Emmy-winning talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans.
Beginning in the early 1980s, she toured nationally and was named the funniest person in America after winning a competition sponsored by the cable network Showtime.
DeGeneres scored a hit headlining her own 1994 sitcom on ABC "These Friends of Mine" (later renamed "Ellen" (1994) after its first season). She made TV history in April 1997 when her character, and DeGeneres herself personally, revealed that she was a lesbian.
DeGeneres’s daytime talk show, "Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (2003) proved to be both a critical hit and a commercial success. Along with good ratings, the show has won 15 Emmy Awards in its first three seasons on the air and becoming the first talk show in TV history to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show in its first three seasons.
DeGeneres has also made a name for herself as a host of awards shows. She hosted the Grammy Awards in 1996 and 1997, as well as the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2001 and 2005. In February 2007, she had the ultimate TV awards show gig, hosting the Oscars.