timeline

born 1958

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres discovered the power of humor at 13 while trying to cheer her mother up after her parents divorced. “She’d be crying one minute and the next laughing hysterically,” Ellen told an interviewer, "I thought 'that's amazing to be able to do that to people.'” After 3 years doing stand-up, Ellen got her big break on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The stand-out eventually earned her own sitcom. But when Ellen {and her character} came out in 1997, it all went away.

She was back by 2000...with a TV special poking fun at herself + homophobia. A popular emcee for the Academy Awards + Emmys, Ellen now hosts her own talk show, reminding us daily why her particular brand of funny is irresistible.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Ellen DeGeneres (18)

"The main advantage of talking to yourself is that sometimes you're the only person who wants to talk to you."

My point...And I Do Have One | october 1995

"If we don't want to define ourselves by things as superficial as our appearances, we're stuck with the revolting alternative of being judged by our actions, by what we do."

My Point...And I Do Have One | october 1995

"You can't be both political and funny."

After the Chaos a Happy Couple Get to Work | february 2000

"Procrastinate now. Don't put it off."

Here and Now | 2003

"I think the one thing we all have in common is we want to laugh—and that's a beautiful thing."

Here and Now | 2003

"It really is about living your truth—that's all it is."

Barbara Walters Interview before 2007 Academy Awards | 2007

"I think most people dream of winning an Academy Award. I had a dream of actually hosting the Academy Awards, so let that be a lesson to you kids out there: aim lower."

79th Annual Academy Awards Opening Monologue | march 2007

"Never follow anyone else's path...Unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path—then, by all means, you should follow that."

Tulane University commencement address | may 2009

"You're gonna be okay...just dance!"

Tulane University commencement address | may 2009

"Wouldn't it be so convenient if we could just pick up the phone and call God and ask these questions?"

Tulane University commencement address | may 2009

"Life is like one big Mardi Gras. But instead of showing your boobs, show people your brain."

Tulane University commencement address | may 2009

"I think when you have these trials that life gives you, it is an opportunity to find out who you are. Not just who you are when everything's great, but who are you when every thing is taken away from you and you have nothing."

Ellen on the Oprah Show | november 2009

"The legend goes that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland...that must be hard to put all the tiny seatbelts on all the snakes."

Quote of the Day: Erin Go Bragh | july 2010

"I say this all the time to people when they're different: the good news is, you stand out because you're different and unique; the bad news is, no one knows what to do with that until you find your own niche."

We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy | 2012

"This morning I dyed Portia's hair green for St. Patrick's Day! She's gonna love it as soon as she wakes up."

@TheEllenShow | march 2013

"We know that the most important thing in life is love and friendship and family. And if people don’t have those things, they usually get into show business. We are all one big, frightened family."

Ellen Degeneres' Opening Monologue for the 86th Annual Academy Awards | march 2014

"This might be the sexiest costume yet. Because what is sexier than a woman with a brain?"

Ellen's Halloween Costume Revealed! | october 2014

"The only way I'm trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another."

ellen | january 2015
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curated with care by Kathleen Murray {december 2014}