogers. Portia modeled for print and TV advertisements while growing up, and at the age of 15, took on the name, Portia de Rossi, by which she is known professionally. In 2005, she revealed she got the name by combining one of the characters from a William Shakespeare book, “The Merchant of Venice” with an Italian surname. Portia attended Melbourne Girls Grammar School and studied law at the University of Melbourne.
Portia started with guest appearance roles in some TV shows before finally landing a permanent one in "Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher." She starred as Elana Lewis in the series that ran from 1996 to 197. In 1997, Portia got a part in "Scream 2". All this while she had been working hard to get rid of her Australian accent. Portia’s breakout role was Nelle Porter in the legal series, "Ally McBeal". She starred in the production from 1998 until its end in 2002. Portia also starred in the Fox series, "Arrested Development", which originally aired for three seasons from 2003-2006.
After the series was revived in 2012, Portia reprised her role as Lindsay Bluth Fünke in Season 4 (2013) and Season 5 (2018). Portia has starred in other series and movies such as "Who Is Cletis Tout?" (2001), "America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story" (2003), "The Night We Called It A Day" (2003), "Cursed" (2005), "Nip/Tuck" (2007-2009), and "Better Off Ted" (2009-2010).
In 2014, Portia joined the cast of "Scandal" as Elizabeth North, but left in 2017 after revealing she had "made the decision to focus on a business opportunity."
In May 2018, Portia announced her retirement from acting on "The Ellen Show", but said she would still appear in Season 5 of "Arrested Development".
Portia de Rossi married documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe in 1996, but the pair parted ways in 1999. She allegedly married him to get a green card but eventually let go of the plan. In 2001, she started dating Francesca Gregorini, the daughter of legendary American actress Barbara Bach.
Tabloids published pictures of Portia and Gregorini, but Portia refused to make any comment regarding their relationship or her sexual orientation. Portia later revealed in 2010 that she was afraid of exposing her lesbian identity. Portia ended her relationship with Gregorini in 2004 because she started dating Ellen DeGeneres.
In 2005, Portia opened up about her sexuality in interviews with "Details" and "The Advocate". Portia and Ellen were married on August 16, 2008, in Beverly Hills. In September 2010, Portia changed her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. She became a citizen of the United States a year later. Since 2008, Portia and her wife have been vegetarians and are supporters of animal preservation. Portia revealed in a 2010 interview that she and Ellen did not plan on having kids.
In 2010, Portia published her autobiography, "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain", based on her life experiences. In the book, she revealed that she suffered from anorexia nervosa and bulimia and was misdiagnosed with lupus. She promoted the book on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show". Portia lends her support to charities such as Locks of Love, FXB International, Alley Cat Allies, and The Gentle Barn.
Portia is also alleged to have undergone several plastic surgeries such as botox, a nose job, eyelid enhancement, and lip surgery.
- Sirens (1994)
- Girl (1998)
- Scream 2 (1997)
- Ally McBeal (1998-2002)
- Ally (1999)
- America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story (2003)
- The Night We Called It a Day (2003)
- Cursed (2005)
- Nip/Tuck (2007-2008)
- Santa Clarita Diet (2017)
- Nominee: OFTA Television Award (2003) - Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “Arrested Development.”
- Nominee: Golden Satellite Award (2004) - Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Comedy, or Musical for “Arrested Development.”
- Nominee: Screen Actors Guild Awards (2005, 2006 &2014) - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for “Arrested Development.”
- Nominee: Screen Actors Guild Awards (2000 & 2001) - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for “Ally McBeal.”
- Winner: Screen Actors Guild Awards (1999) - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for “Ally McBeal.”
- Winner: TV Land Award (2004) - Future Classic Award for “Arrested Development.”
- Winner: Golden Satellite Award (2005) - Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical for “Arrested Development.”
- Winner: Gold Derby TV Award (2006) - Ensemble of the Year for “Arrested Development.”
“My sexuality is a part of me that I really like. But it’s not the totality of me.”
“My feelings for Ellen overrode all of my fear about being out as a lesbian. I had to be with her, and I just figured I’d deal with the other stuff later.”
- Portia shares her birthday with her grandmother who was born in 1907, and "Arrested Development" co-star, Jessica Walter.
- Portia’s first husband, Mel Metcalfe left her to be with her brother, Michael’s wife, Renee Kappos.