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Portia de Rossi
Life Span: Born January 31, 1973
Star Sign: Aquarius
Famous As: Australian actress

Claire Balding - BBC sports presenter, journalist and jockeyChildhood: De Rossi was born Amanda Lee Rogers in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, the daughter of Margaret, a medical receptionist, and Barry Rogers. She was raised in Grovedale, a suburb of Geelong. As a child, she modelled for print and TV commercials. She took the name Portia de Rossi at a young age:

"When I was 15, I changed it legally. In retrospect, I think it was largely due to my struggle about being gay. Everything just didn’t fit, and I was trying to find things I could identify myself with, and it started with my name. I picked Portia because I was a Shakespeare fan (Portia is the character in The Merchant of Venice who comes to the rescue of Antonio and Bassanio in their time of need). De Rossi because I was Australian and I thought that an exotic Italian name would somehow suit me more than Amanda Rogers. When you live in Australia, Europe is so far away and so fascinating, so stylish and cultured and sophisticated."

Portia de Rossi was also the name of the mother of the eminent 16th-century Italian poet, Torquato Tasso.

A talented student, she studied at Geelong Grammar School and Melbourne Girls Grammar School, then the University of Melbourne Law School, but left before finishing the course to pursue an acting career. She supports Locks of Love, a group that buys wigs for children with medical hair loss. According to cfidarren.com, Portia is a helicopter pilot, trained by her brother.

Friends and relationships:

De Rossi, who was married for two years to documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe, is now openly gay. From 2000 to 2004, de Rossi dated singer Francesca Gregorini, daughter of actress Barbara Bach and stepchild of Ringo Starr. De Rossi dodged media questions about her sexual orientation and the relationship during this period. De Rossi was rarely pictured with Gregorini in public.

In a September 2005 magazine interview with The Advocate, de Rossi said that most of her family and Ally McBeal cast mates learned she was gay because of tabloid pictures of de Rossi and Gregorini in 2001. The couple broke up in late 2004 as de Rossi began dating talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres. In 2005, de Rossi officially came out and opened up about being gay in interviews with Details and The Advocate.

De Rossi lives with Ellen DeGeneres in Beverly Hills, California. On May 15, 2008, the Supreme Court of California overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. On that day, at a taping of DeGeneres's talk show that aired the following day, DeGeneres announced she and de Rossi were engaged to be married. The two were married on August 16, 2008.

Work: Her first significant role was playing a young and impressionable model in the Australian 1994 film Sirens. Soon afterwards she moved to Los Angeles and had guest roles on TV shows including Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher before landing a role in the film Scream 2. She attracted international attention when she joined the main cast of the Ally McBeal TV series in 1998 playing lawyer Nelle Porter. She remained with the show until its end in 2002.

In 2001, she starred in Who is Cletis Tout? with Christian Slater. From 2003–2006, de Rossi starred as Lindsay Bluth Fünke on Fox Television's critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning series Arrested Development.

From 2007-2008, de Rossi appears in Nip/Tuck's fifth season as Julia McNamara's new girlfriend Olivia Lord. In 2009, the concluding 8 episodes of season 5 will air. Due to the writers strike, the show was forced to take a break. She also portrayed John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s wife, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, in a made for TV movie.

She will reprise her role as Lindsay Bluth Fünke in 2009's film adaptation of Arrested Development.
After more than a decade of hard work, de Rossi is finally beginning to win real recognition, not only for her long golden tresses, but also for her wonderful talent.

Greatest Achievement: De Rossi was named number 64 in Stuff's 100 Sexiest Women, 31 in Femme Fatales' Sexiest Women of 2003 list, 24 in Maxim's 100 Sexiest Women List in 2004, and in late 2006, the magazine Blender listed her as one of the hottest women of film and TV. In May 2007, she was featured as one of 100 Most Beautiful in People Magazine special edition. TV Guide includes de Rossi and partner, Ellen DeGeneres in their Power A-List couples in 2007.

Awards and Nominations

  • Satellite Awards 2005 – Won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical for: "Arrested Development" (2003)
  • Satellite Awards 2004 – Nominated for the Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Comedy or Musical for: "Arrested Development" (2003)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards 2006 – Nominated for Best Actor for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: "Arrested Development" (2003)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards 2005 - Nominated for Best Actor for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: "Arrested Development" (2003)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards 2001 - Nominated for Best Actor for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: "Ally McBeal" (1997)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards 2000 - Nominated for Best Actor for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: "Ally McBeal" (1997)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards 1999 – Won the Best Actor for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for: "Ally McBeal" (1997)
  • TV Land Awards 2004 – Won the Future Classic Award for: "Arrested Development" (2003)

 

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