Originally from Australia, Portia de Rossi is one of the Oceania country’s stars who took Hollywood by storm, regardless of their accent. The talented entertainer started her journey as an actress in Australia before moving to Los Angeles where she bagged roles in movies and TV shows. It wasn’t long after her Hollywood debut before she earned international acclaim.
More than twenty years of plying her trade under the spotlight, Portia revealed that she was ready to take a bow in 2018 but added a few conditions to her retirement news. Unknown to some fans, Portia de Rossi has changed her name a few times, apart from that, there are other interesting details about her life – both at the personal and professional front.
What We Know About Portia de Rossi’s Background
Her given name at birth was Amanda Lee Rogers which came from her parents – Margaret who earns a living as a medical receptionist and Barry Rogers – her Jewish dad who passed on when she clocked nine. Portia was born in Horsham, Victoria, Australia, on January 31, 1973. Growing up in Grovedale, Victoria, Portia de Rossi attended Melbourne Girls Grammar School and went for further academic qualifications at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a degree in Law.
Her foray into the entertainment industry started as a child when she began modelling for print and TV commercials. In 1988 when she was just 15, Portia took a decision to reinvent herself by adopting the name of a character in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, combined with an Italian last name. This birthed her widely recognized name, Portia de Rossi.
She Featured In A Few Roles At Home Before Hollywood
Before storming Hollywood, she did a bit of acting in her home country and is credited for a few screen appearances, including Sirens (1994). De Rossi later immigrated to, Los Angeles in the US where she grabbed roles in films and shows, including Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher – a 1990s sitcom that cast her in a permanent role; this was before she joined the cast of Scream 2.
Portia de Rossi was cast in Ally McBeal in 1998, depicting the character of lawyer Nelle Porter which introduced her to international audiences while she worked diligently to drop her Australian accent; Portia remained with the show until wrap-up in 2002. Before then, in 2001, she shared the screen in a starring role with Christian Slater on the set of Who Is Cletis Tout?
Highlights Of The Success Portia Has Recorded In Entertainment
From 2003 to 2006, the Australian was among the cast of Arrested Development on Fox, starring as Lindsay Bluth Fünke, and around that time, she starred in a few films, including America’s Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story, as John F. Kennedy Jr.’s wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy (2003), She showed up in Cursed as Zela in 2005, as well as The Night We Called It a Day, depicting the role of an Australian reporter who sparked a protest against Frank Sinatra during a concert tour. The famed actress was part of Nip/Tuck during the show’s fifth season that lasted from 2007 to 2008, essaying the role of Olivia Lord, Julia McNamara’s girlfriend.
Between 2009 and 2010, Portia de Rossi was on the set of Better Off Ted as Veronica Palmer – the high-strung and controlling woman and went back to Arrested Development when filming for the fourth season kicked off on 7th of August 2012. De Rossi later put in an appearance in a music video for Revenge of the Nerds by a cast member in Better Off Ted Malcolm Barrett; she appeared with other cast members spoofing her character of Veronica.
In 2012, The Smart One – an ABC drama series with Ellen DeGeneres listed as one of its executive producers cast Portia in a starring role, but unfortunately, the show was not picked up for the 2012–2013 season. In 2014, Portia de Rossi was cast in a recurring role as Elizabeth North in Scandal (fourth season) but she became a regular on the show in the fifth season. However, during the sixth season, Elizabeth North was killed off in a golf club attack, following Portia’s decision to leave the Scandal family in order to pursue other endeavours which she referred to as business opportunities.
In May 2018, the actress spilt the beans on her plans to retire from acting. Howbeit, she hinted that she may consider a comeback if Arrested Development gets another chance on the screen.
A Timeline Of Portia de Rossi’s Love Life Pre-Ellen
From 1996 to 1999, Portia de Rossi tried to hide her sexuality by staying in her marriage to Mel Metcalfe – a documentary film-maker; she went into the union in a bid to acquire a green card, however, the plan was aborted before implementation. She revealed in a 2010 interview that she came to the conclusion that the marriage wasn’t right for her; the actress just endured the three years out of fear of being busted as a lesbian.
When the marriage eventually crashed, she started embracing her sexual orientation by dating director Francesca Gregorini (Barbara Bach’s daughter and Ringo Starr’s step-daughter), albeit behind the curtains. The relationship lasted from 2001 to 2004, according to the Australian entertainer, her true sexuality was still under wraps until the tabloids picked up pictures of the couple. Even then, she was averse to bringing her sexual orientation and same-sex relationship to the public arena.
Her Relationship With Ellen DeGeneres Helped Her Embrace Her Sexuality
It was later revealed in 2004 that Portia de Rossi was dating media mogul Ellen DeGeneres (the host of The Ellen DeGeneres Show) while with Francesca, leading to the end of their relationship; the duo met backstage at an awards show. It was at this point that Portia officially came out as a lesbian after many years in the closet. She let the cat out of the bag in her interviews with Details and The Advocate in 2005.
DeGeneres proposed to her in 2008 and she said yes. The two tied the knot at their home in Beverly Hills on the 16th of August 2008. The couple’s mothers and 17 other guests graced the event. Two years after her marriage to the media mogul, Portia filed a petition to legally adopt Portia Lee James DeGeneres as her name and it was granted on 23 September 2010.
Between 2013 and 2014, rumours ran rife about a possible divorce between the two same-sex partners; however, the speculations were later debunked when the couple continued to be steadfast in their union. DeGeneres made light of the divorce claims chatter during a monologue on her show, according to People.
The couple’s union is appearing to be one of those made in Hollywood heavens marriages as Portia de Rossi surprised her spouse on her birthday with an unexpected appearance on the DeGeneres’ show in February 2018. The duo always share scenes from their wedding as they celebrate their wedding anniversaries.