Ellen DeGeneres, the comedian, author, actor, dancer and television host, is best known for her quirky observational humor – often compared to Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore.
After putting together a comedy routine for a group of friends, DeGeneres was asked to perform in local coffeehouses in the late 1970s. She was soon traveling through the United States on the comedy club circuit.
The open revelation that she was a lesbian, almost cost her, her carrier. Yet in 1997, she gained fame as the first openly gay leading character on prime-time TV, with the ABC sitcom Ellen. She has used her celebrity to encourage compassion and to support worthy causes for many charities, organizations and individuals.
In 2012, DeGeneres received the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and four years later she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This year, 2020, she received the Carol Burnett Golden Globe Award, honoring excellence in television.