It’s one thing to be an actress, but to be singled out among your peers for exceptionable qualities is a great feat to attain as it takes a lot more effort and skills – and Portia de Rossi got them all. A simple, yet sophisticated young lady who has gone all the way in making a name for herself via films and movies. The Australian actress is best known for her starring role in a legal dramedy TV series titled Ally McBeal, where she acted as the very cool and calculated Nelle Porter. A role that earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Portia is not only good at acting; she is also an amazingly beautiful model who has worked for a couple of print and TV commercials since her early life. More to her hardworking roles in the entertainment industry, the actress made it a decision to reach out to young people who need help through charity organizations like Locks of Love. A charity group supports children with alopecia and other related health conditions. Here are more things you would love to learn about this Australian beauty.
Portia de Rossi: The English Girl With An American-Australian Nationality
Born on January 31, 1973, Amanda Lee Rogers, who is better known by her pseudonym as Portia de Rossi, is a native of Horsham, Victoria, Australia. Her mother, Margaret, was a medical receptionist while her father named Barry Rogers passed on when Portia was just nine years, leaving her mother to fend for her and her siblings.
Raised in Grovedale, Geelong City of Australia, Portia began modeling from the young age of eleven, appearing in TV commercials and print media. But her most significant role was in the 1994 Australian film Sirens.
The English girl with an American-Australian nationality had her name changed when she was fifteen years old. She legally adopted the name Portia from a Shakespearean play The Merchant of Venice, which she probably had read and fell in love with. ‘de Rossi’ is an Italian name which she found very attractive and decided to adopt it. About her education, Portia attended Melbourne Girls Grammar School before furthering her education at the University of Melbourne, where she studied law.
The Stellar Acting Career of Portia de Rossi
Portia’s first acting role in a TV series was in the 1995-96 American sitcom Too Something, where she played Maria Hunter. She got this golden opportunity and lots more after she moved to Los Angeles. More roles such as Elana Lewis in Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher and Carolyn in Veronica’s Closet, followed shortly afterward.
Her rise to fame, however, came after she was cast in the legal comedy-drama Ally McBeal, which began airing from September 8, 1998. Not only did she gain the needed fame, but the American series also exposed her potentials, as seen in the numerous other films in her filmography.
Some good examples of these films include The Glow, America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. The story, Arrested Development, Dead & Breakfast, American Intellectuals, and women in Film. The TV star has over 35 credits as an actress in all.
She also has more than seven award nominations and has won at least four of them. Her wins include Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series from OFTA Television Award and Ensemble of the Year from Gold Derby TV Award.
Rollercoaster Love Life of Portia de Rossi
Relationship and Divorce from Mel Metcalfe
For those who are yet to know, Portia de Rossi is a lesbian, and she has been in a few relationships, some of which were not as successful as she expected. But interestingly, her first relationship was with a man—a documentary filmmaker, Mel Metcalfe III. They exchanged marital vows in 1996. But expectedly, it did not last, and they separated in 1999 because Mel had an extramarital affair.
She described the union as something that was not right for her. The same year she gained her divorce papers, Portia met another American actress, Guinevere Turner, but their union ended shortly after their meeting.
One other interesting fact about their marriage and subsequent divorce is it was supposed to be a ploy to get a green card. However, the actress chose not to go along with the plan.
Portia’s Partners before Ellen
Portia was engaged in a long relationship with Francesca Gregorini, an Italian American writer, director, and musician better known as the daughter of American actress and model, Barbara Bach. The two dated from 2001 to 2004 only for them to break up after Gregorini discovered that Portia was dating Ellen DeGeneres, another actress, comedian, television, and host.
Finding Companionship and a New Surname with Ellen DeGeneres
Portia de Rossi and Ellen have known each other for about 20 years – about four years before their relationship began. They crossed path at a social gathering, Portia said in an interview that she knew Ellen was the one when she met her. However, it took her three years to tell Ellen how she felt about her because then she was still starring in her ground-breaking series Ally McBeal and wasn’t yet living as an openly gay person.
Portia de Rossi said she was scared that her acting career could end if she came out gay and dated the most popular lesbian celebrity in the world.
Portia De Rossi has echoed many times in interviews how Ellen DeGeneres understands her completely and makes her very happy. In fact, in her wedding vows to Ellen, she said, ‘It is good to be loved, it is profound to be understood.’ further validating how much she feels appreciated in her relationship.
It is also significant that it was during her relationship with DeGeneres that she was bold enough to speak about her sexual orientation. In 2005, during an interview with The Advocate and Details, she made it public that she is a lesbian.
DeGeneres engaged Portia de Rossi with a three-carat diamond ring. They soon got married on August 16, 2008, at their Beverly Hills home. About twenty guests, including their mothers, witnessed the wedding ceremony.
Two years after their wedding (on August 6, 2010), Portia went ahead with the legal processes of changing her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. The petition was on September 23, 2010, granted, and in 2011 she officially became a US Citizen. Portia and Ellen are yet to have children of their own, but they are enjoying their lives together as a couple.
They Have Had Their Share of Divorce Rumors
In what many optimists describe as evidence of the normalization of same-sex marriages, Portia and Ellen have had to deal with a few divorce rumors over the years.
In 2013 and 2014, rumors started flying around of a supposed divorce in the works. But whenever the pairs were interviewed on the issue, they shot it down, claiming they are untrue and that the only thing both argue about is who loves each other more.