Who Is Ellen Degeneres’ Wife?
You may have heard of Portia de Rossi from watching The Ellen Show, but Portia is much more than just Ellen DeGeneres‘ wife. From acting to charity work, Portia de Rossi has become an influential star in Hollywood who has gone through quite a bit to get to where she is today.
Who Is Portia de Rossi?
Portia de Rossi (born Amanda Lee Rogers) was born in Horsham, Victoria, Australia and grew up in Grovedale, modeling for print and TV commercials as a child. She adopted her new name at age 15, choosing to name herself in order to stand out and reinvent herself. The name “Portia” comes from a character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, and “de Rossi” is an Italian last name.
Though she’s appeared in many Australian and American TV shows and movies, she’s best known for her work on Arrested Development, a comedy on FOX that ran from 2003-2006 before being canceled. Portia returned to her role in the show as Lindsay Bluth Fünke after Netflix picked up the series for another season in 2013, then a fifth in 2018.
The Road to Meeting Ellen DeGeneres
We know Portia as Ellen’s wife, but marrying Ellen wasn’t her first trip down the aisle. She was married to documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe from 1996 to 1999, but divorced after not feeling that the marriage was right for her. She also dated director Francesca Gregorini from 2001 to 2004, but met Ellen backstage at an awards show and quickly realized who she was meant to be with.
The couple began dating in 2005 and Portia was finally comfortable in her own skin, opening up to many different sources about her sexual orientation. Much like Ellen, she had previously been scared of coming out and felt that she was taking a gamble in being publicly known as a lesbian. Though her path to coming out was rocky and uncertain, both Portia and Ellen have become advocates for the LGBT community!
Portia and Ellen: A Love Story
Three years after they began dating, Ellen proposed to Portia in 2008, and the couple was married at their home in Beverly Hills on August 16, 2008. In 2010, Portia filed a petition to legally change her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. This petition was granted a month later and in 2011 she became a citizen of the United States.
The couple remains totally in love, having adopted several foster animals, many appearances from Portia on The Ellen Show, and multiple joint charity ventures. One need only to view Portia’s Instagram to see many pictures of the couple getting into wild and crazy adventures!
What’s next for Portia and Ellen?
Though the couple has never worked together on-screen (besides appearances on The Ellen Show), they have worked together to support causes that are near and dear to them. Recently, Portia surprised Ellen for her 60th birthday by creating The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund, a charity that protects and advocates for the world’s most fragile and valuable animals and wildlife. Talk about a beautiful and thoughtful birthday gift!
In addition to working together on charities, the pair routinely flip houses. While they don’t necessarily do it for the money, they find a home they love, live in it for a while, become interested in some other style or look, and sell their current home to purchase another, usually for a fairly large profit. Ellen has even documented her home purchasing adventures in a 2015 book called “Home”!
Portia’s retirement from acting
In May of 2018, Portia appeared on The Ellen Show to announce her retirement from acting. Though she did go on to appear in the fifth season of Netflix’s Arrested Development, she will no longer be taking on any acting roles. Instead, she’ll be working with General Public, an art curation company that focuses on 3-D technology to print paintings.
No matter what ventures they may take on in the future, we’re always rooting for Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres, one of Hollywood’s most influential power couples!